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Dave passed away on August 18, 2021, at home in Sun City West, AZ, surrounded by family. Born on September 15, 1932, to Gladys Mae and John Raymond Lees in Fargo, ND. David was a hearty boy, as confirmed by his second-place award in a Fargo healthy baby contest (a fun fact recently conveyed by his sister). He was an excellent student and exceptional multi-sport athlete throughout high school and college.
David was a member of the National Honor Society and Theta Chi fraternity, and attended North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND. It was there, during a trip to the movies, that he met his future wife Alyce Rose Jacobson when she sold him his ticket. That was it for him. She was the one. They dated while he attended the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND, and married in 1956 after he graduated. Their first child, Kim, was born while Dave attended Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, IL.
After completing a medical internship in Duluth, MN, David served as a flight surgeon in the U.S. Air Force stationed at MacDill Air Force Base, Tampa, FL.
Following the birth of second daughter, Allison, and a medical residency at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, David began his practice as an OB-GYN in Bloomington, MN. He and Alyce rounded out their family with a third daughter, April and moved to Edina, MN, where they bought an older house, and with sweat and creativity, turned it into their dream home.
In addition to the many babies Dave delivered, he was a gifted surgeon, who continued to learn and apply advanced surgical techniques during his career.
Dave raised his daughters to take a proactive approach to life. They consider it his “you should have had shoes on philosophy” (his usual response to cries of pain over a stubbed toe). He was a loving father, husband, grandfather, and great-grandfather. Stoic and courageous, who provided a consistent voice of reason for his household.
Dave enjoyed playing tennis, racquetball, and golf, as well as spending summers at the cottage in northern Minnesota. He had a quirky, sometimes sarcastic sense of humor, and was an accomplished joke teller. He kept up with technology throughout his lifetime and loved texting and Snapchatting with his granddaughters on a regular basis. He delighted in solving complex problems and puzzles for fun. Both creative and analytical, Dave played musical instruments, including the piano and cornet, enjoyed drawing and sculpting, and was a lifetime connoisseur and supporter of the arts.
Dave eventually settled in Sun City West, AZ, where he provided full-time care for his ailing wife. His unending loyalty to her sustained him through his own long-undiagnosed cancer, which quickly manifested after her passing. While his decline was abrupt, his family is comforted to know he is reunited with his true love.
David is greatly missed by the family he left behind, including sister Judy Herborn (Dan), three daughters Kim Lees Rymer (Todd), Allison Lees Heater (Bobby), and April Lees Nilsen (Mark), grandson David Tricio (Stephanie), granddaughters Josi Nilsen, Kate Nilsen, great grandson Gavin Tricio, and many nieces, nephews, and extended family. Dave was preceded in death by his wife of 65 years, Alyce Rose Lees, and two brothers, Jack Lees and Doug Lees.