Daniel D. Whitcraft III | In Memoriam
Daniel D. Whitcraft III died of complications of osteoarthritis of the spine and complications of diabetes on Oct. 27, 2010. Whitcraft, who was born in Nürnberg, Germany, June 19, 1947, lived and loved the Palos Verdes Peninsula since he was 10 years old. Dan hiked and hitchhiked all over the peninsula. As a young man, he worked at many different places, including Marineland, the Jack Kramer Club, the Carriage Stop as a cook, and the Buffum’s Men’s Shop. He also worked in the construction field, trapped gophers, and delivered newspapers.
He grew up in a loving family. His father (Daniel Jr.) was a West Point graduate (‘45), and his mother was a fashion model in New York City. His brother Chris has been a winemaker in Santa Ynez since 1979, and his younger brother Jonathan worked as a stockbroker. His father raised $8 billion from Congress so Aerospace (the second-generation Rand) could develop GPS technology in the ’70s. His father carried the Hope Diamond and a brown bag lunch to the curator of the Smithsonian Institution followed by two unmarked FBI cars. To continue the legacy, Dan III discovered a cure for hydrogen sulfide (a toxic gas that smells like rotten eggs). Twenty-five years after publishing the technique, he was awarded the Google Scholar Award.
Dan received a B.A. degree from UCLA and his M.D. degree in 1972 from UC Davis, where he won the Upjohn Award, and completed an internship at the San Francisco General Hospital. He loved every aspect of medicine except chronic diseases, and turned his attention to a newly developing specialty of emergency medicine. He completed a residency at Los Angeles County–USC Medical Center. Along with three colleagues, he designed and stocked the last new emergency department in Los Angeles County, and hired its nursing director. There he worked 10 months before earning the medical directorship at Long Beach Memorial Hospital.
He opened the PV Immediate Medical Care Center in Palos Verdes with four colleagues to serve his peninsula friends, a dream he always had. He started Life Flight, the first medical helicopter system in California, and taught residents from USC, Harbor-UCLA and UC Irvine for 20 years. He retired in 2000 because of painful spine arthritis. He was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his two sons Joshua, a stockbroker in New York City, and Reed, a college junior at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. He and his loving wife Marlene Colina have an 11-year-old daughter, Mia Angie.
Please send memorial donations to the Emergency Department Physicians for capital equipment at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center.