Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hundreds pay respects to beloved Tarpon Springs doctor

TARPON SPRINGS — Dr. Frederick Henry Roever saved his life.

It was 2001 and Vincent Marcionette was suffering from a heart condition known as the "widow maker." There's no pain, no symptoms, the heart just stops operating properly, said Marcionette, 71, of New Port Richey.

"Dr. Roever diagnosed it," said Marcionette, who had been a friend and patient for 30 years. "I was immediately taken to a cardiologist and then had double bypass surgery. When I awoke, it was Sept. 11. All those people died and I lived.

"But I would not be speaking to you today, if it wasn't for him, and a lot of people here have a story about how he helped them."

Marcionette was among hundreds of people lined up Tuesday at All Saints Episcopal Church to pay their respects to the man who touched many lives in the Tarpon Springs area and beyond.

Dr. Roever died Friday in a fire that gutted his million-dollar home at 1304 Belcher Drive, where he and his wife, Patricia, lived. He was 69.

Patricia Roever, 63, escaped the blaze and called 911 about 11:30 p.m. Thursday. Firefighters fought the blaze through the night, but couldn't get into the home to search for Dr. Roever until Friday afternoon because the structure was unstable.

His body was found on the second floor late that afternoon.

"Losing everything your father worked for makes you appreciate the outpouring of love from his friends and the community," said Dr. Roever's son, Christopher. "There is nothing. It's a double hit to lose someone who helped so many people and to lose your home."

Capt. Brandon A. Ball of the State Fire Marshal's Office said the fire was accidental.

"There was no indication of an incendiary fire," Ball said.

Ball wouldn't confirm the origin of the fire, but Dr. David Lindberg, a close family friend, said Patricia Roever told him the fire started with an electric blanket that was purchased about two years ago.

Electric blanket fires are not all that unusual.

Lorraine Carli, spokeswoman for the National Fire Protection Association, said that from 2003 to 2007, there were an average of 330 fires annually nationwide caused by electric blankets. For the same period, there were 14 deaths.

"We tell people to use only electric blankets listed by a testing laboratory," Carli said. "And discontinue use when cords become frayed or wires are exposed."

John Drengenberg, consumer safety director for Underwriters Laboratories, an independent organization that test products for safety, including the electric blanket, agreed.

"As soon as you see damage, especially with the cord, it's time to get rid of it," Drengenberg said.

Dr. Roever was drafted during the Vietnam War and earned the rank of captain. From 1968 to 1969, he served in Pleiku, Vietnam, as a battalion surgeon. He earned a Bronze Star, Air Medal, Combat Medical Badge and a Vietnamese Honor Medal.

In 1972, he and his wife moved to Tarpon Springs, where he became an integral part of the community. Until his death, he continued to practice medicine and even still made house calls.

Tuesday, Dr. Roever's casket was draped with the American flag. Resting on it was the brown doctor's bag he used his entire career, a stethoscope and his pager. Along with Patricia Roever's Bible and engagement ring, the items were found in the rubble of their former home.

News researcher Shirl Kennedy contributed to this article.

If you go

Funeral today at First United Methodist

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. today at the First United Methodist Church, 501 E Tarpon Ave., with procession to Cycadia Cemetery. A reception/dinner will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Spanos Pappas Community Center at 348 N Pinellas Ave.

Hundreds pay respects to beloved Tarpon Springs doctor 01/19/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, January 19, 2010 9:20pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Suspect arrested in fatal shooting of Virginia special agent


    RICHMOND, Va. — A Virginia State Police special agent died Saturday after being shot by a man sitting in a car in Richmond, police said. The shooting suspect fled on foot, sparking an overnight manhunt that ended with the man's arrest about an hour after the agent's death.

    This image provided by the Virginia State Police shows law enforcement investigating the scene of a shooting early Saturday in Richmond, Va.   Special Agent Michael T. Walter, a Virginia State Police special agent died Saturday after being shot by a man sitting in a car in Richmond, police said. The shooting suspect fled on foot, sparking an overnight manhunt that ended with the man's arrest about an hour after the agent's death. Virginia State Police said in an emailed statement that Travis A. Ball of Richmond is being held without bond on charges that include malicious wounding and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. (Virginia State Police via AP)
  2. Mayor Rick Kriseman says St. Petersburg mayoral election is about going forward, not back


    ST. PETERSBURG — Mayor Rick Kriseman christened his campaign office Friday evening by telling his supporters that the mayoral election was about moving forward, not backward.

    Mayor Rick Kriseman says mayoral election is about inclusiveness Friday at campaign office rally
  3. Forecast: Lots of sunshine, low humidity to start Memorial Day weekend


    The start of your long Memorial Day weekend is all sunshine this Saturday, according to WTSP 10Weather meteorologist Rick Kearbey.

    WTSP seven-day forecast on May 27, 2017.
  4. For starters: Rays at Twins, looking for another with Odorizzi starting


    UPDATE, 12:45: Cash said Robertson was taking better swings Friday and so he wanted to move him up today, liking the idea of having three straight right-handers vs. a LHP they don't know much about. ... Souza was still smiling this morning about his failed dive attempt last night, and the reaction it got. .. The …

  5. Global computer outage grounds British flights


    LONDON — British Airways canceled all flights from London's Heathrow and Gatwick airports Saturday as a global IT failure caused severe disruption for travelers on a busy holiday weekend.

    British Airways planes are parked at Heathrow Airport in January. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, file)