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Published: Friday, 3/18/2005

40-year B.G. physician also served as coroner

BOWLING GREEN - Dr. Roger Peatee, a retired physician, anesthesiologist, and former Wood County coroner who investigated the county's unusual deaths for more than 25 years, died Wednesday in Wood County Hospital. He was 86.

Dr. Peatee was injured in a fall at his condominium in Bradenton, Fla., in early February but family members did not know an exact cause of death. He was flown back to Wood County Hospital, where he was treated in recent days for pneumonia and a heart ailment.

Over the years, Dr. Peatee's medical practice led him to take on a number of responsibilities for treating patients.

A graduate of Western Reserve University medical school, Dr. Peatee was a family physician in Bowling Green for more than 40 years.

He was chief of anesthesiology at the Wood County Hospital and served as director of the Wood County Nursing Home, now known as Woodhaven Health Center.

A typical day for him would begin at the hospital assisting physicians as they prepared for surgery, Dr. Douglas S. Hess, former Wood County coroner who succeeded Dr. Peatee in 1989, said.

In the afternoon, Dr. Peatee treated patients in his private practice.

"He was a caring physician and worked hard for patients," Dr. Hess said.

As coroner, Dr. Peatee would have anywhere from 60 to 100 cases a year to investigate and issue rulings. Some required post-mortem examinations at the Wood County Hospital.

"He was always very straightforward and had the ability to get to the heart of the problem and focus on that," Dr. James Patrick, Lucas County coroner, said. "He was very attentive to his duties as coroner."

Dr. Peatee's wife, Dr. Marjorie Conrad, who had her own medical practice in Bowling Green, said her husband was a devoted physician.

"My husband was a man who didn't really have hobbies," she said. "Medicine was his main thing."

They both made house calls to visit patients up until they retired in 1991. "We were different," she said. "A patient was a patient. We took care of them day or night, snow or rain."

Dr. Peatee, as well as his wife, were pilots who flew themselves to professional meetings to keep abreast of advances in medicine.

"Roger started flying after he bought a plane from one of his patients who needed money," Dr. Conrad said.

He was past president of the American Academy of General Practitioners. In 1961, he served as president of the Ohio Academy of Family Physicians and was chief of staff of Wood County Hospital in the 1970s. He also was a former president of the Wood County Medical Society.

Born in Westhope, Ohio, he served in the Army Medical Corps during World War II. His first wife, Annabelle Peatee, died in 1961.

Surviving are his wife, Dr. Marjorie Conrad; sons, Douglas and Dennis; daughter, Ann Zimmerman; four grandchildren, and a great-grandson.

Services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Deck-Hanneman Funeral Home, where the body will be after 2 p.m. today.

The family suggests tributes to the Pre-Med and Allied Professions Scholarship Fund in care of Bowling Green State University.



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