Dr. Roy William Overton, Jr., 90, passed away Sunday, February 16th, 2020 at Arbor Springs in West Des Moines. Visitation will be from 4-7pm, Thursday Feb 20th at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in West Des Moines; a Rosary service will follow immediately after visitation. Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated on Friday, February 21st at 10:30am, at Sacred Heart. Burial will be at the Glendale Cemetery.
Dr. Overton is survived by his loving wife Mary Lou (Froehlich) Overton, children Dr. Roy Overton III (Mary Jo) of WDM, Rex Overton (Dee) of Burnsville MN, Dr. Patricia Overton-Keary of WDM, Theresa Petersen of WDM, Linda Filby (Jay) of WDM, Matthew Overton (Elena) of WDM, and Meredith Otis (Josh) of Clive; step children Sharon Mitchell (Frederick Farmer) of Sarasota FL, Denise Haugh (Craig) of WDM, Charles Mitchell (Lin) of Ft. Wayne, IN, Debbie Panella (Gerald) of Mequon, WI, and Carla Stuber (Paul) of WDM. He also leaves behind over 65 grand and great-grandchildren, two sisters Mariam Todd of DSM and Mildred Floyd (Steven) of DSM.
Doc was born Sept 28th, 1929 and lived most of his life in Des Moines. He attended North High School, Drake University, and obtained his MD degree in 1954 from the U of Iowa Medical School where he was Phi Beta Kappa. He specialized in Family Practice and Geriatrics. Medicine was his passion and it allowed him to make an impact on the lives of many in the Des Moines area, including the delivery of hundreds of children across our community. He loved his patients dearly and wept at his retirement in 1996.
He was extremely proud of his time in the US Public Health Service where he lived on the Papago Reservation in the Arizona desert, notably diagnosing trachoma among the residents and initiating the World Health Organization’s efforts there to prevent childhood blindness. He often joked of his knack for “delivering babies by flashlight” during his time there.
He loved the Iowa Hawkeyes, ham radio, hunting, fishing and world travel, including trips to the Artic Circle and the Amazon River. His life-long passion for protecting our natural resources was clear with his involvement in the Izaak Walton League. He served as state president of the Ikes, and worked at the Iowa Environmental Council as a volunteer lobbyist promoting clean air, water and ethics in hunting and fishing. He also spearheaded the creation of the “Save Our Streams” program and his contributions will continue to benefit many generations.
He was preceded in death by his father Roy Sr., mother Clara May Hansen; daughter Dorothy Overton; four infant children, Luke, Joseph, Francis and Beatrice; sisters Margaret Overton and Delores Fath; and brother Alvin Overton. Memorials may be made in his name to the Izaak Walton League of Iowa, Sacred Heart Catholic Church, or ALZ.org
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