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William T. Roark Sr

1859 - 1931

Watertown Gazette, 03 05 1931


William T. Roark Sr, a well-known Watertown resident, died in a Madison hospital last Saturday, where he had been taking treatment since February 3, 1931.  He was born in Flint, Michigan, son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Michael Roark.  His wife, whose maiden name was Miss Mary Bub, daughter of Mrs. and the late Leo Bub of this city, survives him, also four children, Miss Mary and William Roark Jr of this city, Mrs. Francis Callahan of Juneau, and Mrs. Sylvester Thoma of Lowell, also four grandchildren.  Tuesday morning his funeral took place from St. Henry’s Catholic Church and the interment was in St. Henry’s Cemetery.



Madison, Wis  - Revived after heart action and breathing had stopped, William Roark was alive here early yesterday for more than 30 minutes and long enough to receive the last rites of his church.


The story told by the Rev. Father Peter Pritzel combines the magic of modern science and the mysticism of the church into a weird narrative affecting the body and soul of a dying man.  William Roark was at a hospital near death.  About midnight February 28, his condition took a sharp downward course, accompanied by some mental confusion.  Shortly afterwards no indication of heart action could be detected either in pulse or with a stethoscope.  Respiration had stopped.  Although doctors do not declare a patient dead until five minutes after the heart stops beating, the man was considered beyond aid.


After determining that the patient had succumbed the doctor on duty secured an injection of adrenalin, powerful heart stimulant, and with a long needle injected it into the man’s heart.  At the same time caffeine was injected into the muscles.  There was an immediate reaction, the heart started beating, and respiration was resumed.


The Rev. Father Pritzel was summoned to administer extreme unction and arrived in time to anoint the man in the last rites of the Catholic Church.  Roark lived for some time, and again died.  This method of reviving people who have died is not a new one, but it is seldom that it succeeds under such unusual circumstances.


Cross reference:


Roark, William   1913, 206 First, saloon

Roark, William   1909, 308 E Main, saloon

Roark, William 1905c, 308 E Main, signage