Fernando Giuseppe Vescia

Nov. 1, 1926 -- Sept. 2, 2014

Dr. Fernando Vescia, dear husband, father, grandfather and treasured friend, passed away at his Palo Alto home on Sept. 2, 2014, at the age of 87.

Fernando was deeply loved by his family, who were with him when he died. During his long life, Fernando was always fascinated by history and had a prodigious memory for dates and details; he loved the written word, Leonardo Da Vinci, and the fragrance of fresh panettone. Over the years, he and his wife, Colleen, traveled together to many countries around the world. Fernando was happiest when he had a view of the sea, and a meal prepared by Colleen on his plate. Though he made his home in the United States for more than six decades, Fernando always retained his accent and carried himself with a continental elegance. A tall and handsome man, he spoke Italian, French and English fluently. His kindness and intellectual curiosity impressed everyone who met him. He was a true gentleman.

Fernando Giuseppe Vescia was born on Nov. 1, 1926, to Italian parents in Alexandria, Egypt. He left Cairo in 1948 to study medicine at Johns Hopkins University and graduated with a medical degree in 1955. Dr. Vescia practiced gastroenterology for 32 years at the Palo Alto Clinic (later the Palo Alto Medical Foundation). After obtaining his master’s degree from U.C. San Francisco in 1975, he also taught medical history as a clinical associate professor of medicine at Stanford University. Following his retirement, Dr. Vescia served as ombudsman at PAMF. His patients and his students remember him as a compassionate, skilled, and attentive physician and as an enthralling storyteller and teacher. He published a memoir of his years in Egypt, entitled "A Cotton Thread," shortly before his death.

Fernando is survived by his wife of 57 years, Colleen Farrell Vescia, along with his children and their spouses: Monique Vescia and Don Rauf; Christian Vescia and Lucia Sanchez; and Paolo Vescia and Amelia Hansen; and five beloved grandchildren: Francesca, Carmen, Leo, Madeleine, and Natalie. Fernando will also be keenly missed by his European family: his brother Remo Vescia and family, of Paris, and sister Ada Maria Sabatella and family, of Rome.


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