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 Roy “Jake” Gatian, Jr

Roy “Jake” Gatian, Jr

Rosemont, Taylor County, West Virginia, USA
Death 14 Jul 2011 (aged 78)
Americus, Sumter County, Georgia, USA
Burial Americus, Sumter County, Georgia, USA
Memorial ID 77649601 · View Source
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Roy was a smart, hard working child. Born in Rosemont, the family moved to Morgantown after the death of Roy's little brother, Bobby. Roy started his first job, a paper route, around 6 or 7 years of age. A gifted baseball player, Roy was often "hired" to pitch for the local teams. One of the few to take a college prep track in high school, he was destined to take a path other than the difficult and dangerous family tradition of coal mining.

After just one semester of college at WVU, the Army called. At the conclusion of basic training, Roy got word that he was being assigned to the Intelligence Corps in occupied Germany. He went to the detailer and attempted to trade his spot in Germany with the spot of a married soldier who was being sent to Korea. His request was denied.

His time in Germany taught him a lot about focus, determination and what he wanted out of life. He returned home with a new vision for his future. He had been home less than two days when he met a beautiful young nurse at WVU homecoming festivities. He and Peggy never parted after that first meeting.

The following September, they were married at All Saint's Church in Masontown, PA. After Roy graduated from West Virginia University in Morgantown and then Physical Therapy School in Houston, Texas, they returned to the Morgantown, WV and Uniontown, PA area (Here he was a Boy Scout leader for disabled scouts). Those jobs led to St. John's hospital in Steubenville, Ohio (Where they were very active in Cursillo) and eventually to Americus, GA (Where he led a BSA Medical Explorer Post.) He and Peggy were avid motorcyclists and took many trips with friends and camped often in the mountains. Along the way, they raised three beautiful children who miss them very much.

Roy was a great Father. He took us camping, shoveled horse manure a lot longer than most dads would have, cheered us on at swim meets, piano recitals(reluctantly), dance recitals, football games, scouts, photography, art, show choir and band concerts, sorority intramural and everything else we tried out during our growing up years. College kids moving apartments again, No problem! He and Peggy put everything into their family and made us believe that we were the "richest" family ever.

Professionally, he excelled. He became one of the leading authorities in Geriatric Physical Therapy in the US. He was the founder and first editor of the APTA Geriatric Section Newsletter. He founded multiple PT departments including, Americus Hospital, Magnolia Manor- Americus, Palmyra Park Hospital-Albany and Easter Seals-Albany. Peggy eventually left floor nursing to work with Roy and together they founded their own Rehab Agency.

His retirement was not idle. They spent their time between Americus, the north Georgia mountains and Ormond Beach, Fl. Indulging in his hobbies of car restoration and playing with Motorcycles made him happy.

He and Peggy made the most of their time with their grandchildren, loving them unconditionally and spoiling them rotten. More than that, they gave us all morals, ethics, empathy and the desire to succeed and help others along the way. They taught us the "The Way it has always been" is not always "The way it should be"!

He never drew a really happy breath after Peggy died. Grief, necessary surgeries and a failure to thrive took their toll and he followed her 25 months and two days later. Now they are together forever.

Husband of Peggy Rehanek Gatian. Also predeceased by Mother, Father and brother, Bobby.

US Army during the Korean Conflict
Served in occupied Germany

Family Members


  • Created by: MGA & BCA
  • Added: 5 Oct 2011
  • Find A Grave Memorial 77649601
  • MGA & BCA
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Roy “Jake” Gatian, Jr (6 Mar 1933–14 Jul 2011), Find A Grave Memorial no. 77649601, citing Oak Grove Cemetery, Americus, Sumter County, Georgia, USA ; Maintained by MGA & BCA (contributor 47433650) .