Dr. Harry LeRoy Siemonsma, 96, of Orange County, CA, passed away peacefully on Easter Sunday, April 9, 2023.
Harry was the oldest child of 6, born in 1926 to Harry C. and Laura A. Siemonsma, in Santa Ana, CA. After Harry graduated from Saint Anthony’s high school in Long Beach, he was drafted into the US Army and was stationed in Japan during the Occupation where he provided administrative service to the chaplain until 1946. His experiences of being escorted by the Red Cross to help anoint the sick and dying suffering from radiation poisoning and baptizing those that wished, influenced his decision to enter religious life after being honorably discharged from his service in the military. Although his Catholic faith was of the utmost importance, he eventually decided religious life was not for him and he entered The University of Notre Dame, earning a B.S in 1952.
Harry continued his studies and graduated Medical School from the University of Ottawa, Ontario Canada in 1956. He moved to Los Angeles to do his residency at Queen of Angels Hospital until 1958 when he moved to Orange, CA to start his private family practice. After 30 years he sold his private practice and worked in Student Health Services as a Physician at University of California, Irvine. He retired in 2016.
In 1955, towards the end of his medical school years in Ottawa, Canada, Harry noticed MaryAnne Lyons at church and was introduced to her by a friend. Harry and MaryAnne were married in 1956 and went on to have eight children, Jane, Nancy, Julia Wherry, Mark, David, Michelle, Paul and MaryAnne.
Harry was committed to making good medical care available for all, including the most vulnerable in both Orange County and the State of California. He took many hospital and university leadership appointments and served his community tirelessly for more than 60 years. Some of his favorite community activities were; Flying Samaritans of Orange County, Board of Directors for Alleluia Village and Marian Homes for the Developmentally Disabled and Kairos Prison Ministry, Terminal Island. Harry came to believe that healing was a process and not an event. It occurs in the aftermath of changing the way we think and the way we live our lives.
Family was important to Harry who was predeceased by Paul J Siemonsma, his youngest son, his parents Harry and Laura Siemonsma, Helen G Siemonsma, his youngest sister and Mary J (Jo) Semonsen, his sister. He is survived by his wife, Mary Anne, his remaining seven children (Jane Siemonsma & the father of Jane’s son -Lloyd Itano, Nancy Siemonsma, Julia & the father of Julia’s children -Jeff Wherry, Mark & Dawn Siemonsma, David & Janet Siemonsma & the mother of David’s children - Jody Miller Pathare, Michelle Siemonsma & MaryAnne Siemonsma), all of whom he was very proud, 11 grandchildren (Luke Itano, Nathaniel Hoyt (Christopher Rodousakis), Zach (Chelsea) Wherry, Alex (Anna Louise) Wherry, Matthew (Beth) Siemonsma, Brian (Lisa Rae) Siemonsma, Taren (Chris Consejero) Siemonsma, Brinley Siemonsma, Chance Siemonsma, Sianna Siemonsma & Chandler Siemonsma) 13 great grandchildren (Alden & Jem Siemonsma, Beau, Ford & Clementine Siemonsma, Emma, Zoey, Madison & Lucy Wherry, Harper, Hope & James Wherry, & Wesley Consejero), sister, Francis A (Sally Palm) Stites, brother, James E Siemonsma, brother, Michael Siemonsma and sister-in-law, Jane Fitzsimmons of Ottawa, Canada. He has many nieces, nephews and cousins that he is survived by from the Siemonsma, Semonsen, Schuster, Scanlan, Palm, Cardall, Croal, Banks, Bennett and Fitzsimmons families, that were important and dear to him.
Services will be held at Our Lady Queen of Angels, 2046 Mar Vista Dr, Newport Beach, CA 92660. A viewing and Rosary will be held on Monday, April 17 at 6:30pm and his celebration of life at 10:30am on April 18th. Reception to follow at the church hall. Graveside services will take place at Holy Sepulcher Cemetery in Orange at 2:00pm
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