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Alan Goldfien

Obituary Condolences

Alan Goldfien 1923-2013 Dr. Alan Goldfien died peacefully on January 19th in San Rafael, where he had been living with and cared for by his daughter Lisa. A long-time resident of Mill Valley, he was approaching his 90th birthday. Alan was born in Brooklyn where, along with his sister Phoebe, he was raised during the years of the Great Depression. After graduating from Madison High, he briefly attended New York University before uprooting himself and journeying across the country to enroll at the University of California at Berkeley. College was interrupted by the war: Alan joined the Navy where he went through flight training in Pensacola, but was discharged as the war ended before he was needed in combat. He then returned to UC Berkeley and graduated in 1946. He attended medical school at UC San Francisco and met his future wife Jeanne Conn, a nurse, while doing his internship at SF General Hospital. Following completion of his medical residency, he spent the next 3 years completing a research fellowship at Harvard before returning to Berkeley and eventually to Mill Valley. He was recruited to join the Medical faculty at UCSF and was a founding member of UCSF's Cardiovascular Research Institute, which represented a major milestone in UCSF's transformation into a world-class research university. During his UCSF career, Alan became internationally recognized for his research and writing in his fields of endocrinology, established a special high-risk pregnancy clinic for women with diabetes and other medical illnesses, (subsequently a model for such high-risk clinics nationally), and mentored many future researchers before ending his career as an Assistant Dean of the Medical School. Though he retired in 1988, he maintained an active relationship with his research group, attended national meetings, revised textbook chapters and continued to spend time at UCSF until 2011. Always humble, Alan preferred to focus on his family rather than his own accomplishments. He and Jeanne raised 6 children and enjoyed nothing more than his active involvement in their lives. He loved folk dancing, hiking, tennis, photography and in his retirement he was fortunate to be able to travel extensively, almost always with his wife and children. In both his work and private life his optimism about life and his willingness to help those in need endeared him to all who knew him. Family and friends alike could always count on him for advice and encouragement. Although his wife Jeanne died in 1999, Alan is survived by 6 devoted children: Steven and wife Susan of San Francisco, Richard of Novato, Robert and wife Miriam of Mill Valley, Lisa of San Rafael, Jeffrey of Santa Clara and Andrea of Novato. He is also survived by 6 grandchildren, 3 nephews, a beloved sister-in-law, Sharon Conn, of Sausalito, and numerous friends who will remember him for his kind and generous nature. Donations can be made to UCSF's Partners in Care, The Nature Conservancy or the American Jewish World Service. A memorial celebration of Alan's life is planned for Sunday February 10th, 3 PM at Congregation Kol Shofar in Tiburon. All are welcome to attend.
Published in Marin Independent Journal on Jan. 30, 2013
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