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Royal Rotter

Published On: Feb 24 2013 06:51:24 PM CST

Madison - Royal Rotter, age 88, died peacefully at home on February 20, 2013. He was born in Milwaukee on June 19, 1924, the sixth of eight children, to Louis and Sarah Rotter. He graduated from Washington High School in 1942, then came to the University of Wisconsin in Madison. Fast-tracked by the U.S. Army, he received his BS degree in 1945 and his MD in 1947. He interned at Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago and took his residency in internal medicine at University Hospital in Madison, 1949-1952. He married Muriel Sweet of Madison on April 6, 1952. During the Korean War he served as Captain in the Army Medical Corps and Chief of Medicine at Fort Lawton, Washington--having narrowing missed assignment to the Hanford, Washington plutonium production site. He returned to Madison and, from 1955-1985, had a private practice in internal medicine at 1901 Monroe Street. He served simultaneously on the Clinical Faculty at the UW Medical School, and was for several years Chief of Medicine at Madison General (now Meriter) Hospital. In 1985 he joined Physicians Plus on Park Street, retiring from practice in 1990, though he continued to do physical exams at the Veterans Hospital for another ten years. He was a Diplomat of the American Board of Internal Medicine and a Fellow of the American College of Physicians.

Roy was a member of Temple Beth El and served as its vice president. Long after his retirement he remained active in the Madison medical community, frequently attending workshops and seminars on new findings in his field. He felt deprived of a liberal arts education during his science-heavy college years in Madison, so he used his time in retirement to audit classes on U.S. history and European art at the University of Wisconsin. Never a research scientist, he nevertheless co-authored an early article (1953) on the manifestation of sickle cell anemia symptoms in African-American soldiers who flew across the country in unpressurized airplanes on their way to Korea. He loved hosting parties, travelling, puttering in his garden, eating good food, and, most of all, spending time with his family.

He is survived by his beloved wife Muriel, his brother Merton, of Milwaukee, his children Andrew (Hamilton NY), Sari (Brookline, MA), and Nancy (Roslindale, MA) and their spouses, and five grandchildren.

Services will be held at 11:00 a.m., on Monday February 25, 2013 at Temple Beth El, 2702 Arbor Dr., Madison. Burial will be at Forest Hill Cemetery, Madison, following the services.

Donations may be made to Temple Beth El, Jewish Social Services of Madison, the UW Comprehensive Cancer Center, or AGrace Hospice.

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