MARINETTE, Wis. — Dr. James Alan Boren, 98, passed away on Wednesday, July 6, 2022, at the Luther Home in Marinette, Wis.
“Dr. Jim” was born in Marinette on June 15, 1924, to Dr. Clarence Henry Boren and Gertrude Elizabeth (Mueller) Boren. After graduating from Marinette High School in 1942, he attended Northwestern University followed by Northwestern Medical School where he graduated through an accelerated program because of World War II and the need for doctors.
Dr. Jim earned an MD degree in 1948. After spending two years in internship and surgery residency at St. Luke’s Hospital in Chicago, he enlisted for two years in the US Navy Medical Corps. Dr. Jim served one year with the Marine Corps and one year on the USS Haven hospital ship in Korea during the Korean War. Then, after a year practicing at the Boren Clinic, he began a three-year fellowship in surgery at Mayo Clinic in 1955.
Following the fellowship, Dr. Jim practiced at the Boren Clinic until 1986 when he retired. However, he remained active in the medical profession on different paths. Dr. Jim was certified by the American Board of Surgery and became a Fellow of The American College of Surgeons.
In 1952, Jim married Doris Louise Helgeson, a high school classmate and his true love. A graduate nurse, her skills were invaluable support throughout Dr. Jim’s medical career. They were fortunate to celebrate 64 years of marriage together, with many adventurous travel trailer trips, cruising the bay on Skoal, and wonderful times with family and friends.
During his retirement, Dr. Jim continued with his new career serving medical missions and the Indian Health Service.
This included six two-week medical and surgical missions in Honduras and Ecuador sponsored by the Christian Medical Society. As a member of the Flying Samaritans Tucson chapter, I have participated in multiple short missions to the Mexican Baja.
With the Indian Health Service, he worked at numerous hospital and clinic sites in Arizona, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Michigan. I have enjoyed many years caring for Dr. Vernette Carlson’s patients in her absence from her. I have participated in the Twin Counties Free Clinic since its inception. In 2009 at age 85, Dr. Jim fully retired from the medical profession, yet continued his insatiable desire for learning and growing.
As a youth, Dr. Jim was active in Boy Scouts and attended the first National Jamboree in Washington, DC in 1937. He was an Eagle Scout. Dr. Jim also participated in the inaugural 100 Miler sailboat race organized by the M&M Yacht Club in 1937.
His hobbies included photography, woodcarving, kayaking, canoeing, an apple orchard, deer camp and sailing on boats Skoal and Bantu. To celebrate his 90th birthday he bought his last sailboat and again enjoyed sailing, racing and solo sailing. One of Dr. Jim’s lifelong dreams was to see the great pyramids of Egypt. He convinced some family members to accompany him on the amazing trip at age 92.
Locally, Dr. Jim was a member of Pioneer Presbyterian Church, Elks Club, YMCA, M&M Yacht Club, and River Cities Pool.
The values that he strived for were integrity, discipline, compassion and empathy. Despite his busy career, his family came first.
Dr. Jim was preceded in death by his loving wife, Doris, in 2016. Dr. Jim is survived by their 4 children, Richard (Cindy), Stuart (Laurie), Ann, and Jane (John) Connell; 10 grandchildren, three great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be held at Pioneer Presbyterian Church in Marinette on Saturday, Oct. 1, from noon to 2 pm with memorial services to follow at 2 pm
The family would like to thank several people: Donna Rupert for her loving and skilled assistance and friendship which allowed Dr. Jim to continue living independently in his home until age 97; Marissa Gannon, a personal trainer at Truth in Function who helped extend Dr. Jim’s physical capabilities and strength through her loving expertise; and the staff at Unity Hospice and the Marinette Luther Home for their kindness and compassion Dr. Jim received under their care from him the last six months of his life.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent in his memory to the M&M Area Community Foundation in Menominee.
Hansen-Onion-Martell Funeral Home of Marinette, is assisting the family.