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Robert Felt Iverson


1924 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Robert Felt Iverson Obituary
August 31, 1924 - June 16, 2016 Bob Iverson, who embraced life, work and especially his family and friends with passion, enthusiasm, humor and grace, passed away peacefully at age 91 at his Pacific Palisades home on June 16, 2016. Born in Salt Lake City, Utah, on August 31, 1924, Bob moved to Los Angeles, California, at age five, at the start of the Great Depression. He spent his formative years growing up in Beverly Hills, California, attending Beverly Hills High School, where he distinguished himself as a track and football athlete. While playing tailback for the Beverly Hills Norman football squad-weighing in at the whippet-like weight of 135 pounds-Bob received the "Toughest Player Pound for Pound" award from his peers. At age 18 Iverson enlisted in the Marine Corps Air Division, flying Corsair aircraft as a carrier pilot, where he developed a life-long love of flying. After World War II he enrolled at Stanford University as an undergraduate and went on to attend medical school there, where he received his M.D. While at Stanford, he met the love of his life, Marilyn "Marlie" Bowker, on a blind date. They were married in Laguna Beach on June 25, 1950 and remained together for 66 years, until his passing. Following Bob's graduation from medical school, he accepted an internship at Harbor General Hospital in Los Angeles, and did his residency at UCLA where he distinguished himself, earning the highly coveted position of Chief Resident. Bob went on to specialize in Psychiatry and in 1958 opened the first psychiatric practice in Pacific Palisades, where he was highly successful, serving his patients for almost 50 years, before retiring in 2006 at age 82. In addition to treating patients, Bob was dedicated to improving the nature of the doctor-patient relationship. At USC's School of Medicine he lectured medical students on the importance of empathy and active listening, as well as placing their patients' concerns in the context of their underlying social and economic experiences. Throughout his life, Bob also championed social justice causes and was committed to progressive Democratic candidates and campaigns. Bob and Marlie developed deep and lasting relationships with friends, and regularly toured and cycled their way through western Europe, as well as local southern California beaches. Domestically, their Palisades home was not just a mecca for their expansive friend group; it was also a consistently welcoming place where their children's friends cemented what became their own lifelong friendships with the Iversons. Bob remained an avid athlete throughout his adult life as a runner, skier, tennis player, golfer and biker, until orthopedic problems eventually grounded him. Above all, Bob's family was closest to his heart, and he is already deeply missed by his surviving son Eric, his daughter Ellen, grandchildren James, Alex and Ben, and the person who truly made his life complete, his wife Marlie. The family recommends that memorial tributes in Bob's name be made to Doctors Without Borders.
Published in the Los Angeles Times from June 24 to June 26, 2016
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