Remembering Alumni

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

It is with great sadness that we share the news of two of our outstanding alumni who have passed away; James DiNapoloi, Class of 1980, and Dan DeMerell, Class of 1999.

James (Jim) Anthony DiNapoli, MD, Class of 1980

Jim DiNapoli was long-time resident of Colorado, practicing emergency medicine, then occupational medicine.  He died March 27 after a brief illness. He was 59. He is survived by his wife, Andrea, his brother, Jeff, and many friends and colleagues.  Jim was preceded in death by his father, Olindo DiNapoli, and mother, Sandra DiNapoli, of Tucson, AZ.   

Jim grew up in Tucson, Arizona. In addition to his career in medicine, Jim was a talented photographer, a rock climber, and a mountain climber, having summited many of Colorado’s 14,000-foot peaks in all seasons.  His reports on are legendary for eloquent writing and photos, giving readers the feeling that they accompanied Jim on the climb.  He loved fly fishing, raced bikes in his earlier years, and was an accomplished piano and guitar musician, playing in blues and jazz bands.  A memorial service was held May 3, 2014 at the Garden of the Gods Park, Colorado Springs. His climbing colleagues held an honorary red rock climb before the service.  Friends and colleagues gathered afterwards to share stories, pictures and videos of Jim’s extraordinary life.  Friends of Jim’s are invited to contact Mike Ryan, 719.352.5395, or Linda Hawkins, 719.661.9060,

Dan DeMerell, MDDaniel G. DeMerell, MD, MPH, Class of 1999

Dan DeMerell died April 22, 2014. He graduated from the UA College of Medicine in 1999 and was 44 years old.

Dan’s wife, Connie DeMerell, has chosen to share that Dan’s death was a suicide. She hopes that by sharing his story, more attention and support will be brought to the issue of physician suicide.

“Everyone who knows Dan knows he was an amazingly caring and strong man,” Connie says. “Dan had no prior history of depression, and he was deeply loved and supported by his family and community. He enjoyed a very successful practice, as well as many projects that allowed him to give back to his community and internationally.

“He did not commit suicide because of weakness. He suffered from a disease – one of which he had no prior history. He sought help from his primary care physician, but he was deeply concerned about his medical community finding out that he needed an antidepressant.”

One of Dan’s proudest achievements was helping found Camp Blue Spruce, a camp for children aged 9 to 14, who live with food allergies. Dan was the camp’s chief medical adviser.

Dan often said that he learned more from the children he worked with at Camp Blue Spruce than they learned from him. He admired their resilience and honesty.

Dan received his MPH degree from the UA in 1995. He graduated from the UA College of Medicine in 1999, then did his residency in pediatrics at Tulane University, where he was appointed chief resident. In 2005, he and Connie moved to Portland, where he joined Asthma, Allergy and Dermatology Associates.

Dan and Connie’s three children are Keegan, 7; Finnegan, 5; and Grace, who will be 1 year this July.

People who want to pay tribute to Dan can make a tax-deductible donation to Camp Blue Spruce on the camp’s website at, or mail a check to:

Camp Blue Spruce
Dr. DeMerell Memorial Fund
3519 NE 15th Ave., No. 225
Portland, OR, 97212

Dan’s wife, Connie, can be reached at