Dr. Gregory Dahlen Jr.
1919 - 2016
Doctor Gregory Dahlen, Jr. died of natural causes on January 14, 2016 in Santa Barbara, CA at the age of 96, surrounded by his family.
Greg was born on July 23, 1919 in St. Paul, MN to Gregory and Edna Dahlen. He excelled in school, both academically and athletically, and served as President of his High School class in Bismark, North Dakota. After graduating from University of North Dakota, Greg enrolled at the Bowman Grey School of Medicine, Wake Forest University. Upon graduation he joined the Navy, where he completed his surgical internship at Norfolk Naval Hospital. He then served as the medical officer on the USS Mattaponi on a tour in the Pacific theater during and immediately after the Second World War.
During his time in the navy, Greg met surgical nurse Virginia Lee Wethern – it was love at first sight, and they were married in 1949. They began their married life together in San Francisco, CA while Greg completed his Urology residency at Stanford. In 1957 the family moved to Santa Barbara and Greg joined the practice of Sansum Clinic. Greg began his own practice shortly thereafter in 1959. He was well respected and loved in the community, always making sure that no patient was denied treatment for lack of the ability to pay.
After Greg’s retirement, he traveled the world extensively, visiting all seven continents. He was an active member in the art community, served on the board of the Santa Barbara Symphony, and also donated 2000 hours of his time to the organization Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic.
The Dean of the School of Medicine at the University of North Dakota summed up young pre-med Greg’s personality well in 1942 when he wrote to the Navy stating “… has a good personality, and is very modest and unassuming but not timid. He gets along well with others. So far as we know and believe he is straightforward and reliable and is the kind physically, intellectually and morally that should be thought of as officer material.” Accurate words indeed.
He is survived by his four children: Monica Dahlen, Gregory Dahlen, III, Lisa Dahlen, and Annika Dahlen; by his granddaughter Rebecca Reid (James), and by his great-granddaughter Sonja Reid. He was preceded in death by his wife Virginia Dahlen, his brother Graydon Dahlen, his sister Carolyn Olson and his companion of 20 years, Nan Burns.
A private funeral has been held. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Santa Barbara Symphony, or the lovely people of Santa Barbara Hospice.