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This memorial website was created in memory of our loved one, Julien Van Lancker. We will remember him forever.

Dr. Julien Van Lancker, a pioneering Pathologist and Radiation Oncologist, teacher, father, spouse, passed away peacefully on December 3, 2018 in Carlsbad, CA. Born in Oudergem, Belgium, he graduated Universite Catholique de Louvain in 1950.

Over the course of a long and distinguished career, he was the recipient of countless honors and awards, and authored textbooks, the latest, Apoptosis, Genomic Integrity, and Cancer (2006). As a researcher, he published over one hundred scientific papers and articles.

Most recently Professor Emeritus of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and Professor Emeritus in Radiation Oncology at UCLA; he was also a doctor in Medicine, Diplomate Pathology, and Diplomate Radiological Oncology at the University of Louvain (Belgium); Professor Pathology and Radiology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison; Professor Medical Sciences and Chair of Pathology at Brown University, RI; Chairman of the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at UCLA.

He is survived by his wife, Jill, his children: Catherine, Peter, Michel, Scott, Julie, Jennifer, grandchildren Hans, Willem, Max, James, Kayla, Jacob, Kristen, Carson, Joshua, Jesse, and great grandchild, Hugo. Julien was an intrepid researcher and intellectual; his legacy will live on through his work and the many lives that were impacted through his teaching, mentorship, and care.

If you would like to make a donation in Julien's name, we have set up a place to do so here at the Jonsson Cancer Center:

August 14
August 14
Thinking of you today Julien on your birthday! You are missed. Remembering you fondly today. ❤️
August 14, 2021
August 14, 2021
Thinking of Julien today on his 97th birthday. A man who was more than he showed to us and more than some could understand. You were always kind to me and I miss your little smirk of a smile!  I am grateful for your creation of Mike! 

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August 14
August 14
Thinking of you today Julien on your birthday! You are missed. Remembering you fondly today. ❤️
His Life

My Father (by Michel Van Lancker)

My father was born in 1924 in Oderghem, Belgium. He spent the first 5 years of his life being reared by family friends in the storybook town of Bruges, Belgium.After 5 years, old, he was sent to Catholic boarding school in Belgium where he experienced adversity, boredom, some friendships, and learned a little.

When he was 15, Germany attacked Belgium with bombers, tanks, and troops.He was face to face with the horrors this produced.Germany soon occupied all of Belgium and force their will upon the inhabitants.My father’s anger, and will to fight back helped him to make a very difficult decision:to escape from occupied Belgium and seek a place where he could join forces with Germany’s opposition, and this led him to Calais, France.When he arrived there, he saw the city come under siege and watched many die in horrible ways. In Calais, he ultimately connected with (much older) compatriots who attempted to make it across the English Channel in a fishing boat with him to England. They were captured part-way by the German Coast Guard and returned to Calais.Then the Germans returned him and a priest friend of his to Brussels, Belgium since he was a “kid” and the other was a priest. The others who were in the fishing boat were shot.

Through a lengthy series of events of which I don’t know much of the detail, he eventually started medical school, continued to fight the invading Germany in the Belgian Underground, and joined the American Infantry to fight in the Battle of the Bulge.Somewhere In the midst of all this, he met the first love of his life, my mother.

After finishing Medical School, and after the war, he married my mother, and had 2 children, my sister Catherine, and my Brother Peter.Shortly after, he set his sights on a future in the United States. In 1956 he moved the Family to Kansas City, Kansas.Then, he made his way from there to Salt lake City Utah, next to Madison, Wisconsin where he and my mother had a third child (me).

Then tragedy struck in 1964 and my mother was killed in a terrible automobile accident.My Father remarried shortly thereafter and moved the family to Rhode Island where he spent a time as Chairman of Pathology at Brown University.

In 1971 he took the position of Pathology Chair at UCLA and he, moved with me and his second wife to Los Angeles. He eventually divorced his second wife, and in 1980, he was exceedingly lucky to meet the second love of his life, Jill.He married Jill in 1983 and along with that joined our family (me, Cathy, and Peter) with hers, (Julie, Jennifer, and Scott). He remained at UCLA until his retirement in (1998?)

Upon retirement, he relocated to Carlsbad California where he peacefully lived out the remainder of his life.

Throughout my Father’s life, I watched him stick to a common set of values: to do what is right, to help others, to avoid greed for money, to learn, and to teach. His passion was teaching. Over and over again, I would watch him spend days preparing for a single lecture. I watched as he wrote 3 texts that were meant to share his, and other’s knowledge of specific aspects of medicine that he deemed important. He wanted to know everything, and he wanted to share that knowledge with everyone.These were lofty goals.They were really too high for anyone to reach and all this showed in his constant attention to learning and teaching.As my father grew older, his presence as a teacher and lecturer became sorely missed at UCLA.

My father and I used to , occasionally, engage in deep philosophical conversations, in which we both let down our guards and revealed our mutual lack of understanding of the workings of mankind, and of the universe, and wonder, together, what the ultimate meaning of it all really is.In each other’s presence, we knew, deep down inside, we shared these thoughts and feelings and this was part of what made us more than just father and son, it made us friends.

I will miss my father, my friend, and I will miss being able to share my experiences and thoughts with him. Although, I still hold conversations with him and I sincerely hope he hears me.

Farewell, Bonne Nuit, Bon Voyage.

Books Written

Julien wrote 3 books during his lifetime.  

This was the first and still considered an outstanding text in its field:

This is a summarized version, written by Julien, of the 2 volumes of the first text:

This was Julien's third text (he was writing a follow up to this when he passed):

Recent stories

“Treasure hunts”

August 14, 2021
I remember when we lived in Rhode Island on 7 Crestwood Road, that Dad would sometimes get me up early in the morning and announce that wer were going in a treasure hunt. A “Treasure hunt” involved taking a ride in the Sunbeam down to the local town beach and walking along the tideline looking for interesting items that had washed up. 

The term “treasure” was used loosely in this case. I think the most coveted piece of treasure was a 1ft slab of some kind of plastic slag, probably a buy product of an injection molding factory somewhere along the Bay. 

Regardless, these are fond memories of time spent with my Dad.

Remembering Julian

December 3, 2019
Remembering you on this one year anniversary of your passing. 

95th birthday

August 14, 2019
Thinking of you today.  Hoping you and Jill are together and happy.

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