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Local plastic surgeon dies

Posted: June 18, 2010 9:03 p.m.
Updated: June 19, 2010 5:30 a.m.
 

Dr. Edward Pechter, a noted Santa Clarita Valley plastic surgeon and philanthropist, died this week in his home, just days before he was scheduled to travel abroad with his longtime companion and friend.

A member of the Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital Foundation board, Pechter had been in practice for more than 20 years.

He had a teaching affiliation with UCLA and, in 2005, received the UCLA Plastic Surgery Clinical Faculty Teaching Award for Excellence in Resident Education, according to his website.

“He got so many letters from people who thanked him for making such a difference in their lives and telling how much they really appreciated his caring and his help,” Pechter’s friend, Janet Hudson, said Friday.

“He had such a big heart — there really aren’t very many people like him in this world.”

On Wednesday evening, Pechter had scheduled an early Father’s Day dinner with his daughter, Greta Pechter, who lives in West Hollywood, Hudson said, adding that the couple was due to leave the country on Sunday.

He was to pick his daughter up at 5 p.m. Wednesday, but when he hadn’t arrived by 6 p.m., she called Hudson.

She rushed to his house, arriving about 7 p.m., and found him at his desk, she said.

“He was in his office at his computer and hadn’t even had time to call 911,” she said. “He was just still sitting there but he was gone.”

Groman Eden Mortuary in Mission Hills was preparing Friday to ship the body to Chicago for a funeral service. Pechter grew up in Chicago, and much of his family is still there, Hudson said.

A local memorial service was tentatively planned for Sunday, June 27, but details were still being worked out Friday.

Hudson suggested donations be made in Pechter’s name to the American Heart Association.

After learning of his death, friends told Hudson he had bought a ring and was preparing to propose to her on the trip to Israel, she said.

“We had just signed paperwork to buy a house together,” she said. “We were really looking forward to spending our lives together.”

Pechter is survived by his daughter Greta Pechter, of West Hollywood; daughter Jacqueline Jensen, of Northern California; mother, Ruthe Pechter, of Chicago; sisters Eileen Nathan, of Lubbock, Texas, Deborah Danziger, and Sheila Pechter, of Chicago; brother Dr. Bradley Pechter, of Chicago; and many cousins, nieces and nephews.

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