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Thomas V. Berne

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Thomas V. Berne Obituary
Dr. Thomas Van Cleave Berne M.D. passed away peacefully on Friday, October 27, 2017 at the age of 81. He was in good health until the end.

Tom was born on April 8, 1936, in Los Angeles, California, to Clarence J. Berne, M.D., and Esther Van Cleave Berne, Ph.D. He met his wife Cynthia in high school, proposed on the bank of the Seine in Paris, and they were happily married for 60 years. He loved to spend time with his children, Susan, Katie, and John, and his grandchildren.

Like his father, Tom dedicated his life to surgery: teaching, patient care, and research. After completing undergraduate studies at Pomona College and USC, he graduated from USC Medical School in 1960 and then completed his surgical residency at the now Los Angeles County/USC Medical Center (LAC/USCMC). He served as a Fellow in renal transplantation at Guys Hospital in London from 1966 to 1967. Upon his return, Tom established a renal transplant program and performed the first kidney transplant operation at LAC/USCMC. He joined the faculty of USC in 1967, rising to the rank of tenured Professor, and was instrumental in establishing the LAC/USCMC Level 1 Trauma Center. He served on the staff of not only LAC/USCMC but also Good Samaritan Hospital and the USC Norris Cancer and University Hospitals. He served as president of several surgical societies, including the Pacific Coast Surgical and Western Surgical Associations, and was widely published. Through his mentorship, Tom inspired doctors now working throughout the world.

With Cynthia, Tom loved traveling and visiting friends all around the world. He also enjoyed scuba diving, skiing, and USC football. Tom (W6TAG) was a ham radio operator from the time he was a teenager, sharing that passion with his children, grandchildren, and friends. His interest in ham radio and public health and safety led him to coordinate disaster preparedness activities in Silver Lake and Royal Oaks.

Tom will be fondly remembered for his kindness, generosity of spirit, and love for his family and friends.

Donations in Tom’s memory may be made to “USC Development” with a note “for the Berne Professorship” and mailed to USC Development, 1975 Zonal Avenue, KAM 300, Los Angeles, CA 90033. Memories, photos, and messages to the family may be posted on http://www.legacy.com/.

A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, January 6, 2018, at the Louis B. Mayer Auditorium at the USC Health Sciences Campus. (For directions search Google for USC Health Sciences Campus Map.)
Published in San Gabriel Valley Tribune on Nov. 4, 2017
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