Joseph Robert (Bob) Bloomfield
Joseph Robert, Bob or Bobby, Bloomfield, surrounded by his children and wife, passed away on May 24, 2013 in Torrance Memorial Medical Center, Torrance, California, the hospital he helped to found 40 years ago. He was 89.Born in the British community of the International Settlement of Shanghai, China, Bobby was the youngest child and only surviving son of Jacques Blumenfeld originally of Galati, Romania and later a Jewish Emigrant to Manchester, England, and of Tetsu (Ohana) Kusuda of Shimabara, Kyushu, Japan. He grew up with four older sisters Esther, Regina (Jeanie), Deborah (Debby) and Rebecca (Mabel). His father died when Bobby was one year old leaving him to be raised by his Japanese mother, his Japanese nanny, Kitty, and his four older sisters.
Interned by the Japanese along with most of the British and other civilians of Shanghai, Bob and his sisters were imprisoned in the Lunghua Civilian Assembly Center until August 1945. This experience was formative. It was during these years in prison camp between the ages of 19 to 21 that Bob determined that he would become a physician.
After the war, Bob sailed to San Francisco on board a Liberty ship. He was welcomed by his sister Debby and her husband Alexander Buchman to live with them in Los Angeles. In 1946 Bob attended and graduated from UCLA (A.B., Honors), then was accepted to the University of Chicago School of Medicine, where he met Joyce Jedlicka, also a U of C student, and the love of his life. They married in 1950 and remained so for 62 years until his death. After graduating from medical school in 1952 with honors, he took a residency at Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Bob's and Joyce's two daughters, Kim and Brenda were born there in 1953 and 1957. Upon completing his residency, he joined a family practice in Vancouver until 1959 when the family moved to Redondo Beach, California. There his son, Brian, was born in 1960.
Dr. Bloomfield practiced family medicine in Torrance from 1959 to 1998. He served as chief of staff of Riviera Hospital in Torrance, was a member of the joint Boards of Directors of Riviera and Torrance Memorial Hospital during their merger, and afterwards on the Board of Directors of Torrance Memorial Hospital, 1967-1975. He was instrumental in the transition from Riviera Hospital to the then new Torrance Memorial Hospital in 1971. He was chief of the Department of Family Practice at both hospitals. Dr. Bloomfield also served as medical director of the Alcoholism Recovery Service of South Bay Hospital of Redondo Beach from 1984 to 1987.
After retirement, Dr. Bob, as many called him, directed his prodigious energies toward his wife, the Pacific Unitarian Church, the needs of his three sisters, who were older by 6, 14 and 16 years, his children, grandchildren and his garden, not necessarily in that order. But squash playing was one of his greatest enjoyments. He was one of the founders of the South Bay Squash Racquets Club in Torrance and played until he could play no more. He always tried to play his best, and with all his heart, whether in the game of squash or of life until it was no longer possible. Bob exemplified the life well-played and fully-lived, one day at a time, with courage and faith, and belief in the goodness of himself and of others. We hope to have those qualities live on in us. Bobby, Bob, Dad ,Grampy, thank you. We will miss you always.
He is survived by his wife Joyce Grace, his daughters Kim Bloomfield of Copenhagen, Denmark and Brenda Bloomfield-Martinez (Samuel) of Oakland, grandsons Mateo and Marco Antonio Martinez, and son Brian Bloomfield of Santa Barbara, California. Contributions may be made to Bob's beloved Pacific Unitarian Church, 5621 Montemalaga Drive, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275, 310.378.9449, www.pacificunitarian.org. Please sign the guestbook
Published in Daily Breeze on June 30, 2013