A tribute to Donald Eugene Roy, M.D., 1935-2020
Donald Eugene Roy, M.D.
As a young teenager in the early 1970s, I met a maverick. At that point in my life I did not know how one would define a maverick, but I knew great men existed. And I knew Don Roy was one of them.
I was raised in a family with the utmost respect for the military, as my father was a corpsman in the Pacific during World War II. When Frank Bertolucci and Don Roy first met, theirs was an instant bond—a bond of brothers of different times, yet similar circumstances. This bond I shared as well.
When his tour of duty as the lone combat eye surgeon with the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps in Da Nang, Vietnam, ended, Dr. Roy moved to Fresno. He began his tenure with the Eye Medical Center of Fresno in 1974. He was the first subspecialty-trained retina specialist in the Central Valley, and he brought with him a new level of expertise from his training at the prestigious Wills Eye Hospital of Philadelphia. His arrival paved the way for numerous ophthalmologists with higher levels of training, elevating the quality of care in Fresno.
Dr. Roy’s stellar career spanned close to forty years at the Eye Medical Center of Fresno. While providing care to patients locally, he continued to serve the military men and women he loved. He ultimately was promoted to the rank of Two-Star Admiral in 1987 until his retirement from the U.S. Navy in 1994.
Dr. Roy was a proud and loving father and husband. He leaves behind the love of his life, Linda, five children, and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren whom he loved unconditionally. His legacy is unparalleled as a disciple of God, nurturing family man, healer, teacher, and soldier.
As Douglas MacArthur eloquently stated, “Old soldiers never die; they just fade away.” Don Roy will be missed, but never forgotten.
George Bertolucci, M.D.
Eye Medical Center of Fresno