Humberto "Bert" Alfonso Arriaga, M. D. died on Tuesday, March 19, 2013. He was born January 13, 1931 in Tela, Honduras, and came to the U.S. at age 13 to attend high school in Mississippi knowing only Spanish. He overcame that challenge and graduated in 3 years as the valedictorian. He went on to complete his B. S. in Zoology at LSU in Baton Rouge and was selected for early admission to Tulane Medical School in New Orleans. He received his medical degree in 1957 and after completing his residency in General Surgery in 1963 he moved his family to Baton Rouge. During his years in practice he became a member of the American Society of Bariatric Physicians and was an innovator in the field of Bariatric Surgery caring for many patients as they successfully met there lifelong goals of weight loss and improved health. He retired from his surgery practice in 2001, but due to his great love for medicine and desire to care for people he continued clinical practice until he had to retire due to his health in June 2010. He will always be remembered for his wonderful smile, great sense of humor and personality. He was devoted to his wife and family as well as his many patients. He loved to fish, hunt, dance, and of course, his LSU sports. He was known by many in the operating room as "Dr. Tremendous" as he faithfully upheld his oath as a physician caring for all his patients above and beyond the call of duty. He was a man of faith, honesty, integrity and wisdom; he was a great model to all, especially to his children and grandchildren. He will be dearly missed by so many. We know he is happy once again as he joins his loving wife, Perla "Pearl" Taylor Arriaga who preceded him in death January 30, 2011. He was also preceded in death by his parents, Moises Arriaga-Narbeiz and Florinda Arriaga de Tinoco; 2 brothers, Efrain and Tulio Arriaga. He is survived by his daughter and son, Lydia and Al; 3 grandchildren, Cory, Robert and Mrs. Aly; 1 sister, Julia Virginia Arriaga; 3 brothers, Moises Augusto, Cristobal and Arturo Ruben Arriaga. Our deepest gratitude to Dr. Leo Blaize, Dr. Abi and the E.R. staff at Our Lady of the Lake, St. Clare Manor and St. Joseph Hospice staff for their special care and attention. Visitation at Resthaven Funeral Home, 11817 Jefferson Hwy, Monday, March 25, 2013 from 5-8pm; Visitation at Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church, 445 Marquette Ave on Tuesday, March 26, 2013 from 9 a.m. until Memorial Mass at 1030 a.m. Inurnment will follow at Resthaven Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers please consider donations in the deceased name for research to the Alzheimers Services of the Capital Area, send checks to 3772 North Blvd, Baton Rouge LA 70806, www.alzbr.org or Tulane Cancer Center, send checks to Dr. Oliver Sartor-Tulane Prostate Cancer Research, Tulane Medical School, 1430 Tulane Avenue SL-42, New Orleans, LA 70112.
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Published in The Advocate from Mar. 22 to Mar. 26, 2013