House, Roy C.
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(July 11, 1917- June 12, 2013) Roy C. House, President Emeritus, Wesley Medical Center (WMC), and former President and CEO of WMC Wichita, KS from 1957-1981 passed away peacefully at home surrounded by his loving family on June 12, 2013 in Mesa, AZ. He was born on July 11, 1917 in West Liberty, Ohio, the son of the late Rev. Thomas and Myrtle McClellan House. The family moved often residing in several towns in Indiana and Ohio throughout Roy's youth. Roy earned an A.B. from the University of Evansville, Evansville, IN and worked his way from sales to management with General Foods in Evansville before choosing a career in the health field, earning a M.S. in Hospital Administration from Northwestern University. He also holds an honorary doctorate degree from Southwest College, Winfield, KS. His hospital career preceding Wesley included as Assistant Administrator at Samuel Merritt Hospital in Oakland, California, and Administrator/CEO positions in Texas and Indiana. Roy was a pioneer in the preventive healthcare field and in the development of computer-aided management. He and his Wesley management team were the first private hospital in the nation to develop a fully approved program in what was then the new specialty of Family Practice. Anyone who knew Roy knew of his strong passion for WMC's School of Nursing and its many graduates as well as other elements of WMC's 'Teaching Hospital' function and of his support of nonprofit hospitals. He was active in forming and promoting cooperative services between hospitals and, with colleagues, organized the Cooperative Association for Shared Services in 1974. He was a founding member of the Voluntary Hospital Association of America and active in the American College of Hospital Administrators where he was honored with a Fellowship and served on the Board of Governors. He also served as President of the Kansas Hospital Association and on several councils and committees of the American Hospital Association as well as at the local and statewide level including as President of the Kansas Blue Cross Plan. Roy was one of the longest serving Rotarians in the nation, with 72 years of active membership including several years with the Wichita Rotary Club. Roy was an antique car enthusiast owning and driving several Fords over the years including a Model T, Model A, '57 T-Bird, and a '63 Roadster. He enjoyed motorcycling, golf and road trips, including family vacations to all of the national parks and many international destinations. He was an active member of the First United Methodist Church (UMC) in Wichita for many years and a member of Red Mountain and Velda Rose UMCs in Mesa, AZ. Roy enjoyed speaking recently at the WMC Nurses' Alumni banquet September, 2012 in Wichita and to his Mesa East Rotary Club in March where he was recognized by the District Governor as a member of the Bequest Society in March, 2013. He led an active and full life which included laughing, reminiscing, and eating chocolates with family members up until the day he died. Roy was a beloved husband to Elizabeth Fritschle House from 1941 until her death in 1997 and later to Miriam Briggs Sefton House, whom he married in 1998 and survives him. He is also survived by son Dr. David House (Boel), Stockholm, Sweden, and daughter Janet Hartin Bush (Dr. Joseph Bush), Palm Springs and Santa Barbara, California, grandchildren Hillevi and Erik House and Stephanie Hartin, stepsons James and Stephen Sefton, and several step-grandchildren and step-great grandchildren, and nieces and nephews. He will be sorely missed by all. A service will be held in Fall, 2013 in Mesa. Donations in Roy's honor (Mesa East Rotary Club) can be made to the Rotary Foundation, 14280 Collections Center Drive, Chicago, IL 60693 (or phone 866-9ROTARY) or online at http://www.rotary.org/en/Contribute/WaysToGive/memorial_tribute_gifts/Pages/ridefault.aspx.
Published in The Arizona Republic on June 23, 2013