Valentin Tudor Popa

Feb 17, 1932 - Nov 11, 2019


Valentin Tudor Popa was born on February 17th, 1932 in Turtucaia, Romania and died on November 11, 2019 in Sacramento, California. He was 87 years old.

Valentin graduated in 1956 from the Carol Davila Medical School in Bucharest, Romania, and worked for 10 years as a pulmonologist and internal medicine doctor at the Colentina Hospital. Together with his wife, Oprista Dragalina-Popa, Valentin defected from communist Romania in the summer of 1969 while on a trip to Austria, and emigrated to the United States. On April 3, 1970 he passed his ECFMG exam (medical equivalency examination). He was offered a fellowship at Yale University (1970-1971)and later fellowships at University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia and at the University of Illinois, Chicago (1971-9173). He was appointed Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois, Associate Professor at the University of Chicago, and Head of the Pulmonary Department at the University of Ohio, Toledo.

In 1982, Valentin accepted a joint appointment as Professor of Medicine with the University of California, Davis and the Veterans Administration Hospital, and in 1986 he went into private practice in Sacramento. He was Board Certified in Internal Medicine, Pulmonary and Allergy Immunology and published extensively in leading medical journals.

Valentin was married for 52 years to Oprista Dragalina-Popa, had a daughter Andrea and a grandson Grayson. He enjoyed classical music, literature and travel. He will be missed by his many friends and by his loving family. A private service will be held at the Saint Katherine Greek Orthodox Church in Elk Grove, California.

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