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John Anderson Obituary (2021) – San Francisco, CA

Dr. John B. Anderson MD, FRCPC, FAAN

It is with great sadness that I announce the death of this wonderful man and husband.
After a short illness, John died October 15, 2021 with Dianne, his sweetheart by his side.
Inseparable for 51 years, John and Dianne felt it was love at first sight for them both.
Dianne said that he was half her heartbeat. They shared a wonderful life doing everything together.
John was a quiet, unassuming gentle man with a delightful, quirky sense of humor. You knew you were in the presence of intellect when you were around him.
Generous and kind he lived his life with great dignity and integrity.
Born and educated in Canada he graduated from the University of Western Ontario with his MD in 1957. After a European posting with the Royal Canadian Air Force, he completed fellowships in neurology and psychiatry and attained his FRCPC.
In 1970 he joined the Permanente Medical Group at Kaiser, Oakland as a clinical neurologist.
His clinical and teaching skills were recognized as he won the respect and love of the staff and residents. He later joined the faculty at UCSF/Berkeley Joint Medical program teaching clinical neurology.
His neurological acumen was also recognized as he was offered chair of the department of neurology Kaiser Oakland. He was known as the “go to guy” when the patient was complicated. Always available at night or weekends whether on call or not, the patient always came first.
John enjoyed the finer things of life (art, symphony, opera and fine dining to name a few) and had a wide range of interests.
He could speak at length about almost any subject with great command and enthusiasm. He was acutely observant and had amazing recall. You were never bored around him. He embraced new experiences with verve and excitement, learning as much as he could about every subject that sparked his interest. This made him a fascinating conversationalist.
Travel was his passion and he derived enormous pleasure from immersing himself in different cultures throughout the world. He loved to plan and research trips, booking fun and interesting excursions.
John had an artistic side as well as the scientific. In 1997 he pursued his love of architecture at Harvard Graduate School of Design having been accepted into a design program where his enthusiasm was self evident and inspiring.
He enjoyed life to the fullest and lived with impeccable style. He loved indulging in long dinners, savoring good wine, food and engaging conversation. He especially loved this ritual with his beloved wife, Dianne. He regularly entertained colleagues creating legendary dinner menus at outstanding restaurants with paired wines to match each course from his own extensive cellar.
In his seventies he took up scuba diving. The Great Barrier Reef was the first of many varied dive sites around the world he enjoyed. He also took up roller skate dancing around that time. Later, he considered it a great achievement to climb the bridge in Sidney, Australia. He was always interested in doing the next challenging thing, or going to the next exciting place. He died at 88 still planning a trip to his latest interest, Easter Island.
John is survived by his wife Dianne, and a host of friends and colleagues from all over world with whom he kept in touch over the years.There will be a private celebration of life to be held at a later date. If you wish to remember him, please plant a tree for someone you love.
John was dearly loved and touched many lives with his humor and generosity. He will be warmly remembered and greatly missed.

Published by San Francisco Chronicle from Dec. 17 to Dec. 19, 2021.


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