Alden VAN PELT M.D.

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Died at sea of natural causes on Pearl Harbor Day, December 7th, as he was returning home from a cruise to the Hawaiian Islands. He had celebrated his 90th birthday last summer and was in failing health. His wife of 44 years, Shelia, tended him at his bedside for his final few hours and he died peacefully with his youngest son Stephen also in attendance. Alden had a long career as a General and Vascular Surgeon in Marin County. His medical education included a BS at the age of 19 and an MD at 22 at the University of Iowa, followed by post-graduate courses in San Francisco and the University of Vienna during his Army service in the U.S. and Europe. He later matriculated at both Oxford and Cambridge in England. He also served as a Medical Examiner for the State of California, as a Clinical Professor at UCSF, and as the surgeon for San Quentin State Prison for 15 years. His passion was sailing on San Francisco Bay and his favorite ocean, the Pacific, both competitively in regattas and leisurely cruising in the Bay and Delta. He was a Lifetime Member of the San Francisco Yacht Club in Belvedere and held the Cal-34 championship in the Yacht Racing Association for four consecutive years in the 1970s. His ocean excursions included navigating a trimaran to Mexico and voyaging with Sheila among the islands of Tonga and Fiji in a 60-foot Herreshoff ketch. Over the years they owned three sailboats - the 25-foot Pacific Clipper "Four Winds," their Cal-34 sloop "Calavan," and their live-aboard Hans Christian-38 "Windmill." Their winter sport was downhill skiing, which they enjoyed at Tahoe, Aspen, Vail, Park City and several European sites in Austria and Switzerland. Travel was a large part of their experiences of the world and they visited many countries and cultures during their overseas excursions. Music also played an important part in Alden's life. He held the position of first violin in symphonies in Sioux City and Iowa City and considered a career in music as a fallback if he didn't succeed in medicine. He had recently undertaken playing the ukulele. Alden in survived by his wife Sheila and his five children, Gregory (Celsa), Sharman Maher (Gene), Susan Lockett (John), Stephanie Stenmark, and Stephen (Terry); eleven grandchildren;four great-grandchildren and brother-in-law Lloyd Kimball. Private memorial services will be held at Varenna at Fountaingrove, their home for the past five years. Daniels Chapel of the Roses 707-525-3730
Funeral Home
Daniels Chapel of the Roses
1225 Sonoma Avenue Santa Rosa, CA 95402
(707) 525-3730
Funeral Home Details
Published Online in the Press Democrat from Dec. 15 to Dec. 16, 2013
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