Dr. David Thomas Quanbeck, a beloved Child of God, passed away on November 15 at Rainbow Hospice in Johnson Creek, WI, with the super-moon of 2016 shining overhead. He was 80 years old.
David was the youngest son of Thor and Hilda (Ostlie) Quanbeck. He is survived by his wife, Anita Quanbeck, of Watertown, WI; his brother Alton Quanbeck of Middleburg, VA, and sister Dorothy Johnson of North Branch, MN; four sons: Cameron (San Mateo, CA), Eric (Watertown, WI), Chris (Santa Clara, CA), and Andrew (Madison, WI); daughters in-law Laura (Holl) Quanbeck (San Mateo, CA) and Jamie (Graham) Quanbeck (Madison, WI); five grandchildren: Emma, Luke, and Hanna Quanbeck (San Mateo, CA) and Graham and Alexandra Quanbeck (Madison, WI); and his golden retriever Barney of Watertown, WI.
David was born on October 26, 1936 in Fargo, North Dakota. As a child, he showed an early interest in biology and anatomy. David pursued these interests through his undergraduate studies at Waldorf and Augustana, where his father Reverend Thor Quanbeck was a professor of psychology. David went on to earn an MD from the University of Chicago, an experience that he reported to be particularly grueling (he was not a man prone to exaggeration or self-pity). He served his nation as a doctor at Glasgow Air Force Base in Glasgow, MT, between 1963 and 1965. He completed his medical residency at the University of Wisconsin in 1971 with a specialty in urology.
During his residency, David was introduced to his future wife by a mutual friend who knew that they both loved opera. Anita was teaching nursing at the University of Wisconsin at that time. Opera brought them together and bound them together for the rest of their lives. They were married in 1969 and went on to raise their four boys in Watertown, Wisconsin. David served the community of Watertown as a physician until his retirement in 1998, passing the torch to Dr. Ron Sakovich. As a physician, he alleviated suffering for thousands of his patients and saved many lives. He led a life of tireless devotion to his work. He was nearly always on call and responded to medical emergencies day and night. In 1974, he traveled to Madagascar to teach a desperately needed medical procedure to his cousin Stan Quanbeck and his wife Kathie, who ran a missionary hospital serving the native Malagasay people. In his retirement, he spent his time raising shiitake mushrooms, volunteering his medical expertise as a physician at the Watertown Area Cares Clinic, and helping feed members of the community through Immanuel Lutheran Church’s food pantry.
David was beloved by his family and many close friends. All who were close to him respected him for his undying commitment to his fellow human beings. This commitment started with those closest to him-his family- before radiating outward to the community he lived in, and extending across the entire world. David loved God, his family and friends, his dog Barney, his country and the ideas it stands for, golf (Watertown Country Club champion, 1976), football (he earned the nickname “No-neck Quanbeck” for his buff physique as a player, was a Badger season ticket holder since 1970, and a diehard Packers fan), classical music, fine food and drink, and literature. His immense intellect was fueled by an insatiable love of reading that persisted until his final days on Earth.
David’s gentle, generous, and loving spirit will live on in the memories of the countless people whose lives he touched. A memorial service will be held at Immanuel Lutheran Church on Sunday, December 4, 2016 with Rev. Todd Iverson presiding.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Watertown Area Cares Clinic (watertownareacaresclinic.org) or the Immanuel Lutheran Church food pantry (www.watertownimmanuel.org).
Visitation will begin at 4 pm (so as not to interfere with the Packers’ game, which David will be busy watching with God until about 3:15 pm), with the memorial service beginning at 5 pm.