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David J. Noorthoek

July 27, 1932 – July 7, 2022
David J. Noorthoek

David J. Noorthoek passed away peacefully at his home in Oakmont on July 7, 2022.

Dave lived a long, adventurous, intellectually interesting, and full life. After serving in the U.S. Army in Korea, where he became interested in medicine because of his duties, Dave graduated from the University of Michigan Medical School on the G.I. Bill. He was hired by Kaiser Permanente as chief of ophthalmology in South San Francisco, a position he held his entire career. Dave also served as a director of Kaiser Northern California and as a medical legal specialist for his clinic.

He loved to volunteer for charity medical service, which included service with Project Hope and Orbis International, where he trained eye physicians to improve their techniques in far-flung places such as South America, India, and Bangladesh. His service as a doctor was a significant part of a life that included expansive global travel, visiting countries and continents throughout the world. When asked about his favorite travel spot, Dave would answer Hawaii, Nepal (where he hiked more than 220 miles), the Galapagos Islands, and Antarctica.

Dave also became an accomplished private pilot, flying himself and friends on many travel adventures.

When Dave retired, he moved from San Francisco to Oakmont, in the heart of California’s Wine Country, where he was part-owner of Lazy Creek Winery for years. In Oakmont, Dave continued to pursue his favorite hobbies and made many new friends. Dave’s myriad of activities included hiking, biking, tennis, theater, music (he loved classical music and opera), and, of course, food and wine.

Giving back to his community was always an important part of Dave’s life, although he never wanted recognition for his generosity.

He was particularly proud of the scholarship he established for women at the University of Michigan Medical School, which helps ensure another generation of bright minds have the opportunity to pursue a career in medicine.

Dave will be missed by those who knew and loved him, including his longtime companion Helen Mah; best friend of 60-plus years, Dr. Roger Netzer and his family; sister Margaret and daughter Lisa; eight close nieces and nephews who were also supportive of him; two grandsons; four great grandchildren; and seven grandnieces and grandnephews.

We can’t think of Dave without remembering a man who always asked questions and had something to teach us. As Dave would say each day around 5 p.m., when he sat down to enjoy a nice glass of wine, “Cheers, everyone.”

And cheers to you, Dave, for a life well lived and a man well loved.

A Celebration of Life will be held on Aug. 12, from 1 to 4 p.m., at Fairview Valley of the Moon, 7025 Oakmont Dr. in Oakmont. Please contact Jodi by Aug. 1 if you are able to attend: [email protected] or (925) 457-4704.