Dr. James Orecklin, 78, beloved husband, father, grandfather, friend and physician, passed away peacefully with family at his bedside on February 25, 2019 on hospice at UCLA, of complications from a 10-year struggle with Parkinson’s Disease.
Born in Detroit MI on November 7, 1940, he was the younger son of Bessie and Dr. Leo Orecklin. He attended Mumford High School and then undergraduate and Medical School at University of Michigan. After completing one year of a surgical residency, he volunteered to join the US Air Force in 1967 as Capt. James R. Orecklin, where he served for two years during the Vietnam War.
After discharge from the Air Force, he moved with his first wife Gloria and three children to California where he completed a Urology residency at UCLA and went into private practice.
In his life outside the office, he was an Indian Guides leader, camp doctor, and cofounder of the Havurah program at University Synagogue.
A truly contented physician, he remained in private practice on the Westside and then Santa Monica for the next 30 plus years until Santa Monica Urology Group became a part of the UCLA Department of Urology. As the “Energizer Bunny” of the practice, he was much loved by his office staff and his patients. In 1997, he obtained his Master’s in Public Health at UCLA. A longtime Professor of Urology at UCLA, he also served for 12 years as the Medical Director of California’s IMPACT Program for indigent patients with prostate cancer.
He loved his work as a teacher and was highly regarded by his students. He provided a calming influence in the face of medical crises.
In 1993, Jim married his second wife, Philippa Kennealy, also a physician. They were together for almost 30 years. Before becoming a father yet again, he and Philippa shared their love of travel throughout Southern Africa, Morocco, Turkey and much of Europe. They competed fiercely on the squash court and then made up while enjoying his other passions at UCLA Bruin basketball and football games, the symphony, opera, theater, movies, and eating good food. Above all, he was a homebody, engaging in medical and national politics discussions, reading widely – history, non-fiction, presidential biographies-, traveling with his wife and daughter, biking earlier on and later hiking, and enjoying cooking for and entertaining friends.
Jim will be sorely missed. Predeceased by his parents and his older brother, Carl, he is survived by his beloved wife Philippa Kennealy (Orecklin) of Brentwood, their daughter Shainna, his former wife Gloria Orecklin, their three children, Larry Orecklin of Seattle, Michele Orecklin of Brooklyn (Lance Gould) David Orecklin of Los Angeles, and his three grandchildren, Jordan Orecklin, Samantha Gould and Lucy Gould. The family would like to thank the physicians and staff at UCLA and Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Centers and their offices for their many years of excellent, compassionate care.
In Jim’s honor and in lieu of flowers, the family welcomes donations to Movement Disorders research at UCLA (https://www.uclahealth.org/neurology/giving, please pick Movement Disorders, directed to Dr. Jeff Bronstein).
Funeral services will be held at Hillside Memorial Park 6001 W. Centinela Avenue, Los Angeles at 11:00 AM on Friday March 1.