Dr. Paul Bernard Borgesen passed away peacefully in his home, surrounded by his loving family, on March 3, 2023, at the age of 92.
Paul was born on August 24, 1930, in Aberdeen, South Dakota. The eldest of Agnes and Paul Borgesen’s three children, he was raised in Aberdeen and spoke of his childhood as being “unremarkable, in the best possible way.” What may have begun as ordinary to Paul, set him on a path to a life that was anything but.
He graduated from Aberdeen Central High School in 1948 and went on to serve as a Life Scout Marksmanship instructor in the South Dakota National Guard before entering Marquette University School of Dentistry, where he graduated with honors in 1954. Upon graduation, Paul began a two-year service in the United States Army Dental Corps in Germany.
While overseas, he rekindled a relationship with a beautiful, brown-eyed South Dakota girl who was serving as a nurse in Germany. After a whirlwind courtship, Paul married Patricia “Patsy” Mae Warner in 1956. Over the next decade, they became parents to seven children and together delighted in their large family and the many joys it brought them.
While Patsy believed she had married a career dentist, Paul had further academic aspirations and in 1961 he graduated with honors from Marquette University School of Medicine. He interned at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Phoenix and served as a general surgery resident at Maricopa County General Hospital. His residency in Otolaryngology & Head and Neck surgery at the University of Iowa completed his formal education, though he was an avid lifelong learner and was known to spend his free time researching and reading medical texts and journals as well as books on nearly every subject.
Paul, known to many simply as “Doc”, and Patsy returned with their family to the Valley in 1967 where Doc worked as an Ear, Nose, Throat & Maxillofacial surgeon in private practice until 1990. Thereafter, he continued to work as a surgeon at Boswell Hospital, and in another private practice until he was nearly 90 years old. Never one to be idle, his family was not surprised that Doc never truly retired from his passion of serving others through medicine.
Over the course of his career, Doc was a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, served at the USAF Hospital at Luke Air Force Base, was a recipient of Maricopa County Medical Society’s Dr. Thomas A. Dooley award, a recipient of Esperança’s Luke Tupper award, and of Marquette University’s Community Service award, in addition to numerous academic awards. Doc served on the Board of Directors for Esperança, a medical mission non-profit serving the underprivileged living in the Amazon River region of Brazil. Together with Patsy as his scrub nurse, they completed six surgical missions aboard a medical houseboat in Brazil.
Paul and Patsy’s marriage and relationship grew stronger each year. A relationship rooted in a steadfast faith, the two were inseparable. When asked about his wife, Paul said, “Oh, it is a love beyond words. She lives in my soul. Simply seeing her is a treat. Her smile, I just love it. It makes me melt.”
The Borgesen home on Central Avenue, while never quiet, was a sanctuary for family, friends, dogs, horses, and anyone looking for safe haven. Paul and Patsy created a beautiful life together and in addition to their seven children, were grandparents to thirteen grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. They adored their large family and were extremely involved in and dedicated to the lives of each of their descendants. A testament to their love of their family is the belief by each member that they were the one loved best by “Gram and Papa.”
Doc was a passionate man and had a great many interests outside of his work, chief among them were hunting, fishing, horseback-riding, scuba-diving, and skiing but his greatest love was reserved especially for his wife and family. He enjoyed the great outdoors immensely and was always planning his next adventure with Patsy and various members of their family or groups of friends. Doc was a gregarious character and a storyteller to the extreme. An afternoon spent with him was one filled with laughter, love and at least one new fact learned. To know him was to be utterly charmed. His passing has left a void in this world, but Paul had an unwavering faith in the eternal life God had in store for him in Heaven. His family takes comfort in the knowledge that he now knows the face of God and has been rejoicefully reunited with his bride.
Paul is survived by his children Paul (Beth) Borgesen, Mark Borgesen, Peter (Vicki) Borgesen, Phillip Borgesen, and Julie (Jim) Wentworth, 13 grandchildren, and 8 great grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his wife Patsy, his daughters Jane (Tom) Johnston and Mary Beth (Bob) Suiter, parents Agnes and Paul Borgesen, and siblings Pricilla (Patrick) Sanders and Jude Borgesen.
Visitation will be held at Whitney & Murphy Funeral Home, 4800 E Indian School Rd., Phoenix, AZ 85018, on Wednesday, March 8, 2023 from 5:00pm until 7:00pm with a Rosary at 6:00pm. Funeral services will be at St. James Roman Catholic Church, 19640 N 35th Ave., Glendale, AZ 85308, on Thursday, March 9, 2023 at 10:00am. His Committal Service will be held at 9:00am on Friday, March 10, 2023 at Holy Redeemer Catholic Cemetery, 23015 N Cave Creek Rd., Phoenix, AZ 85024.
In lieu of flowers, the family invites you to make a donation to Hospice of the Valley or St. Vincent De Paul in memory of Dr. Paul Borgesen. Condolences may be expressed at www.whitneymurphyfuneralhome.com.
Laura L Jordan
With our sincere sympathy. xo
We loved “Doc” and cherished each opportunity to meet with him and spend time together. And, oh that little twinkle in his eye…
His faith led the way, followed ever so closely by his love for his dear wife, Patsy and his family. Suffice it to say, he left an indelible mark on all who knew him.
May he rest in eternal peace and may his children be blessed with the comforting knowledge that his life was well lived.
I had the pleasure of working with Dr. Borgesen for many years in the medical group, plus at times was his patient too.
He was a wonderful doctor and one of the kindest people you will ever meet. He had a true heart and passion for patients and patient care. He was truly one of my favorite people to talk with and I was always happy to see him even after he left our group. My condolences to his family who he often talked about so fondly. He was so proud of the life that he and your Mom made together. He is a shining example of a life well lived.
Posey M Nash
Sending love from up in Prescott…..
Dr. Borgesen was my doctor in the 70s and 80s and it was always a pleasure to go to him. (how many drs. can you say that
about?) He did a few surgeries on me, and was always kind and patient with my concerns and questions. Probably the greatest doctor in AZ. And I’ve seen quite a few.
Kate & Phil Scuderi
So very sorry for your loss! Sending love to the entire Borgesen family. He was a great man and we are honored to have met him this past Thanksgiving.
Sweetest man w the softess hands!I love you papa
I was very blessed to work with Dr. Borgesen for many years. Over the years he would tells us stories about growing up, & how he meet the love of his life, he would tells us Mrs . was his Angel.
I could have listen to him for hours if we only had the time.
Dr. Always made his patients feel at ease, talking to each one like they were his only patient. He would always let them know his door was always open , to walk in any- time during business hours , (without appointments). During lunch hrs if he was not at the hospital he was always reading medical books.
My fondest & funniest memories of Dr. B when computers arrived at his office & he told he to get that expensive paper weight off his desk .
I will dearly miss talking to Dr. While he waited to be seen . I still love hearing what was going on his world of retirement, it was either going to his granddaughters for a wonderful dinner , or going to his daughter to be at the beach & putting his toes in the sand .
Dr. Borgesen will always have a special place in my heart , will never forget that twinkle in his eyes, or how he made everyone around him feel his faith & love.
Now Dr. Is with his angle & in peace, he were he wants to be .
My condolences to Dr. Borgesen family, my you fine peace & love during this time .
Rest in peace Dr. Borgesen , thank you for all the love , faith & memories.
Camille A. Lawler
I am so sorry for your loss. I had the honor to work with your father for many years back at Boswell Hospital. It was such a pleasure to know him, work with him. I did learn so much from him too. There will never be a Dr. like him. Always pleasant, kind and had time for everyone, especially his patients. I never saw him angry always a smile on his face. I’m so sorry I didn’t hear of his passing so I could have paid my respects to you all and say good-bye to a very dear friend. But I will keep all of you in my prayers for comfort and strength in this sad time. My sympathy again. Gods Blessings to you all. Camille Lawler.