Paul Castelhun's Obituaries
possibly from the San Francisco Examiner, 17 December 1969

Fire Kills Dr. Paul CASTELHUN

Dr. Paul CASTELHUN, a 91 year old physician who treated victims of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire, died in a fire last night at his home, 587 Corbett Ave., despite efforts of his wife, Lucy, to save him.

Inspector Ernest CAPPER of the arson squad said Dr. CASTELHUN was sitting in a wheelchair in his living room when the fire broke out in the kitchen, apparently started when the electric stove touched some curtains.

Mrs. CASTELHUN struggled to the front door with her husband, but was unable to get him outside. She staggered next door to the house of neighbors, Mr. and Mrs. Mervin GREEN, and hammered on their door.

But the ground floor of the CASTELHUN house was in flames when firemen arrived, and the doctor's body was wedged behind the front door. He was pronounced dead at the scene, and Mrs. CASTELHUN was taken to St. Francis Hospital for treatment of shock and minor burns.

Dr. CASTELHUN, whose family had physicians in it for five generations before him, played football for the University of California in 1898-1900, and coached the Lowell High football team to two championships.

He taught surgery at the University of California, and was medical examiner for the San Francisco Civil Service Commission for 50 years. He and Mrs. CASTELHUN were the parents of two daughters.

Dr. Paul CASTELHUN dies at 91

Dr. Paul CASTELHUN, a dedicated family physician who practiced medicine here perhaps longer than any other doctor, was killed in a fire at his home at 587 Corbett street yesterday.

Dr. CASTELHUN, 91, apparently died from asphyxiation after a fire suddenly erupted at 5:44 p.m. in the kitchen of his home.

His wife, Lucy, was hospitalized at St. Francis Memorial Hospital with minor burns suffered when she tried to save him.

Dr. CASTELHUN's son-in-law Dr. Kenneth DUFFEY, ran to the scene of the fire from his home two blocks away, but was unable to save the aging physician.

The son of a doctor who migrated here from St. Louis in the 1880s, Dr. CASTELHUN virtually began his medical career in the crisis following the 1906 earthquake.


He retired in 1964, after 59 years as a practicing San Francisco physician, and, at his death, was still an emeritus member of the staff of St. Luke's Hospital here.

He was among four UC students who began a tradition in 1899, when, at a UC - Stanford baseball game in San Francisco, they "kidnaped" the Stanford Ax and sped off in a notorious running dodge of Stanford men and police through the city's streets.

Dr. CASTELHUN was graduated from UC Medical School in 1904, in time to pull earthquake casualties from the ruins of a Mission district hotel near his home and later treat victims at both St. Luke's and the temporary county hospital set up at the old Ingleside Racetrack.


Later, Dr. CASTELHUN, described as a "great barrel of a man" by his friends, became an accomplished surgeon at County Hospital here.

He served as a medical officer on an evacuation ship in the English Channel during World War I and taught surgery to students at UC Medical Center.

In addition to his wife, Dr. CASTELHUN is survived by two daughters, Mrs. Sinclair TRIMBLE of San Francisco, and Virginia DUFFEY, wife of Dr. Kenneth DUFFEY, and by five grandchildren.

©1969 San Francisco Examiner
Extremophiles Inc.