Dr. Roy Foster Roberts
From: Unknown, Asheville, North Carolina
Dr. Roy F. Roberts, 94, died Sunday, November 17, 2002, at the Rickman Center,
Baptist Home, in Asheville.
Date: November 2002
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,
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.
Military honors will be provided by the Buncombe County Veterans Council
Memorial Team at Green Hills Cemetery.