Dr. Roger Parsons has been a pillar in the St. James community for almost sixty years. There isn’t a person in the area who hasn’t been impacted in some way by Parsons, his name is recognizable and was even honored with a street named for him near the Mayo Clinic in St. James, but it is his personality that lives on in the memories of his friends and family.
“He was my doctor for more than 50 years,” says current Mayor Gary Sturm. “Always caring, always willing to take time to listen to any medial concerns.”
This is a sentiment echoed by everyone – that Parsons was always there to listen. He was a doctor who never rushed an appointment and always took the time to care. Many in the community have reached out to comment this week, stressing the caring spirit and faithful dedication of Dr. Parsons.
Parsons and his partner, Dr. Keith Moulton, moved to St. James on July 5, 1954. Moulton and Parsons moved into the newly decorated and modernized office on the second floor of the First National Bank formerly occupied by Dr. Bregel and later Dr. Hedlund. Moulton and Parsons later (1959) built a new medical building where they stayed for the next 51 years.
Parsons was instrumental in the process of building St. James first hospital. Parsons commented in a retirement article in the Plaindealer that the opening of the St. James Hospital in 1958 was a n important event in his career. Current Director of the Mayo Clinic in St. James had this to say:
“The passing of Dr. Roger Parsons leaves a void in the hearts and minds of all of us working in health care in the St. James area. His tenure in our local healthcare landscape and patient-centered approach to his work will long be remembered and emulated. He leaves a legacy of dedication and service to patients, their families, our organization and this community.
"His 56-year partnership with Dr. Keith Moulton in St. James brought high-quality health care close to countless people spanning three generations. He truly made a difference in the lives of so many people and we acknowledge and appreciate his impact on the local medical community. He will be greatly missed, but his legacy will remain with us for many, many years.
"We are proud of our association and friendship with Dr. Parsons and we are keeping his family and friends in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.”
Parsons also spent time as an Alderman and Mayor of St. James. He truly cared for the community and the people of the community.
“Doc Parsons was always active in the community and willing to give of his time for improvements and events in our community,” said Mayor Sturm.
Page 2 of 2 - His caring spirit was recognized when in 1999 Parsons and Moulton were selected for the first-ever state Rural Health Team Award.
The community would have been lucky to have Parsons’ even for a short period, but were truly blessed when he and his partner decided to settle down and change the lives of thousands through their special and rare dedication to the St. James area.
“He was a very unique person, a fun guy to be around,” said Parsons’ long time receptionist Beth Stradtman. “He loved to read and he would share everything he read. He was a person who read every magazine or newspaper he got from top to bottom.”
Condolences and comments can be shared online at www.sturmfh.com
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