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Gerd James "Jim" Tobias M.D.


1923 - 2013 Obituary Condolences
Gerd James "Jim" Tobias M.D. Obituary
Gerd James "Jim" Tobias, M.D.
February 15, 1923-July 25, 2013
Resident of Saratoga
Dr. G. James Tobias, a retired physician of internal medicine/cardiology who broadened access to medical care in the Santa Clara Valley, passed away peacefully just before dawn on July 25th, 2013. He was a devoted physician and a leader in the medical community that he felt privileged to serve. Once when asked to describe his life, he responded with one word: "fulfilling".
He was born in Hanover, Germany, to Dr. Paula Sussman Tobias and Dr. Siegfried Tobias. With three uncles and three aunts already residing in the San Francisco Bay Area since before 1900, Jim's family came to the United States in 1935 and settled in Grass Valley, which resembled their mountain homeland in northern Germany. He graduated from Grass Valley High School in 1940 where he was on the tennis and track teams. He also spent his summers as an Eagle Scout and nature counselor in the Sierras near Donner Summit.
Jim graduated from UC Berkeley in 1943 with a BS in Medical Sciences. His freshman year he joined the swim team and was elected president of Stiles Hall. His junior year he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, serving as its president during his senior year. While at Cal he never missed a San Francisco opera performance and was also a loyal attendee of the San Francisco symphony.
He earned his M.D. from UC San Francisco in February 1946 and completed his internship and residency at UCSF and San Francisco General Hospital. He then began military duty for two years at Clark Air Force Hospital in the Philippines from 1948 to 1950 and was discharged as Captain. After his military service, Jim returned to the New England area for two years for a fellowship and to conduct research.
In 1953 he started an internal medicine and cardiology practice in Los Gatos that lasted for 42 years until his retirement in 1995. He was a part-time assistant clinical professor of medicine at UCSF from 1954-1969 and then held the same position at Stanford University School of Medicine from 1970-1975. He helped establish the EKG departments at O'Connor Hospital, El Camino Hospital of Los Gatos (formerly Los Gatos Community Hospital), and Good Samaritan Hospital. He was the first Chief of Medicine at Good Samaritan Hospital. While an attending physician at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, he co-founded with Dr. Jonas Sirota a free clinic for patients with hypertensive renal disease.
For five years he was an active member of the Santa Clara County Environmental Health Committee, which monitors water and air quality throughout the county. For ten years he was very involved with the Los Gatos Community Concert Association, serving as a past president. He was also a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology (FACC) and a Fellow of the American College of Physicians (FACP).
In 1955 he married Danish piano teacher Lisa Sepstrup. She died in 1989, and James is survived by their two daughters, Mimi Tobias of Vista, CA, and Susan Tobias of Campbell, CA, and his granddaughter, Calyse Tobias. In 1998 he married his current wife, Clair Kelly of Saratoga, CA. Through his marriage to Clair he inherited three daughters and their families: Karen Kelly Morris and Matt Morris of Folsom, CA; Liz Kelly and Linda Wells of St. Louis, MO; Marsha Kelly Brock and Charlie Brock of Menlo Park, CA. His inherited grandchildren are Amy and Wade Morris, Chad and Todd Brock, and great-granddaughter Brooke Gumo. He is also survived by his dearly loved extended family, friends and colleagues as well as devoted caregivers Maria and Wanda from the Visiting Angels.
A memorial service with a reception following will be held at 3:00 P.M. on Friday, August 2, at Saratoga Federated Church, 20390 Park Place, Saratoga, CA 95070-5953.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to support medical student scholarships at UCSF. Please send contributions in memory of G. James Tobias to: UCSF Foundation, University of California San Francisco, P.O. Box 45339, San Francisco, CA 94145-0339.

Published in San Jose Mercury News/San Mateo County Times on July 31, 2013
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