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.