Milan L. Brandon M.D.
November 28, 1927 – April 10, 2021
Milan L. Brandon M.D., 93, of San Diego, CA, passed away on April 10, 2021. Born Nov. 28, 1927, was cherished son of Nena Vasiljevich and Louis Matcovich. Milan was a beloved father, grandfather, brother, husband, and physician. His life was an American success story. Born in Emeryville, CA., he was the second of 4 children. His parents were from Montenegro (previously Yugoslavia) and came through Ellis island escaping communism. His Mom was 16 at the time. His parents went to the west coast and settled in Emeryville, setting up a diner that had a living area behind it. His older sister was born soon after they arrived in the back seat of a cab as they were trying to get to the hospital. The cord wrapped around her neck and she had brain damage as a result. Although she was functional, this affected her the rest of her life. Milan was born a couple of years later, luckily not in a cab. His father went back to the old country when Milan was a young boy to try to retrieve property and assets he once had. Milan became the man of the house and would help his mother with the diner and help with his sister as well.
He had a number of interests growing up. Being a big baseball fan, he would walk with his sister down through the streets of downtown Oakland to see the Oakland Oaks minor league team (they were in the same league as the Padres then, Pacific Coast League). The two would sneak through a hole in the outfield fence and get to the bleachers while the team practiced before each game. After a season of this, the players asked him to be batboy, which he gladly accepted. He met and spoke to the likes of Casey Stengel, Billy Martin, and the DiMaggio brothers. The Oaks were a New York Yankees farm team, so even though Milan never lived a day in New York, he was always a Yankees fan (but 2nd to the Padres of course)!
His father eventually came back during Milan’s young years but left a number of times to return to the old country trying to rebuild what he once had. A divorce ensued as his Mom needed a husband that was around to help. Not too long after, she married a police officer, the first motorcycle police officer in the State of California, Joseph F. Brandon. Milan was 9 years old and “Papa Joe” raised him like his own son. The family moved to Hayward, CA. Milan became involved in 4H and raised livestock, in addition to participating in Boy Scouts where he achieved Eagle Scout. He also benefitted from the addition of 2 brothers to the family who he held dear to his heart throughout his life. Milan ended up going to college at UC Berkeley. Although he was initially interested in Law School, he really wanted to be a baseball player. He played 2nd base on the college team but after his sophomore year decided he wasn’t good enough. At that time he switched gears and went pre-med. With his excellent academic record, he was told and was confident he could get into medical school at UCSF, where Berkeley students commonly were admitted. They rejected him, which came as quite a blow. He applied a second time to medical school, and this time he applied to a number of California schools. He told his parents he would go to the first school that accepted him. That school was the University of Southern California (USC), and the rest was history. He moved to Southern California and it is there that he met Mary, his future wife of 63 years. He was a loyal Trojan the rest of his life and was active as a USC medical alumnus. The two married upon his graduation from USC and were off to Detroit for his residency at Henry Ford Hospital. Once he completed that he was drafted
into the Navy (they needed docs in the post war years), worked at Oak Knoll Naval Hospital (Oakland, CA), and then went to Balboa Naval Hospital, San Diego. After a number of years in the Navy he went into private medical practice and had a very successful medical career spanning over 50 years. He also developed a clinical research practice starting in 1966 that continues to prosper to this day and currently has played a key role in Covid-19 vaccine research here in San Diego, being the primary local research site for the Pfizer vaccine.
Milan and Mary had 3 sons that they lovingly nurtured and raised into successful gentlemen and fathers. Milan’s favorite family activities were to go to Padres baseball games, visit Yosemite National Park (where he spent many boy scout years), and take his family to Disneyland U.S.A. The boys always had trouble keeping up with him as they went from ride to ride while he had a stack of ticketbooks in hand, especially those “E” tickets. He also loved his dogs, a long line of Boxers over the years. After more than 50 years in medical practice, he finally retired at the age of 88, back in 2015.
For those of you that knew him, and there are thousands, you know he was a very caring and charitable man. He was the hardest working doctor one would ever see and his patients adored him. He worked diligently at home, reviewing charts and dictating letters to his patients. His sons would always say that “Dad would go put in his full work day, every day, even if he wasn’t paid”. He loved taking care of his patients. If anyone was Marcus Welby, it was him. This Man was the most unselfish person you would ever know, never asking for anything from anyone, only giving. We will all miss him deeply, but will remember him daily. We know he is in heaven, and when God needs help healing people, he now has the angel to do it. Time to go back to work Dad!
Milan was preceded in death by his wife Mary, eldest son (Mark), and sister (Milena Matcovich Perlain). He is survived by his two brothers, (Joseph Brandon & Stanley Brandon), two younger sons, 11 grandchildren, and 1 great grandchild. A private family Mass will be held in his honor. In lieu of flowers, please make contributions to Nazareth House of San Diego, 6333 Rancho Mission Rd., San Diego, CA, 92108.
Acknowledgments to Christine Sayers, P.O. Box 206, Poway, CA 92074.
10:00 am - 11:00 am
Miramar National Cemetery
Milan L. Brandon M.D.
April 29, 2021
I was dating Jeff at the time & came by the office for a visit at lunch time one day.
Upon leaving, I was hit while pulling out off the curb in my car. Some of the girls saw the accident through the windows and announced that Elaine just got hit out on the street.
Dr Brandon was the 1st to arrive, running full speed to check to make sure I was okay.
What a special man Grandpa Milan was.
I miss him.
Covid-19 robbed me of many visits. Didn't get to say goodbye to someone I loved dearly. I know he was wondering where I had been.
I know you understand now Grandpa, Love 💘 you, & miss ❤ you. Elaine