Nicholas Diakon Obituary (1950 – 2021) – Napa, CA

Dr. Nicholas Charles Deacon


Dr. Nicholas Charles Deacon “Chuck” died of natural causes on Sunday April 25, 2021 after a great meal with friends to finish five days of golf at his favorite Bandon Dunes, Oregon. He shot an 82. He was a lucky man.

Chuck is survived by his wonderful children; his daughter Alexandra Janet (AJ) and son Jack as well as his ex-wife and mother of his children Leslie Yuki Diakon, his sister Janet Rotchford and his husband PJ and their three children; JP, Hunter and Dylan, his mentor Dr. Richard Odom and his wife Elise as well as many close friends have developed into golf over the years.

Chuck was born on February 8, 1950 to Nicholas and Myrtle Deacon in Newark, New Jersey. He developed his lifelong love of golf while caddling at the Galloping Hill Country Club. While caddling, he found doctors playing golf every weekend (and Wednesday). With that began his search for a doctor.

Chuck was the class president of his junior and senior years at Cranford High School – and prom king! Chuck played golf and basketball in high school and was recruited into basketball by Muhlenberg College. In college, Chuck was president of his freshman class, vice president of his brotherhood Phi Kappa Tau, who was named a Who’s Who of students at American universities and colleges in 1972, and he managed to join the golf team and devote a lot of time to his game of golf. In 1972 he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and then attended the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. While studying medicine, Chuck joined the army and after completing his rotation internship at the Metropolitan Hospital in Philadelphia for his postdoctoral medical training in 1977, he was transferred to Fort Rucker, Alabama for training as an Amy Flight Surgeon in the USA. The next year, Chuck Auf shipped to Boston University’s emergency trauma course in Heidelberg, where he served for two years as a flight surgeon for the US Army, general practitioner, and ambulance, and received the rank of major in the Army Medical Corps.

Chuck directed West in 1979 for his three-year dermatology training at Letterman Army Medical Center in San Francisco, California. Chuck lived in the Presidio overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge and met his mentor, now a very honorable member of the Deacon family, Dr. Richard Odom, the chief of dermatology at Letterman Army Medical Center and former chairman of the department of dermatology at the University of California at San Francisco. Although Dr. Odom and Chuck were retired, they stayed close with Dr. Odom and his wife Elise became friends and seamlessly became foster grandparents for Chuck’s two children.

Chuck was honorably discharged from the US Army as a major in 1995 and received the US Army Commendation Medal in 1979 for his “immeasurable contribution to the improvement of the emergency room” in Germany. Chuck received this medal for his organizational skills – something many of us seem to have missed.

After separating from the U.S. Army, Chuck moved to San Anselmo, California, and entered the private dermatology practice in Tracy. He was also an assistant professor in the Department of Dermatology at UCSF and chief of staff at Tracy Memorial Hospital.

In 1994, Chuck met his ex-wife, Leslie. The two were married on September 15, 1995. They lived together in San Anselmo and soon started a family. Their daughter AJ first came in the summer of 1998. The family moved to Napa Valley in 1999 after Chuck moved to a dermatology practice in Napa, where he continues to work to this day. They welcomed their second child, a son, Jack, in the spring of 2001. Chuck enjoyed sharing his love of golf with his children and supporting and driving any adventures that followed them. He faithfully attended every single performance, sports game, and school activity his children attended. He took great pride in the fact that AJ works and lives in New York City and that Jack is a chemistry student at the University of Denver. Chuck was glad AJ was attending Pennsylvania University at Lehigh University, which enabled her to be close to his sister Janet, who lives in Rumson, New Jersey, and to give him a simple excuse to go out with his nephews To play golf.

Chuck taught as a faculty member at UCSF as Assistant Clinical Professor of Dermatology (which he continues to this day) and at the California Institute of Behavioral Neuroscience & Psychology. Chuck loved teaching and felt that the high point of his career was his involvement in science. Chuck was an active member of the American Academy of Dermatology along with several other medical organizations. Since July 1999 he has also served on the medical staff at the Queen of the Valley Medical Center in Napa Valley. In 2019, Chuck received the Marquis Who’s Who Top Doctors and the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award. In addition to his work and family life, Chuck was an avid sports enthusiast, particularly basketball and golf. He was an active member of the Olympic Club and the Napa Valley Country Club.

Chuck enjoyed life, lived for today and his children were the loved ones of his life. He woke up every day, played a round of golf (or wished he could), and successfully tried to be the best father in the world.

The family is planning a celebration of life this summer. Details will be communicated.

Published by The Weekly Calistogan on May 13, 2021.

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