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Ivan Fall Lee


1922 - 2013 | Obituary Condolences
Ivan Fall Lee Obituary
Ivan was born October 6, 1922, in Tabor, Alberta, Canada, where he spent his earliest years on his family's wheat farm. When he was five, his parents, Arthur and Minnie (nee Fall), moved their seven children to Santa Ana, CA, where he passed the remainder of his youth. He graduated from Tustin High School in 1940 and attended Santa Ana Junior College until the outbreak of World War II. On December 8, 1941, the day after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Ivan enlisted in the U.S. Navy and trained as a pilot. Upon earning his wings, he was assigned to fly with the VPB 107 Squadron, whose mission was to detect and destroy German U-boats. For the duration of the war in Europe, he piloted B-24 bombers ("Liberators") throughout the Atlantic in pursuit of enemy submarines, flying from bases in South America, North Africa and Europe. After VE Day, he re-trained as an aircraft carrier fighter pilot in preparation for planned operations in the Pacific. His carrier was en route from Hawaii to Japan when the Japanese surrendered.
Soon after the war ended, he returned to civilian life. In 1947, Ivan married Darlene Grace Sherfey of Santa Ana, CA, who supported him by working as a teacher while he completed his education. In 1951, he graduated from the University of California Dental School in San Francisco as a specialist in the emerging field of orthodontics. Ivan opened his first practice in San Diego, with Darlene serving as his secretary and chair assistant. They eventually settled in La Jolla, CA, where they raised four children and Ivan developed a busy practice. He became a leading member of his profession, pioneering treatment methods and technologies that contributed to significant advances in the practice of orthodontics. He had the distinction of being the first orthodontist in the San Diego region to be American Board Certified. He served as President of both The Angle Society and The Southern California Association of Orthodontists and taught at The Angle School of Orthodontics.
An avid golfer, Ivan was a long-time member of La Jolla Country Club on whose Board of Directors he served. He was a gifted athlete and an outdoor enthusiast who relished jogging on the beach, swimming in the ocean, cycling and skiing. He looked forward to yearly family vacations on a cattle ranch in Southwest Colorado, in which he was a partner. There he enjoyed fishing, river rafting, horseback riding and camping, as well as laboring at projects he conceived for improving the property. In 1977, Ivan sold his practice in La Jolla and purchased a farm in Brawley, CA, which he worked with his son Brad while practicing orthodontics part-time. In 1986, he and Darlene moved to La Quinta, CA, and opened an orthodontic office in Palm Desert, which Darlene managed. They joined La Quinta Country Club and later became members of Marrakesh Country Club. After a 55-year career as an orthodontist, Ivan retired in 2006, but continued to lead an active life. He was a keen golfer well into his eighties (on several occasions shooting his age), enjoyed traveling with Darlene and treasured the time he spent with his children and grandchildren. A year ago, Ivan and Darlene moved to The Fountains at The Carlotta in Palm Desert where he died just days before his 91st birthday on September 27, 2013.
He is survived by his wife, Darlene; sister, Marjorie Campshure of Orange, CA; four children, Claudia (married to Mark Ainsworth) of Philadelphia, PA, Bradford (married to Evelyn [nee Lamat]) of Bermuda Dunes, CA, Brian (married to Melanie [nee Stone] of Carlsbad, CA, and Kristin (married to Peter Roberts) of Annapolis, MD; and seven grandchildren, Tyler, Hunter, Alexa, Colter, Slater, Shelby and Andrew.
A service of remembrance will be held on Saturday, October 12, 2013, at 2 pm at The Carlotta, 41-505 Carlotta Drive, Palm Desert, CA 92211.
The family suggests that donations be made to The Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, Kansas 66675 / woundedwarriorproject.org.
Published in La Jolla Light on Oct. 17, 2013
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