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JOSEPH LAPAN M.D.

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JOSEPH LAPAN M.D. Obituary
JOSEPH LAPAN MD Joseph "Dr. Joe" Lapan, of Las Vegas, passed away Feb. 3, 2014, at 91. A 1935 news clipping describes a slender, blond, bashful 13-year-old with two paper routes who already knew he was destined for medical school and was looking forward to "the great day when he would receive his diploma and have a career of service." He graduated from Centennial High School in Pueblo, Colo., in 1940, working multiple jobs to save for college. He graduated from the University of Colorado in Boulder, then medical school at the University of Colorado in Denver by 23. He was drafted by the U.S. Army and served as captain, general physician in Nuremberg, Germany, 1947-1949. Pediatrics residencies in Staten Island, N.Y., and Omaha, Neb., preceded the opening of a private practice in Hayward, Calif., where Dr. Joe treated children for 25 years. He was well-known for his treatment of TB...and for making house calls. At 54, he closed his practice to join the U.S. Air Force for another tour in Germany. In 1979, he transferred to Nellis Air Force Base, where he was lieutenant colonel, chief of pediatrics for four years before retiring. He never stopped caring for children. His first six years of "retirement" he ran Nevada Special Children's Clinic. He donated his salary plus tens of thousands more while there. Among the many charities he supported was the Lynn Bennett Early Childhood Education Center at UNLV and Discovery Children's Museum, where he made possible the outreach program, aptly named "House Calls." Dr. Joe was a competitive bridge player who was ranked "Gold Life Master" of ACBL and a longtime member of the Las Vegas Unit 373 bridge clubs. He enjoyed traveling the globe, once making an around-the-world trip on the Concord. Dr. He was preceded in death by parents, Ida and Harry Lapan; sons, Peter and K.C. Lapan; and seven siblings. Joe is survived by his wife, Joan Buchanan Lapan; son, David Lapan (Krista); stepchildren, Peter Poggione (Tessie), Leo Poggione (Andrea) and Gem Rillwell; daughter, Cindy Lance; grandchildren, Joey and Jennifer Lapan, Lisa, Dana, Kasey, and Katie Lapan, Tyler and Zachary Leis,Andrew and Paige Poggione, and Taylor and MaKayla Poggione. He also has a host of nieces, nephews and extended family. There will be a celebration of Dr. Joe's life at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, March 29, at Siena Golf Course Bistro. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to "House Calls" at Discovery Children's Museum, where a fund has been established.
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