Name:   Dr. Roy Foster Roberts

From:  Unknown, Asheville, North Carolina
Date:  November 2002

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.

Military honors will be provided by the Buncombe County Veterans Council Memorial Team at Green Hills Cemetery.