July 21, 1932 - September 14, 2013
Robert Jerome Elstad, M.D. passed away unexpectedly of heart failure in Los Angeles, CA on Saturday, September 14, 2013.
Robert was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota to Otto Elstad and Sigrid (Holmgren). He was the third of three children, including sisters Evelyn (Mickelson) and Vernette (Blom). Although poor, he had fond memories of a childhood filled with fishing with his dog T-Bone, summers spent on a friend's farm, and the independence to roam. After his father's death when Robert was fourteen, he and his mother joined his sisters in Los Angeles, California. Robert graduated from Belmont High School in 1950. Robert was granted an academic scholarship to UCLA
where he attended both undergraduate and medical school, was awarded Phi Beta Kappa and received Outstanding Medical Student and was invited into the honorary society Alpha Omega Alpha. After graduating, he completed his residency in Psychiatry. In 1960, he married Linda B. Schubert with whom he had four children. Robert and his young family resided in England for 3 years while he served in the U.S. Air Force
as Chief Psychiatrist. Upon returning to California, he established a private practice in Century City which he continued until the time of his death. On May 30, 1981, Robert married his life's love, Karen R. Smith, with whom he had one daughter. In addition to his private practice, Robert worked on staff overseeing medical residents for several years at UCLA, and later worked on staff as a psychiatrist at state prisons in Delano and Lancaster, CA. Robert was passionate about fine literature, art, classical music, travel and a well-mixed martini. In his younger years he enjoyed tennis, backpacking with the Sierra Club, and amateur photography.
Robert J. Elstad will be missed greatly by his wife Karen, his five children: Karin Wholey (Greg); Jennifer Gurney (Kevin); John Elstad (Juliana); Rebekka Lang (Christopher); Kendra Elstad, his niece Blythe Mickelson (Fred Booker), and eight grandchildren: Eva & Jenna Wholey; James & Erik Gurney; Lev Elstad; Sarah, Annika, & Garrett Lang.
Services will be held Saturday, September 21st, 2013 at 1pm at Temple Beth Shir Shalom, 1827 California Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90403.