John F. Lundberg, the former Deputy General Counsel for the University of California, passed away surrounded by friends and family in his home on November 23, following a three-year battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 67.
John was born in Berkeley, California, attended Berkeley High School and graduated from The University of California at Berkeley as an undergraduate. John earned his law degree from the Boalt Hall School of Law and with the exception of two years of litigation practice spent his entire career serving the University system that he loved.
John started his career with the University of California in 1972 when he joined the Office of the General Counsel. He served first as a litigator and principal attorney for the Irvine campus and for eight years as a litigator and principal attorney for UC San Francisco. During this period, John oversaw the University’s acquisition of county hospitals in Sacramento, Irvine, and San Diego, assuming oversight of a team of lawyers responsible for all legal matters pertaining to the University’s five hospitals and their associated professional programs in medicine, dentistry, nursing and pharmacology.
In 1989 John was appointed to the position of Deputy General Counsel for the University of California system, serving in that capacity until his retirement in 2004. With his appointment as Deputy General Counsel he added responsibility for supervising UC legal matters relating to litigation and technology transfer and, in 1991 and 1992, served as interim Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services at UC San Francisco. While serving as Vice Chancellor John oversaw the acquisition of Mt. Zion Hospital for UCSF.
Throughout his career John led the University’s legal team in the face of many complex issues, including the UC Davis Medical Center accreditation challenge, the merger between UCSF Medical Center and Stanford Hospital and its subsequent dissolution, the acquisition of Santa Monica Hospital on behalf of the UCLA Medical Center, and the complex series of investigations following theft allegations at Los Alamos National Laboratory in 2003. John was a wise counselor whose excellent legal skills, pragmatism, clear vision and leadership greatly benefited the University and all those he counseled. James E. Holst, General Counsel of the University during most of John’s service, said of John, “I will always be grateful for the partnership we shared in service to the University. John’s legal skill as advisor and advocate, his unfailing sound judgment, his loyalty and friendship – all combined to make him universally respected as colleague and mentor as well as the ultimate source of counsel to many in the University on a wide array of difficult issues.”
John’s service extended beyond the University. For many years he served on the board of Camping Unlimited Inc., a program for developmentally disabled youth and adults in the Bay Area, acting as board president for three of the years. He was also involved with “Friends of Camping Unlimited,” a group of friends who devoted time and energy to raising funds for the Camping Unlimited program. Following his retirement, John devoted his time to mental health issues in Calaveras County where his mother was born and raised and where his family still maintains a home. In 2008, John was recognized by the Calaveras County Mental Health Board for his “years of unsurpassed dedication, ongoing commitment and support of consumer advocacy” in the area of mental health.
John is survived by his sister Mary Lundberg Morgan, his beloved wife Julie and the three daughters he adored; Christina Lundberg Adams (Jim), Amy Lundberg Redfield (Ian) and Emily Lundberg. John has one very special Grandson, Willem Heater and five nieces and nephews he loved and admired: Bill Hodgehead, Orion Morgan, Michael and David Knibbs and Laura Williams. He loved mentoring the younger generation, freely sharing his extensive knowledge of current events and politics and his opinions on the best books, wines and music. John loved Julie’s entire family, including his mother-in-law Charlotte Deems and Julie’s sisters Sally Stock and Elizabeth Williams and their husbands Phil Markwart and Tom Thomas. He also loved and felt fortunate to have a very close-knit group of friends who remain family to Julie and his girls.
In spite of John’s enormous concern for the plight of the world and for those less fortunate, he truly loved life and lived it fully. He delighted in travel, music, food, the making and consumption of wine, grape growing and working his family property in Sheep Ranch, California. His intellect, compassion, loyalty, strength of character, irreverent sense of humor, and lithe dance moves will be missed every minute of every day by the many people who love him.
A memorial service will be held at The Faculty Club in Berkeley on Friday, December 16th at 4:30 p.m. Please make any donations to Camping Unlimited, Inc. or UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center – G.I. Division.
For inquiries, please contact,
Graham-Hitch Memorial Center
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