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Keith Douglas Vrhel


1948 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Keith Douglas Vrhel Obituary
Keith Douglas Vrhel December 24, 1948 - July 24, 2018 San Diego Dr. Keith Vrhel, born December 24, 1948, age 70, passed gently surrounded by his partner Eric and family, on the morning of July the 24th. Keith grew up in Oak Park, Illinois, and went on to study at the University of Illinois becoming a doctor of medicine in 1975. After completion of his residency Keith decided to do two things he loved, medicine and travel. He worked at emergency rooms in such diverse locations such as Phoenix, AZ, to Fairbanks, AK, and his personal favorite of Jackson Hole, WY. After one particular harsh winter in Alaska, Keith traveled south to San Diego where he finally decided to set down roots. Keith came to enjoy and love his adoptive home of San Diego. The establishment of his practice, however, coincided with a time of fear and danger for the gay community. Keith, along with his devoted staff, including his head nurse for much of that period, Julie Hoffman, served the gay community when others shied away or worse, overtly blamed the victims of the disease. From the early 80s till the end of his working career in 2007, he strove to heal his patients and protect the community. Keith was a proud member of the following organizations: San Diego County AIDS Task Force; San Diego AIDS Project, Past Chairman of the Board; San Diego County Medical Society; American College of Physicians; American Medical Association;California Medical Society; AIDS Advisory Committee, San Diego County Board of Supervisors; Gay and Lesbian Medical Association; American Academy of HIV Medicine Founding Member. Keith leaves behind his partner of 29 years. His partner's parents Larry and Pamela Hall. Keith will be remembered by his brother George, in addition to his beloved nephew Scott and his wife Mary. In accordance with his wishes a celebration of life is to be held on Saturday, September 15th. If you'd like to attend, please contact Julie Hoffman in order to reserve a seat at 619-379-8624. This event is hosted by his dear and generous friends Doug Snyder and Chris Shaw. Instead of flowers please make a donation to the Trevor Project or the LBGT . The celebration will be business casual attire as Keith didn't even like to wear a tie.
Published in The San Diego Union Tribune on Aug. 12, 2018
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