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BULEN MD, JAMES ARTHUR James Arthur Bulen, MD, 85, beloved husband and father, dedicated surgeon and a member of a pioneer Escondido family, passed away on Friday, January 29, 2010, with his loving family by his side at Citrus County Hospice House in Lecanto, Florida. The cause of death was dedifferentiated chondrosarcoma, a rare tumor of the bone cartilage. Dr. Bulen was born on October 8, 1924 in Long Beach, California and spent his early years in Glendale, California. In 1936, he moved with his family to Escondido and was raised on a dairy farm where the Escondido Village Mall is now located at the corner of East Valley Parkway and Ash Street. Upon graduating from the old Escondido High School in 1942, he matriculated at UC Berkeley intending to study law at his parents' suggestion, but left in 1943 after being drafted into the U.S. Army. During basic training, he became ill with pneumonia. This event changed the course of his life. In lieu of service on the war front, he was given an aptitude test and enrolled in a specialized training program that included pre-medical studies at Harvard University followed by medical school at the University of Vermont. After graduating in 1949, he pursued an internship at Letterman Hospital, San Francisco, and general surgery residency at the UC San Francisco Moffitt Hospital. In the 1950s, Dr. Bulen practiced as a flight surgeon for the U.S. Air Force in Tachikawa, Japan and Fort Worth, Texas, and became an amateur pilot. In 1960 he returned to Escondido, where he practiced general, vascular, and trauma surgery until 1995, when he retired. He was at one time Chief of Staff at Palomar Memorial Hospital and helped establish its trauma program in the 1980s. He was most proud of his work as a trauma surgeon. Dr. Bulen loved skiing, had a vineyard and made wine, and later took up ceramics and won local awards for both. He enjoyed traveling and visited many countries including India, Japan, most of Europe and recently, Turkey and Egypt. In 1996, Dr. Bulen and his wife, Gina, moved to New Hampshire where he studied ceramics at the Harvard University Ceramics Program. He loved gardening and was a New Hampshire Master Gardener and became a Florida Master Gardener upon moving to Hernando, Florida in 2003. While in Florida, he also was active in Habitat for Humanity. Dr. Bulen was preceded in death by his father, former California State Assemblyman and dairyman Edwin S. Bulen, and his mother, Dorothy P. Potter. He is survived by his wife, the former Gina L. Kossuth, of Hernando, Florida; five children from his first marriage to Elizabeth W. Bosworth, Ann Dechairo-Marino of Sierra Madre, Calif., J. Steven Bulen of Studio City, Calif., E.H. Bulen of Bellevue, Wash., P. William Bulen of Boise, Idaho, Marilynn J. Jones of Baker City, Oregon; and two children from his second marriage, James A. Bulen, Jr., of Washington, D.C., and Jessica N. Bulen of Los Angeles, Calif.; 19 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. His brother, William H. Bulen, of Kodiak, Alaska, and sister, Mary C. Bulen, of Beaumont, Calif., also survive. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations in Dr. Bulen's memory to the Hospice House of Citrus County Hospice, P.O. Box 641270, Beverly Hills, FL 34464.

Published in The San Diego Union Tribune on Feb. 14, 2010
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