Deceased July 29, 2018

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In Memory

As a freshman at Amherst, Bob McRoberts was very busy, earning his numerals in football, basketball and golf. Thereafter, he joined Phi Alpha Psi, majored in English, won three varsity letters in golf and was a member of the DQ.

After a stint in the National Guard, he worked in Manhattan as a ship broker until a “change of heart” led him to Yale Medical School (1966), followed by his surgical internship at St. Luke’s Hospital (N.Y.) and a four-year orthopedic fellowship at the Mayo Clinic. In our 50th reunion book, he wrote poignantly about his service in 1969 as a civilian orthopedic surgeon in Vietnam, where he treated the devastating wounds suffered from landmines by women and children. His sensitivity to the needs of imperiled peoples had been honed during medical school by a 10-week foreign fellowship at the Mission Hospital in Ganta, Liberia. His 25th reunion message emphasized his involvement in countless musical activities, including participating in many musicals and in the New Mexico Symphony Chorus, and his commitment to golf, where he reported a 69 score! By 2010 he reported the onset of Parkinson’s, which ended his surgical practice, but he remained a consulting physician and instructed orthopedic residents at the VA Clinic in Albuquerque.

Bob wrote that the “saddest day of my life” was when Judi Spielman, his wife and mother of his three sons, died from leukemia in 1988 at age 42. He reflected upon that experience in a 2004 article “A Piece of My Mind” in JAMA. He married Patty Anderson in 1996, combining her four children with his sons—Ian, Tate and Judd—in a much larger family.

Bob died on July 29 from heart failure and Parkinson’s disease.

Dick Weisfelder ’60

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