Let the memory of Anthony be with us forever.
  • 80 years old
  • Born on July 11, 1938 in Youngstown, Ohio, United States.
  • Passed away on October 12, 2018 in San Francisco, California, United States.

This memorial website was created in memory of our loved one,                        Dr. Anthony Sebastian.  He will be dearly missed and we will remember him forever.

His loving Friends & Family


If you would like to honor Anthony's life dedication to Science, Medicine and helping others, please visit:  makeagift.ucsf.edu/Sebastian

Thank you so much.
Posted by Loren Cordain on 21st October 2018
To All, I was so saddened to hear of Tony's recent departure. I give my condolences to Pat (although I did not know her well), Tony's family and all of his classmates, colleagues and caregivers who have so adroitly commented upon this man's incredible spirit, love of life, love of humanity, love of people and love of science and learning. I came late into Tony's life. I first met him via an email completely out of the blue that he sent me in the late 1990's early 2000's. As was characteristic of his warm and humble personality, the purpose of his email was to compliment me and my colleagues upon the scientific papers we had written on human diet and evolution. When I saw the email by line, I immediately knew that one of my scientific heroes had contacted me. I was humbled. Tony said that he was quite familiar with our group's work and admired my writing. I was blown away because I had been reading the work of Sebastian et al. for years. Never in my wildest dreams had I expected this internationally recognized scientist to write me. I told Tony that his work had vastly influenced my thinking before I had ever written the papers which he so kindly complimented me upon. We continued to correspond. I live in Colorado, but have vacationed at Lake Tahoe every summer since 1974. Tony proposed that we meet for the first time at Tahoe in July. He, Pat and his caregiver rented a room at a high rise hotel at South Lake Tahoe and gave me directions from Incline Village condominium to their hotel room for our afternoon luncheon. I had never met Tony and did not know of his lifelong battle with the neurodegenerative disease that eventually took his life . When I arrived at his hotel room, I was warmly greeted by a man in a wheel chair with about the most engaging smile I had ever seen -- such was Tony. He had prepared plate upon plate of fresh, blueberries, strawberries, salmon, roast beef on ad infinitum -- all for me -- the Paleo Diet Scientist. The noontime luncheon lingered late into the afternoon, and the conversation went everywhere -- we were kindred souls. Tony and I eventually published together in the scientific literature, and I was humbled that this great scientist had absolutely no ego and would generously contribute his expertise to our group's work. Month's before Tony's demise, he and I worked feverishly upon one of his papers which may have represented a summation of his vast knowledge on salt, hypertension, chronic disease and diet. I believe that this was the last scientific paper Tony published. I am grateful that Tony became my friend, and I will miss him dearly throughout the remainder of my life. Loren Cordain, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus Colorado State University
Posted by Rejoice Egbujor Nwaiwu on 20th October 2018
The news of your departure was a big shock to me. I remembered what you use to tell me that even though you were in your late 70's, you feel 25 years in mind. You said to me that you may live and visit some of us (your caregivers) in nursing homes: "we laughed". I am glad our ways crossed. I learnt a lot from Anthony. He was a stream of knowledge as one of his friend's calls him. He was a strong man, a fighter, a perfect example of "Where there is a will, there is a way". Anthony was very kind and respectful to his Caregivers. He appreciates and says thank you to every bit of help you give him. You will ever be remembered.
Posted by Irena Mujakovic on 19th October 2018
I am forever grateful our paths crossed. It was an honor to be a caregiver for such a wonderful soul. Once Anthony told me he wishes in his next life to care for all his caregivers, just like we cared for him in this one. This speaks volumes about how thoughtful and kind Anthony was. He was never short of love and kind words for his caregiving team. I will miss our deep conversations about Universe and life, his big warm smile, the way he would enjoy a good song (he would lean his head back, close his eyes and smile while listening - I loved it!). I will miss our trips to In-n-out with Khoi. His humour. His curiosity and wisdom. I learned and grew so much since working with Anthony. He showed me what it takes to be a happy person, and how important it is to never give up on dreams and goals in life. "In my experience, perseverance is the key to success" he once told me. Words I will never forget. I make sure to constantly remind myself of it. He told me he always felt that his purpose in life was to learn as much as he can, so that he can teach others what he knows. I am glad he fulfilled his dream. What a way to depart, knowing you served your purpose in this life. The very first time we met (when I came for the job interview) he told me "I think we will become good friends". Well... He was right. I made a friend, and he has a special place in my heart. I will miss him dearly. To Pat, and to all of Anthony's family, accept my heartfelt condolences. May Anthony continue to live in our hearts and minds, through the memories and love we all shared with him.
Posted by K N on 19th October 2018
"I was very saddened to learn of Tony's death; I have happy memories of seeing him and talking with him at our reunion in 2000. I have always remembered what he said to me once-at a difficult time in my life when my father was dying of cancer-that it was easier to face your own death than to face the death of someone you loved. I am grateful for his life and for his courage and thinking of Pat and all of us who knew him." ---Lee Demott, M.D.
Posted by K N on 19th October 2018
...."Tony is a role model for all of us in how to live a meaningful life----remember he started our Mini-Reunion luncheons, because he felt reunions every 5 years were not adequate in keeping us together. He wanted to see the classmates he loved more often—especially as we began aging....He also wanted us to stay connected and to love each other as he loved us!!" .........."We need to celebrate Tony’s life, share stories, and stay 'glued together '." ---Willa Fisher, M.D.
Posted by Sophie Dumont on 19th October 2018
Dear Pat, We are so sorry for your loss. We will miss our friend and neighbor Tony. Although we only knew Tony for the last three years, he changed us: he made us think a little deeper, made us appreciate the small things, and inspired us to be the best we could be. We feel humbled and honored to have gotten the chance to know him. We shared a love of ideas, a love of book, a love of science, and of good conversation. Tony was curious like no one else we've known, and as he once told our daughters, he thought that "all the fun happens in the head". At his 80th birthday party, it put smile on our faces to see that he had printed his favorite article from each of his scientist friends at the party -- an example of just how deeply he engaged with others. The best thing about moving here has been to be Tony's and your neighbors. When our twin girls were born, you both welcomed them with open arms from the first day we came home, when we had no family here. Tony (and you) sent them love, invitations, food, toys and books -- and it never stopped. Mira's favorite toy is a purple purse she calls "Tony's purse", and Maya's is "Tony's doll". Tony had a magical touch with our girls. Every night since our girls can speak, they have wished Tony good night from their window looking over to your house. And they did so this past week too. Tony will be dearly remembered and missed. Tony embodied all that UCSF stands for -- and more. UCSF lost one of its finest this week. We will be thinking of you every day, and will see you Saturday and in the times ahead. We are here for you like you have been for us. We extend our condolences to Tony's extended family and friends, with a special thought for Khoi. Sophie Dumont (UCSF), Manu Prakash (Stanford), Maya & Mira Prakash
Posted by Jessie Thompsonb on 18th October 2018
To the Sebastian family you have my sincere condolences I have very fond memories of Tony what a wonderful person he will be missed
Posted by Pat Sebastian on 18th October 2018
Dear Pat, Margie joins me, on behalf of our class, in expressing our sincere condolences and deepest sympathy to you, Khoi, and actually, to all of us as well, the Class of ’65, since we’re part of Tony’s family. We all feel a deep sense of loss of our dear classmate and friend, Tony. It was Tony and Pat who held our class together for so many years; they initiated the tradition of our yearly get-togethers, a tradition we will carry on in Tony’s name. He would be really ticked if we didn’t continue to meet. How does one describe Tony: caring; selfless; enthusiastic; inquisitive; generous; uncommonly humble; really, really smart. If we had to describe Tony in one word, it would be mensch; Tony was a real mensch. Tony had a heck of an academic career, and was a real big shot in his field. He was a member of distinguished professional societies, including being elected to the American Society of Clinical Investigation while only in his 30’s. That’s a big deal. I’m pretty certain no one else in our class is a member, since our class was considered by the faculty to be………..well……….you know. Among his many awards, Tony received the Belding Scribner Award from the American Society of Nephrology (that’s kidney, for you retirees who forgot everything from med school), the highest honor of that Society. That’s like the Academy Award for kidneys. Big stuff. In addition, Tony published zillions of scientific articles, and continued to publish until now—yes, now!! I actually tried to read a few of them, and they seemed like a bunch of hocus-pocus. He used words I never heard of, like “transport mechanisms,’ or “chloride channels,”….whatever. Seemed like a lot of silliness. I guess the reviewers didn’t think so. When I asked Tony if all of those articles were really necessary, he smiled. Oh, classmates, how we loved to see Tony smile in recent years. He couldn’t move or breathe, but he could, and would, smile. And that sure would make us smile along with him. How we’ll miss that. Tony received the UCSF Alumnus of the Year award about 15 years ago. In our minds who should have received it for every year. Tony and I, along with Stu Davidson and The Falcon (Jerry Levenson) were roommates in our second year; we paid $35/each, and each of us had our own room. Tony studied constantly, and his ash tray was always filled with cigarette butts from unfiltered Pell Mells. The rest of us smoked filtered cigarettes. Unfiltered cigarettes! Tony was a stud! Going into his room was like walking through a smoke screen. I went into his room a lot, since I needed help so often; and Tony would interrupt whatever he was doing, and help me. He did that with everyone. He was so generous with his time. Always patient, and never, ever cross. We played softball at Funston that 2nd year. We occasionally double-dated, until he met Pat, and then we didn’t see much of him after that. I think Pat was rooming with Willa, and then added Tony. They got married in 1964 ( I was privileged to be able to attend) and Pat has provided continual loving care and support of Tony for 54 years. Sometime during our 2nd year Tony approached me and told me he liked the way I tied my necktie (yep, students wore ties in the early 60’s, and in the late 60’s brought their dogs to class), and asked me to tie his. That was the beginning, and you know the rest. How did Tony manage all these years? It was Pat; and Khoi Nguyen and other caregivers and physicians, including Tung Nguyen and Tony’s indefatigueable (is that a word?) determination and spirit. I’d like to think he also felt the love from all of us; I know he did, since it was obvious how much we loved Tony, and of course Pat. I know Pat is grateful to our honorary classmate Khoi, and all of Tony’s other caregivers, as are we, the Class of ’65. Pat and Khoi, and to all of us, please accept our sincere condolences. See you in May, at our yearly reunion. Pete PS: I’m so sorry for not being here today. On the other hand, I don’t think I could have gotten thru this without stumbling (that means crying). ***Written by Peter Singer, MD and Leopold Avallone, MD --posted by Pat Sebastian
Posted by Pat Sebastian on 18th October 2018
Dear Colleagues: We are writing with the sad news that Dr. Anthony “Tony” Sebastian passed away last Friday after a relatively brief stay in the ICU at Parnassus. He was 80 years old. It is an understatement to say that Tony was one of the most remarkable members of our faculty. Despite battling progressive degenerative neurological disease for over 50 years – a disease that eventually resulted in him becoming quadriplegic, wheelchair-bound and ventilator-dependent – he remained a proud and active member of our academic community until the very end. In fact, he had multiple publications in the past few years, including a first-author paper published just this month! In it, Tony advanced the provocative hypothesis that our departure from prehistoric diets has led to deleterious health consequences. For those who knew him, Tony was the very definition of indominable spirit and courage. Tony obtained his undergraduate degree from UCLA and then completed all his medical training at UCSF, including a nephrology fellowship (1968-1972). Among his notable scientific accomplishments, he • determined the mechanisms for renal potassium wasting in types 1 and 2 renal tubular acidosis (work with Curtis Morris); • identified a new type of RTA (so-called type 4), its pathogenesis and treatment (work with Morrie Schambelan); • defined the role of mineralocorticoid hormones in potassium and acid-base metabolism (also with Morrie Schambelan); • proposed a renal chloride shunt in the pathogenesis of type 2 pseudohypoaldosteronism (with Floyd Rector and Morrie Schambelan). His more recent work (with Curtis Morris and Lynda Frassetto) focused on the deleterious effects of net acid-producing diets on bone metabolism. In particular, this research pointed to the role that excess sodium and insufficient potassium intake may play in the pathogenesis of essential (and particularly salt-sensitive) hypertension. Tony’s achievements were recognized by honors such as the Distinguished Clinical Research Lectureship at UCSF in 2005 (together with Curtis Morris). He and Curtis also received the American Society of Nephrology Belding Scribner Award in 2002. Tony is survived by his wife of 54 years, Dr. Patricia Schoenfeld Sebastian, who was herself a member of the UCSF faculty, also in nephrology. Pat was based at San Francisco General Hospital, where she served as medical director of the UC Renal Center. We send Pat, and all of Tony’s family, our most heartfelt sympathy. There will be a memorial service for Tony this Saturday (October 20) in Millberry Union, 500 Parnassus Avenue, from 12-4 pm. Tony’s family also asked that those interested in making a donation in his memory direct their support to the Patricia and Anthony Sebastian Scholarship Fund at UCSF. Go to www.makeagift.ucsf.edu, click on the blue box stating “Direct your gift to a specific area” and type in S8037, which will route your gift to the Class of 1965 Sebastian Scholarship. Sincerely, Chi-yuan Hsu, MD, MSc Chief, Division of Nephrology, UCSF Health Robert M. Wachter, MD Chair, Department of Medicine, UCSF ---posted by Pat Sebastian
Posted by Sue Sebastian on 17th October 2018
Your welcoming smile, sense of humor and the love you showed for your family and friends will be missed but never forgotten.
Posted by Pat Sebastian on 16th October 2018
The memorial service will be held Saturday, October 20, 2018 from 12 noon to 4pm at UCSF, Millberry Student Union, 500 Parnassus, San Francisco.
Posted by Pat Sebastian on 15th October 2018
Dear all, If you would like to honor Anthony's life dedication to Science, Medicine and helping others, please visit: makeagift.ucsf.edu/Sebastian Thank you so much.

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