Dr. David V. Hubbell

David V. Hubbell, M.D., 88 years old, a long -time (45 year) resident of Downey died December 13 at home, surrounded by his family. He is survived by his wife Rose, three adult children, three step-children, and several grandchildren. Dave served as a medic during the closing years of WWII, which caused him to abandon engineering studies and pursue medicine as a career. He attended University of Southern California for both undergrad and medical school, and remained a life-long USC football fan. A board certified neurosurgeon, he was a founding doctor of Downey Community Hospital and treated patients at St. Francis and Rancho Los Amigos hospitals. At least one pediatric patient was so inspired by Dave's treatment that he became a physician himself. Often called upon to perform emergency surgery on auto and motorcycle accident victims, he was quick to indentify the correlation between lack of seat belts, headrests and helmets and severity of injuries. Since shoulder belts and headrests were not available on passenger cars at the time, he used an aircraft mechanic to install them on the family cars, and pestered others to do the same. In the early days of his career, surgeries could last thirteen or more hours, and, harkening back to his engineering interests, Dave designed and built some specialized tools and stabilizers to assist in positioning a patient and making surgeries proceed more smoothly. Throughout his career, he invented various items. Concerned about the incidents of concussion-induced dementia in professional football players, in (2010-2011) he began designing an improved football helmet based on the cranium structure of the big horn sheep.

Neurosurgery was his passion, but he also loved to fly.  He piloted his Bonanza plane as often as he could, traveling all over North America, throughout Baja California and Canada.  A most memorable trip took him up into Alaska, where he crossed the Arctic Circle. He didn't limit his travel to this continent, but enjoyed traveling to Great Britain and Europe.

Those of us left behind loved Dave, and appreciate his generosity towards us. We will miss him.



Published: Dec. 25, 2014 - Volume 13 - Issue 37