Roy Foster Roberts, MD

roy roberts, md
Dr. Roy F. Roberts, 94, died Sunday, November 17, 2002, at the Rickman Center, Baptist Home, in Asheville. A native of Buncombe County, he was born October 28, 1908 to the late Alonzo L. and Addie Edwards Roberts. His mother died July 21, 1921, the first woman to be killed in an automobile accident in Asheville. He was a 1925 graduate of Bingham Military Academy in Asheville, a 1929 graduate of UNC, and a 1933 graduate of Tulane University Medical School. He interned at Detroit City Hospital and Raleigh’s Rex Hospital. He began medical practice in Asheville in 1934 with his first patient being a man who had been sliced with a razor, and his fee was $3.00. He began practice as a general practitioner and later specialized in cardiology. In 1940 he became the first Asheville physician to enter military service for WW II. He was stationed at Camp Shelby, MS, Fort Dix, NJ and Fort Sill, OK, and taught Army medicine. When Pearl Harbor was bombed December 7, 1941, he was stationed in Philippines and was transferred to Australia and commanded the 65th Station Hospital in the Pacific. He was discharged after the war and then recalled to the Army during the Korean conflict. He served two tours in North Korea and was also stationed in Japan and at Walter Reed Hospital. When he retired in 1962, he was head of Kenner Hospital in Fort Lee, VA. He returned to civilian life by heading a 90 bed hospital in Whitesburg, KY. In 1963 Buncombe County Commission Chairman Coke Candler brought him back to Asheville as County Physician. Together with Dr. Justice they opened the first 24-hour emergency room at Memorial Mission Hospital. He retired again in 1975 and 3 months later, the VA Hospital at Oteen called him to help there and he stayed for 11 years. He headed the WNC Air Pollution Control Board for 12 years, was a 50-year member of Mount Herman Masonic Lodge, a 50-year member of the Buncombe County Medical Society, a life member of the NC Medical Society and a 50-year member of the American Medical Society. In 1942, he married his secretary, Lois Batson, at Camp Shelby. She died July 4, 1973. He is survived by one son, Thomas Batson Roberts of Black Mountain; for grandsons, Thomas (Tommy) Jr., Brian, Nicholas and Christopher; two brothers, George Roberts of Asheville and Harold Roberts of Spartanburg, SC; and a number of nieces and nephews. Funeral services will be 2:00 pm Wednesday in the Patton Avenue Chapel of Groce Funeral Home with the Rev. Richard R. Smythe officiating. Military honors will be provided by the Buncombe County Veterans Council Memorial Team at Green Hills Cemetery. Pallbearers will be nephews and grandsons. Honorary pallbearers will be members of the Buncombe County Medical Society, Dr. Thomas Smith, Dr. Ben Street, Ronald Boone, Nathan McCarley, Jack Stevens and Walter Currie. His family will receive friends from 1:00-2:00 pm Wednesday prior to the service at the Funeral Home and request that memorials be made to Meals-On-Wheels, 146 Victoria Road, Asheville, NC 28801.

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  1. DR.Roy Roberts was the greatest grandfather you could ever ask for. he was so loving, kind and so husband and me and our children love putting a smile on his face. pa, gave so much and didn’t ask for anything in return. there will never be a man as great as pa !
    he will be missed very much.


  3. I am a CNA at the WNC Baptist Home. I had the pleasure of taking care of ‘Doc’ for his entire stay there. He was a deeply loved man. I am truly sorry for your loss. My prayers are with your entire family.
    Andrea Towe, CNA

  4. To the Robert’s Family…
    I worked for many years in the Emergency Room at Memorial Missioin Hospital, and became acquainted with Dr. Roberts then. He was one who would take care of his patients and always had a kind word for everyone. I will miss his kindness.

  5. My deepest sympathies and condolesces go to the family of Dr. Roy Foster Roberts.

    It seems so unfair that death should have the power to take away someone you love. And when it happens, the thought of never again being able to talk to, laugh with, or hold your loved one can be most difficult to bear. That pain is not necessarily erased by being told that your loved one is up in heaven.

    When death takes your child, your husband, your wife, your parent, your friend, it is truly what the Christian writer Paul called it, ‘the last enemy.’ There is hope. Death will not continue to rob mankind of their loved ones indefinetly.

    When Jesus was on earth there was an occassion that deeply grieved him. He met a widow of Nain and saw her dead son. The Bible account tells us: ‘As [Jesus] got near the gate of the city [Nain], why, look! there was a dead man being carried out, the only-begotten son of his mother. Besides, she was a widow. A considerable crowd from the city was also with her. And when the Lord caught sight of her, he was moved with pity for her, and he said to her: ‘Stop weeping.’ With that he approached and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still, and he said: ‘Young man, I say to you, Get up!’ And the dead man sat up and started to speak, and he gave him to his mother. Now fear seized them all, and they began to glorify God, saying: ‘A great prophet has been raised up among us,’ and, ‘God has turned his attention to his people.” – Luke 7:12-16. Notice how Jesus was moved with pity, so that he resurrected the widow’s son! Imagine what that portends for the future!

    This example was just a small foregleam of what Jesus will do in the very near future. Millions therefore can have the solid hope of seeing their loved ones alive again on earth but under very different circumstances. Yes, Jesus Christ promised that millions now dead will live again on this earth and have the prospect of remaining on it forever under peaceful, paradisaic conditions. May Dr. Roberts be among them.

    May the God of comfort be with you.

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