Morris Hospital Medical Staff Honors Retired Physician
May 24, 2021, MORRIS, IL – A new, permanent structure on display just outside the entrance to the Family Birthing Suites at Morris Hospital honors one of the most well-respected, dedicated physicians in Morris Hospital’s long history, Dr. John Roth, Jr. Initiated by the Morris Hospital Medical Staff, the Dr. John Roth, Jr. bust honors and thanks a legendary physician who retired in 2015 after faithfully serving Morris Hospital and the community for 43 years.
“It is without doubt to anyone that Dr. Roth is worthy of this honor,” said Dr. Joseph Kokoszka, who currently serves as Vice President of the Medical Staff at Morris Hospital. “Sometimes we stand back and allow life and time to go on without giving the respect that people deserve. Dr. Roth has more than earned this honor. More importantly, we, the community, were the fortunate recipients of a great gift in having Dr. Roth touch us in so many ways. This recognition has been long overdue.”
Dr. Roth truly has been an important fixture in the community his entire life. His family legacy is entrenched in Morris, starting with his grandmother who ran a very successful bakery during the depression that provided food and jobs to the local community. His father, Dr. John Roth, Sr., served in World War II as a physician and then returned home to Morris and joined the staff at Morris Hospital where he served for more than three decades. A bust dedicated to Dr. John Roth, Sr., is on display outside the ICU at Morris Hospital.
In a similar pattern, Dr. John Roth, Jr., went to Vietnam as a physician, returned to the U.S. to train in Obstetrics and Gynecology, and chose to practice at Morris Hospital his entire career.
“Dr. Roth had many opportunities and could have chosen to practice anywhere, but he chose his home town,” said Dr. Kokoszka. “He brought with him skills that he amassed from his training during his service to our country and his residency.”
Among his physician colleagues, Dr. Roth is a true icon to all who had the opportunity to practice with him. Dr. Erik Muraskas joined Dr. Roth in his office in 2010 and calls him a “treasure.”
“He gave his entire life to Morris Hospital and the community,” said Dr. Muraskas. “He’s empathetic, compassionate, level-headed, and skilled. I’ve had former patients of his tell me about the time he sat by their bedside all night when they were very ill. If I called him in the middle of the night to ask him to assist me with surgery, he’d say, ‘On my way.’ There will never be anyone else like him. He was the whole package. He loved being a physician and dedicated his entire life to the profession.”
Dr. Kokoszka also recalled Dr. Roth’s availability and willingness to lend a hand to other physicians on the Medical Staff, regardless of the specialty.
“He was always willing to listen and help all those he encountered, inside or outside of the hospital,” said Dr. Kokoska. “He has served as a mentor and inspiration to many residents of the Morris community. His drive has no bounds, as does his kindness and good actions toward others. We all feel fortunate to have the honor of serving with him.”
Dr. Kokoszka pointed out how fitting it is that the metal used in the commemorative bust was mined in Morris, just like Dr. Roth.
“His family and their values forged him,” Dr. Kokoszka added. “His values were tempered by his service in Vietnam, only to be honed in his training. And like a fine piece of metal, Dr. Roth was tested and found to be true during his service and acts of unrelenting service to the community.”
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