December 14, 1935 - May 7, 2022
Dr. Robert Sidney Wilroy, Jr., age 86, of Memphis, Tennessee passed away Saturday morning, May 7 in Memphis. Sid was born in Jackson, Mississippi, December 14, 1935 to Erle Ivy and Robert Sidney Wilroy. He married Lynn Nebhut on July 24,1965, and they were inseparable for 57 years. He also leaves behind his son, Robert Sidney Wilroy III, his daughter Ivy Wilroy Caravati (Charles Martin), and his grandsons Charles Martin Caravati IV, Robert Sidney Caravati, and Thomas Ivy Caravati. “Doc Sid” will also be missed greatly by his cousins, in-laws, nieces, and nephews, as well as many others whom he considered family. When Sid was young, his family of three moved from Jackson, MS to Memphis, TN. There are many tales of his childhood adventures on Mosby Road in Whitehaven, especially neighborhood football games. With his Lawson cousins, Sid grew up calling in ducks and fishing, working at summer camps, and getting in trouble. After he graduated from Whitehaven High School in 1953, he received a grant and worked his way through Vanderbilt University. At Vanderbilt, he was called to two different professions—ministry and medicine. As a physician Sid accomplished both by ministering to his patients, their families, and his medical students. Sid was President of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, where he left his mark as zoo-keeper of Nero the Lion. After graduating from Vanderbilt in 1957, he went with friends to Yellowstone, WY, where he played in a band, took a job cleaning, and caught trout. Sid attended medical school at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC), where he was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society and graduated in 1960. He completed a Pediatric Internship at Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis Children’s Hospital; his Pediatric Residency was completed at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital and Memphis City Hospital. He was then awarded a two-year USPHS postdoctoral fellowship in Pediatric Endocrine and Metabolic Diseases at UTHSC. Sid was Captain in the US Army Reserve 330th from March 1961 to July, 1969. At UTHSC, Sid joined the Department of Pediatrics in 1967 as part of the consulting group in nephrology, endocrinology and metabolism, and genetics. He became Full Professor of Pediatrics and Child Development in 1979 and then Division Chief of Genetics from 1984-1990. He was the Director of the National Foundation Medical Service Program for Birth Defects and served as Chief of Medicine at LeBonheur in 1975. Among his many certifications and Medical Society memberships, he was President of the Memphis and Mid-South Pediatric society, a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Society of Human Genetics. He was inducted into the Society of Sigma XI and was a founding member of the American College of Medical Genetics. He received numerous honors, including many Golden Apple and Excellence in Teaching awards and the Etteldorf Pediatric Alumni Award. His medical students loved and revered him, and he was a favorite to speak at Medical School graduations. In 2021 Sid received the Outstanding Alumnus Award from the UT College of Medicine. Sid published at least 25 book chapters, wrote 86 journal articles, and presented over 168 papers. He was a visiting professor throughout the US, as well as in Central America, South America, and Europe. Sid was extremely proud of helping form and serving on the TN State-Wide Maternal and Child Health Genetics Advisory Committee which created a genetic screening program that continues to serve children in Tennessee today. Until retirement at 80, he continued to practice clinical genetics at Le Bonheur and advise anyone who called with medical—or any of life’s questions. After retirement Sid spent most of his time at Cape San Blas, FL in his pottery studio where he recycled found objects and even elk clavicles into indescribable sculptures. He shared this space not only with fellow artists, son Sid and wife Lynn, but with his grandchildren and family and friends when they visited. He had an extraordinary imagination. No professional or artistic accomplishment can capture the actual impact that Sid had on this earth. Many people looked to him for spiritual guidance, advice, and sponsorship, and he nurtured and maintained his relationships with people far and wide through calls, texts, and social media. Everyone treasures the watercolor cards he was so thoughtful about sending. He was truly a Renaissance Man - a watercolor artist, potter, guitarist, singer, writer, and friend of Bill. He loved nature, calling ducks, hunting winged animals, and fishing, especially with his grandchildren, family, and friends. All will remember his favorite sayings “Listen to the Great Spirit,” “Thank you, Lord,” and “Just say the serenity prayer.” Services will be held at 11:00 am on Monday, May 16 at The Memphis Botanic Garden, and a reception will follow. In lieu of flowers the family wishes that donations be made to Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in memory of Dr. Sid Wilroy at lebonheur.org.
Dr. Robert Sidney Wilroy, Jr., age 86, of Memphis, Tennessee passed away Saturday morning, May 7 in Memphis. Sid was born in Jackson, Mississippi, December 14, 1935 to Erle Ivy and Robert Sidney Wilroy. He married Lynn Nebhut on July 24,1965,... View Obituary & Service Information
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