Francis (“Van”) Leonard van Veen passed away peacefully at his home on June 28, 2012 at the age of 94 following a brief illness. Born December 15, 1917 to Theodore and Doris (Habersetzer) van Veen in Portland, Oregon, Van graduated from Franklin High School in Portland, received a BS and Masters in chemistry from the Oregon State University (1941 and 1942 respectively), and a medical degree from Oregon Health Sciences University (1946). Van met Patricia Konrad at a school dance in 1939, and in 1945, they married in Portland. In October, 2010, they celebrated 65 years of marriage; soon after Patricia became ill and died in February, 2011. Van was drafted into the Army as a medical student as was common practice at the time. Soon after a civilian internship he was called back into the Army where he was assigned to research the effects of radiation at Los Alamos as an extension of the Manhattan Project. He was discharged as a Major following 4 years of service. Van and Patricia lived in different cities across the U.S. while working in medical research, and eventually settled in St. Ignatius, Montana where he developed his medical practice and the family grew to 15 children. In 1964, they moved to Spokane where Van had a long and distinguished career practicing internal medicine and geriatrics among other obligations. He was quick to make house calls and worked for a time as the Deputy County Corner. Together, Van and Patricia raised 16 children. He will be tremendously missed by all including many sons- and daughters-in-law and their families. He is survived by his sons John, Richard, Michael, Robert, Steven, and David; daughters Mary Strzelec, Christina Ager, Kerry, Suzie Scofield, Barbara, Julia Shaughnessy, Annette Moore, Margaret van Veen-Smith, and Sara Desmond; twenty grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren; brothers Allen and Tom; sisters Dorothy Iverson and Mary Lisignoli; and numerous nieces and nephews. Van is preceded in death by his wife, Patricia, and their son Paul, and two brothers and a sister. Beyond raising a family, Van loved collecting and sorting stamps, singing, gardening, and the outdoors; he climbed Mt. Rainier and Mt. Hood many times. But his favorite passion was reading. To him, there was nothing better than a good biography or a book on geography or history. Van kept a record of the over 5,000 books he read during his adult life. An avid amateur photographer from an early age, he also recorded 80 years of memories with both still photographs and home movies. Like his wife, Van was an independent and free spirit who lived proudly in his own home until a brief illness a few weeks ago. A memorial service will be held Saturday, July 21, 2012, 2:00 p.m., at St Thomas More Church. A reception will follow at the church. Please call 503-807-8034 for details.