Dr. Ira Lubell, age 79, husband of Louis Judd Bonsignore, resident of San Francisco, passed away on Sunday, June 12, 2016, at his residence.
Dr. Lubell was born June 20, 1936 in Brooklyn, New York and he was the son of Morris Lubell and Ana Kellemer Lubell.
Dr. Lubell graduated from Stuyvesant High School and Columbia College in the City of New York. He received his medical degree at SUNY Downstate and his Master of Public Health at Columbia University.
Dr. Lubell served as a Lt. Commander in the U.S. Navy and as an officer in the U.S. Public Health Service. He also was in the United States State Department serving as the doctor at the American embassy in Moscow. He returned to the U.S. where he continued his work in public health as Chief Medical Officer of Lincoln Hospital in NYC. Dr. Lubell also served as the first community health officer for Bergen County, New Jersey.
Dr. Lubell was a founding force and contributor to worldwide health services working in over 150 countries. He specialized in population control through his work with the World Health Organization sanctioned, Association for Voluntary Sterilization. (AVS) Following his tenure with AVS he became the Medical Director of Bronx Lebanon Hospital in New York.
In 1988, Santa Cruz County (California) after a nationwide search, hired Dr. Lubell as its Chief Medical Officer. Governor Pete Wilson appointed Dr. Lubell to the California Medical Board where he served for eight years, two of them as its chair. In 1996, Dr. Lubell became Medical Director of Valley Medical Center, Santa Clara, California where he served for seven years.
Upon his retirement in 2003, Dr. Lubell continued to be active in medical and administrative services. He served as the Medical Director for the San Francisco Fire Department for four year as well as serving on numerous boards and committees in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Volunteer service included numerous clinics in San Francisco, Santa Cruz and Sonoma counties as well St. Mary's Hospital in Marrianhill, South Africa. Working pro-bono in South Africa Dr Lubell worked to establish an HIV clinic at South Africa's last remaining Catholic mission hospital. In less than three months the clinic at St Mary's opened and treating over 2,000 patients.
Trained as an epidemiologist Ira worked tirelessly to bring health care to minority and underserved communities.
He is survived by his husband of thirty six years, Louis Bonsignore of San Francisco. The two traveled extensively during their time together visiting over 150 countries. However their true loves in travel were Noosa, Australia and Lago d' Orta, Italy.
Ira also leaves behind numerous friends and family throughout the world. Relatives reside in many cities including San Francisco, Stuart, FL; Brisbane, Sydney, and Melbourne, Australia; Tel Aviv, Haifa and Jerusalem, Israel; New York City; Paris, France; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Los Angeles, CA; and Seattle, WA.
Dr. Lubell's wishes are that he be cremated and that a memorial celebration will be announced by his spouse, Louis Bonsignore, at a later date. Ira has requested that in lieu of flowers that friends, colleagues, and family consider a donation in his name to The Diversity Center of Santa Cruz, P.O. Box 8280, Santa Cruz, CA 95061.
Published by San Francisco Chronicle from Jun. 14 to Jun. 19, 2016.