It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Dr. Lola Lee Van Compernolle, loving mother, sister, grandmother, and aunt. She died peacefully on December 21st, 2021, five days shy of her 90th birthday. Lola Lee was born in Santa Ana, California to Happy and Ray Van Compernolle where she graduated early from Santa Ana High school before attending St. Vincent’s nursing school in Los Angeles. She subsequently attended St. Louis University, becoming one of very few women at the time, to graduate from medical school. Lola Lee came to San Francisco in 1960 where she conducted pediatric residency at St. Mary’s hospital and established private practice on Hayes St. She focused on serving under-privileged families across the city while also teaching at UCSF. After retiring from private practice, Dr. Van worked for the state, commuting daily to Oakland to review medical case files.
Lola Lee enjoyed traveling around the world, a joy first stimulated when she worked summers in college as a flight attendant for Flying Tigers airlines flying routes across Asia. She had many interests, including seasons of the San Francisco Opera and Symphony, as well as the Gem and Mineral Society, and the Navy League of San Francisco. She treasured the city and was a lifelong Giants fan and loyal reader of The Chronicle and Herb Caen.
Most of all, Lola Lee was a devoted single mother and sister, raising three children while loving her time in Big Creek with the Preheim family. She is survived by her children Mark (Chrystal), Tom (Beatrice) and Laura Mohr (Carl Teare), her sister Sharry Preheim, eight grandchildren, and five great grandchildren.
A Memorial Mass will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, January 29, 2022 at Holy Name Catholic church, 1555 39th Avenue, San Francisco, CA. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made in her name to the St. Louis University Medical School scholarship fund or The Sisters of Mercy, Burlingame, CA.
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