In Memory

Allen Marvin Dekelboum - Class Of 1948


Allen Marvin Dekelboum, longtime San Francisco physician, died on Saturday, December 7, 2019 in Marin surrounded by his loving family.
He was 89.

Allen was born on May 21, 1930, in South Bend, Indiana to Louis and Anne Dekelboum. He moved to San Francisco as a child and graduated from Washington High School. He attended the University of California at Berkeley, where he met Joan Mitchell. They married on August 21, 1955. In their 64 years of marriage, they enjoyed music and art, entertaining and traveling. She was his partner in the pursuit of their passions and in the beauty of everyday life.

While attending the University of California at Berkeley, Allen served as a naval corpsman in the Korean War. Upon graduation, he and Joan moved to Chicago where Allen attended the University of Chicago Medical School. They returned to Bay Area for good in 1960 for his residency at the University of California San Francisco Medical Center.

Allen established a private practice in San Francisco as an Ear, Nose and Throat, Head and Neck Surgeon and served as an Associate Professor of Ear, Nose and Throat Pathology at UCSF Medical Center. He was awarded teacher of the year by the residents at UCSF. He was also selected as the California Academy of Sciences Diving Medical Officer. Allen retired from private practice in 1998.

Nowhere was Allen and Joan's shared passion more apparent than in their love of the ocean, particularly sailing and scuba diving. Together with their daughters they sailed on the San Francisco Bay (Joan and the girls left the racing to Allen!) and Allen served as the Commodore of the Tiburon Yacht Club in 2005.

In 1979, they were both certified as scuba divers, opening a new path to adventure. They went on dives all over the world, which Allen captured with increasingly marvelous underwater video and photography. Not one to rest on his laurels, he went on to become a master diver, scuba instructor, and expert in diving medicine. Allen also volunteered at the California Academy of Sciences conducting research in nudibranchs and barnacles, where he helped identify a new species of barnacle. Not surprisingly, he named the species Oxynaspis joandianeae after Joan.

Allen was an avid skier, cyclist, runner and triathlete. For more than 20 years he ran in the San Francisco Bay to Breakers as well as every California Academy of Sciences Run to The Farside. He completed the San Francisco Marathon and participated in the California AIDS ride (586 miles from San Francisco to Los Angeles).

Allen is survived by his wife Joan, his daughters Lisa Nelson, her husband Dennis and their sons Joshua and Seamus; Sharon Dekelboum and her husband Peter Crandall; and Tracy Dekelboum.

The family will hold a Celebration of Life in his honor at a later date. Donations can be made to or sent to Development Department, California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, San Francisco, CA 94117

12/22/2019 JFC