Gage B. Pifer, M.D. was born on June 1, 1925 in Bakersfield, California to Philip Pifer and Cornelia Jenkins Pifer. He passed away on October 2, 2012 in Bellingham, Washington with his wife, Valerie, and his step-daughter, Liz, by his side.
Gage was the son of Fire Chief Philip Pifer and his wife, Cornelia Jenkins Pifer. He, and older sister Phyllis, grew up in Bakersfield, California. In 1943, following his graduation from Kern County Union High School, he joined the United States Air Force, becoming a Pilot and earning the rank of Second Lieutenant. He completed his undergraduate studies at USC, earning a BA in 1949. He was then accepted to USC's School of Medicine, earning his MD in 1951. He chose to pursue general surgery.
In 1961, he married Ellen M. Welz, a dietetic intern, whom he met at Harbor UCLA Medical Center. Together, they had five children. After relocating to Fort Bragg, California, they eventually decided to return to Los Angeles where Gage completed an orthopedic residency, at the University of Southern California. He opened a private orthopedic surgery practice in 1972, with offices in Mission Hills and then Granada Hills, California, with a secondary office location in Santa Clarita (Newhall), California.
The years passed and the practice grew and so did the children. And life, moved forward. He married Valerie R. Johnson on September 7, 1980. They honeymooned in England, Valerie's home country, then returned to the United States where Gage continued his private orthopedic surgery practice in Santa Clarita (Newhall), California, while they made their home in Chatsworth, California. Upon retirement, Gage and Valerie moved to Fort Bragg, California and later to Kingston, Washington, then Bellingham, Washington.
During his lifetime, and especially during the course of his career as a physician, first as a general surgeon in the Fort Bragg/Mendocino area and then as an orthopedic surgeon, in the San Fernando and Santa Clarita Valleys, Gage developed many great friendships. His passion for his work as a surgeon and as a helper to humanity spilled over to every part of his life. Gage's greatest sources of joy were his family, all creatures, great and small, and his career, first as a pilot (Second Lieutenant, USAF) and second, as a physician.
He is survived by his wife Valerie R. Pifer, sister Phyllis Icardo of Bakersfield, CA, former wife Ellen M. (Welz) Pifer, children: Eric Pifer of Simi Valley, CA, Deirdre Pifer of Simi Valley, CA, Dana-Lise Pifer of Pacifica, CA , Lisa Pifer of Austin, TX, and Lance (Beth) Pifer of Santa Barbara, CA, step-children, Ric Johnson of Santa Barbara, CA and Liz Johnson (Mike Jacobson) of Seattle, WA, five grandchildren Christopher, Nicholas and Autumn Pifer of Simi Valley, CA and Ava Grace and Olivia Faith Young, of Simi Valley, CA, step grand-children, Kelsey and Andrew Johnson of Fort Collins, Colorado, niece DeNize (Houston) Lawrence of Foster City, CA, one great-nephew, Tre (Susie) Lawrence of LaCanada-Flintridge, CA, and great-great nieces: Sara Lawrence (and her mother, Christina) (Foster City, CA), Shelby and  Lawrence of La Canada-Flintridge, CA. Gage was preceded in death by his parents Phillip and Cornelia (Jenkins) Pifer of Bakersfield, CA and by great-nephew, Philip Lawrence of Morgan Hill, CA. Memorial Service is pending confirmation of dates from the National Cemetery in Tahoma, Washington.
In lieu of flowers, a contribution, in his name, may be made to Valley Veterinary Spay and Neuter Clinic, a Non-Profit Organization, Simi Valley, California, honoring both the memory of my Dad and his beloved pets: Ginger, Coaltown (Coalie) I, Coaltown (Coalie) II, Theo, Natasha, Spidey (aka King), Calico Kitty, Spot-the amazing cat, and many, many others.