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Wallace Sampson


1930 - 2015 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Wallace Sampson Obituary
Wallace Sampson
Mar. 29, 1930 - May 25, 2015
Los Altos, CA
Dr. Wallace Ira Sampson, 85, passed away peacefully on May 25, 2015 at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center. He leaves his wife of 59 years, Rita Sampson (nee Landry), brother Sandy, sons Robert, Paul (Suzanne), Buck (Kathryn), Dan (Dolores), and David, and grandchildren Peter, Rachel, Julia, Annie, Lorenzo, Lila, Rebecca, Maya, and Rylan.
Born and raised in Hollywood, CA, the son of David James and Bernice (nee Freilich) Sampson, he spent most of his life in Los Altos, CA. In later years he spent weekends at his residence in Aptos, CA.
He attended UCLA as an undergraduate, and received his MD from UC Berkeley and UCSF. He met his wife Rita while an intern at Minneapolis General Hospital, where she worked as a nurse. After completing military service in Germany, and a couple of Residencies in the US, they settled into the Los Altos home they would occupy for the next 53 years. He began his career at Sunnyvale Medical Clinic, later had a private practice adjacent to El Camino Hospital in Mt. View, CA, and retired as the Director of Oncology at the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center. He was an early advocate for the right of terminally ill patients to die in the comfort of their own homes.
In retirement Dr. Sampson accepted a Professorship and taught courses at Stanford University, started a medical journal, wrote articles, and appeared in television, radio, and print interviews, advocating for scrutiny of unproven medical practices. In addition to the many patients whose lives were touched by his care as a physician, he also leaves a powerful legacy through his later work educating the public and journalists about evidence-based approaches to medical practice.
While raising their children Dr. Sampson loved the long adventures Rita would plan for the family, traveling for a month or more at a time in a small RV. In later years he and Rita traveled extensively, and every year or two the extended family would still vacation together. These large family gatherings were the highlight of his later years.
The family would like to thank the staff at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center for the wonderful care he received there, and for the valiant effort they made to extend his life.
No memorial service is planned at this time. In lieu of flowers please consider making a donation to your local Humane Society or other animal welfare agency in Dr. Sampson's name.
Published in San Jose Mercury News on May 30, 2015
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