Donald T. Arai M.D.

Obituary
  • "We were very sorry to learn of Don's passing in a Christmas..."
  • "I as well worked at Mesa Lutheran Hospital (MLH) as a..."
  • "The first thought I had after reading of Dr. Arai's death..."
  • " I practiced medicine along side Don at MLH over the years..."
    - Ken Boren
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    - K.D. Steill

Arai, Donald T. M.D.
died June 29th of pancreatic cancer. He was born in Ontario OR during his family's WWII internment (of people of Japanese descent) in eastern Oregon under Executive Order 9066. After the order was lifted, his parents Fred and Sono Arai stayed on to manage a farm in Nyssa, OR. Don was the valedictorian of his class at Nyssa High School. He graduated with honors from Stanford University in 1966, and then graduated from the University of Oregon Medical School. In 1970 he married Amy Alpert, a Stanford classmate. He was an intern at Hennepin County Hospital in Minneapolis MN and was a commissioned officer in the Indian Health Service on the Colville reservation in Nespelem WA for 2 years. He completed an internal medicine residency and pulmonary disease fellowship training at the VA Tulane University combined program in New Orleans. After training, Don moved his family, then grown to include daughter Leslie and son Dan, to Mesa where he spent 23 years in private practice. He was a dedicated physician and he was proud to be part of an excellent medical community. He retired in 2001 to spend time with his family and friends and to pursue his favorite pastimes: fly-fishing, gardening and berry picking. Don faced his brief final illness with courage, open communication and clarity of purpose. The bulwark of his family, he will be greatly missed by his wife Amy, daughter Leslie and son-in-law David and son Daniel. In addition, he is survived by sisters Annabel and Bonnie, three nephews, 5 great nephews and nieces and six cousins. A private memorial service will be held. If you would like to remember Don, give a plant to a friend or donate in his name to the Arizona Museum of Natural History Foundation 53 N. Macdonald Mesa, AZ 85201 for the Mesa Grande Cultural Park or Banner Health Foundation 2025 N Third St Ste 250 Phoenix AZ for Banner Gardens Hospice House or .


Published in The Arizona Republic on Aug. 5, 2014
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