Thirty years ago, Roy Denning, a plumber in Eureka, was diagnosed with
skin cancer. Dr. Russel Pardoe came up from Stanford to help perform Roy’s surgery.
Over the years, Roy has had an enormously difficult battle. The cancer
spread, and he needed surgery multiple times. Through it all, Roy says,
Dr. Pardoe treated him with unceasing care and compassion.
“I had complete confidence in Dr. Pardoe’s ability and knowledge,
and I knew if anybody could pull me through my cancer ordeal, he could,” Roy said.
Dr. Pardoe soon grew to love the Eureka community, and joined the staff at
St. Joseph Hospital, Eureka
. He built a lasting legacy as an outstanding physician until his death
in 2011 at age 78.
Roy and his wife Jeanette have never forgotten the care Roy received from
Dr. Pardoe and St. Joseph Hospital.
“I felt like he really cared about me not just as a patient, but
more importantly as a person,” Roy said. “I appreciated the
fact that we had a hospital here in our community that could treat the
ailments I had.”
Last year, the couple decided to honor Dr. Pardoe. They donated $1.5 million
to St. Joseph Hospital’s cancer program to name the Russel Pardoe
Radiation Oncology Center.
What makes the Dennings’ gift more remarkable is the lifetime of
work that made it possible. Roy had been a plumber in Eureka for more
than 50 years. Jeanette worked in a local doctor’s office for 23
years. When Roy started working, he saved half his paycheck every week;
he and Jeanette continued their thrify ways after they got married.
Over the years, the money grew. Roy and Jeanette had two children, Wesley
and Sherri Ann, who both died under tragic circumstances. When Roy and
Jeanette thought about the years of care Roy had received from Dr. Pardoe,
they knew the best use for their money.
The physician’s family is moved by the Dennings’ tribute to
“He is still loved and remembered by his patients, co-workers, friends,
and family as a wonderful doctor and the finest of gentlemen,” the
Pardoe family said. “It only seems appropriate his name will adorn
the hospital where he loved to work, where he cared for so many, and where
he, too, received such wonderful care. Words cannot express our gratitude.”
For more information about St. Joseph Hospital, Eureka,