Longtime Alaska resident Dr. Frank A. Rothgery III died February 12, 2009, from natural causes, with his mother, Karen M. Rothgery, of Fairbanks, and loving companion, Betsy Peratrovich, of Anchorage, at his side. He was 46.
Dr. Rothgery was born June 8, 1962, in Bishop, California, and had lived in Anchorage since arriving on his eighth birthday. Upon his graduation from Dimond High School, Dr. Rothgery obtained degrees in Sociology and Psychology and went on to graduate from Western States Chiropractic College, in Portland, Oregon, before returning to Anchorage. While attending college he held a variety of jobs, including working as a border patrol agent at Poker Creek, Alaska, on the "Top of the World Highway." At the time of his death, he was the owner of Rothgery Chiropractic and The Waiting Room Espresso & Tea Shop.
Dr. Rothgery thoroughly enjoyed traveling. While still in high school he made several trips to Spain. After graduating, he embarked on an 18,000-mile, several-month-long motorcycle tour of the United States with his father Frank A. Rothgery. In later years, he traveled to Thailand, Mexico and many locations in the Lower 48. When his father became ill while working in South Korea, Dr. Rothgery spent several weeks in Gwang-Ju. During this time his father's friend, Byung cheol Yu, opened his home and his heart to Dr. Rothgery and became his close friend.
An avid hockey player with a whimsical sense of humor, Dr. Rothgery's business motto was "Beat em and Treat em" and his hockey jersey sported the name "Patient Maker." Dr. Rothgery enjoyed sword fighting, cooking, fast cars, fishing on the Russian River, music, reading, movies, learning and helping people, and occasionally a good cigar. He could build or fix almost anything, having been taught to do so by his father. He looked forward to his weekday "solve the world's problem" lunches with his long-time friend, Bruce A. McCurtain, of Eagle River. Recently, he began writing the first in a series of books dealing with the discovery of a hidden, primitive society. The series focused on efforts to enhance that society's quality of life while preserving and protecting it from modern influences.
Dr. Rothgery lived his life with integrity, goodness and grace. He was fiercely loyal to his family and loved ones. Although in many respects a warrior, Dr. Rothgery had a big heart and was gentle, sincere and caring. He was a natural helper and loved to assist people in finding the strength of their own characters and hearts so that they could solve their own problems. A true Christian, he was generous to all he encountered and never asked for anything in return. Dr. Rothgery willingly treated many patients who could not afford his services. He will be remembered not only as a doctor, but as a healer. In his final act of love, Dr. Rothgery gave the gift of life to others as an organ donor. "Although his life was short, he made a positive impact and left this world a better place. He will be greatly missed."
Dr. Rothgery's family and loved ones would like to express their heartfelt appreciation for the compassion extended by Providence Alaska Medical Center's Adult Critical Care staff, and for the loving support given by his friends Bruce A. McCurtain and Erik R. Johnson.
Besides his mother and his companion, Dr. Rothgery is survived by his beloved daughter Stormey M. Rothgery, of Anchorage, whom he delivered; sister Jessica Rothgery, of Salem, Oregon; step-father Mark E. Ellingson, of Fairbanks; numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, nephews and nieces, including cousin Douglas B. Gates, of Portland, Oregon, whom he regarded as a brother; and his former wife, Marcia M. Maxwell, of Anchorage. He was preceded in death by his father and his infant brother Bradd L. Rothgery.
A celebration of life will be held from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 28, at Rothgery Chiropractic, 545 West Fireweed Lane. In lieu of flowers, Dr. Rothgery's friends are asked to share their memories and photographs of him so that a scrapbook may be assembled. For those who are unable to attend, these items may be sent to Rothgery Memorial Scrapbook, c/o 4723 Melvin Ave., Anchorage, AK 99517.
Dr. Rothgery's ashes will be spread by his family and loved ones at special locations they shared together, including the Russian River.
Arrangements are with Evergreen Memorial Chapel.
Published in Alaska Dispatch News from Feb. 22 to Feb. 23, 2009