DR. ROGER LEE SMITHPETER Dr. Roger Lee Smithpeter was born April 5, 1932, in Geary, OK, the only child of Delmar and Ruby Smithpeter. After Delmar's untimely death in 1933, Roger was raised by his beloved grandmother, Madge Shawver. He attended high school in Los Angeles, CA, where he developed an encyclopedic knowledge of tropical fish and lectured at the LA Aquarium. He attended college at UCLA and the University of Oklahoma. He later joined the US Navy, serving as a Lieutenant on a destroyer in the Pacific during the Korean Conflict. Roger married Ruthann Noret and fathered two sons, Mark and David Fairbairn. Following their divorce, Roger attended medical school at the University of Oklahoma. He successfully completed a pyramid surgical residency program in CA at Santa Barbara Cottage and County Hospitals, where he met his second wife, Jeanne Roos, whom he married in 1967. They relocated to Santa Fe, NM, in 1968, and had three children, Colin, Tracy, and Margaret Smithpeter. Roger served the people of New Mexico for more than 30 years as a talented general and vascular surgeon. His family is proud of the many lives he saved and bettered. He had a lifelong interest in art, fine clothing and interior design. In his retirement, Roger was an avid news watcher, enjoyed OU college football, participating in medical and political committees, and studying Buddhist philosophy. Roger died peacefully December 27, 2013, with family present following a long-standing respiratory illness. In addition to his five children, he leaves behind daughter-in-law Fleur Smithpeter and two grandchildren, Ian and Arden Smithpeter. Roger's wit, intelligence and Okie charm will be missed by all who knew and loved him. A private family service was held. In lieu of flowers, donations to Doctors Without Borders or the American Red Cross in his honor would be appreciated.
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Published in Santa Fe New Mexican on Jan. 1, 1900