Bob Roth was born in Colfax, Washington, on March 1, 1935, to Fern and AJ Roth. He passed away in Fairbanks on July 12, 2021.
In the years between he led a full life. As a child he moved to Hot Lake, Oregon, when his family bought a large facility that was used as a nursing home and vacation site. He graduated from high school in La Grande, Oregon, in 1953. He started college at Eastern Oregon College and finished his undergraduate degree at the University of Oregon. In 1960 he graduated from the University of Oregon Medical School. He did his internship in Sacramento. On Jan. 1, while he was in his first year of residency in Sacramento, he received a draft notice. He was to report to Fort Sam Houston on Jan. 10. In March he began work at Bassett Hospital on Fort Wainwright.
During his first year of college he met Mardee Hanson. They were married in December of 1956, during his first year of medical school. When he was sent to Alaska the plan was to stay for 18 months. However, he loved Alaska, so extended until they told him he had to get out of the Army or go to another base. The Army would give you a free move back to your home state within a year. That was the plan when they put everything in their riverboat and rented a one bedroom house off Birch Lane. They had three little boys so they built a triple level, youth size bunk bed for the boys and slept on a hide-a-bed in the living room. That fall a neighbor came to collect money for another neighbor that plowed snow. Later in the winter, the first neighbor's family decided to go outside for the winter and came over to see if they would like to rent their bigger house. They were delighted and the thought of returning to Oregon ended.
When the 1967 flood came the owners decided to sell the property and build their dream house down river. The Roths bought the house and have enjoyed their many years of living there. After his years at Bassett, Bob didn't feel he needed to finish a residency, so began to practice medicine when he was discharged. This continued until retirement. He maintained friendships with many former patients and loved it when he connected with a person he had delivered.
Bob had always been a hunter. He met a student at the University of Alaska, where he worked some, and they started wolf hunting. The student was a pilot. Bob bought a plane and the two of them had many adventures. There were sheep hunts with the kids and friends. He once hunted in Africa with his dad and visited relatives in Switzerland on the way home. The riverboat was a part of his life until the end. Whether it was looking for beaver on the Chena or running the Yukon 800 he enjoyed being on the water. He loved trips to Paxson, Gulkana, Valdez and Becky Lake. Also many winter trips to Hawaii and adventures in the motorhome. He kept bees for most of his time in Alaska. Mardee's folks taught them to play bridge in college and they enjoyed it until the end. In recent years they played duplicate.
Bob leaves behind his wife and six children, Mike, Bill, Jim, Ben, Andy and Katie. He has nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
A celebration of life will be held Saturday, Aug. 21, 2021, in the family yard off of Birch Lane. We will start gathering at 2 o'clock. The exact nature of the event will be influenced by the weather but we would welcome people to share stories, and food if they'd like. There will be carrot cake and s'mores.
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Published by Daily News-Miner on Aug. 9, 2021.