Dr. Edgar Herbert Rossheim

by | Jan 28, 2013 | Obituaries

Williamsburg, Va.—Dr. Edgar Herbert Rossheim, 80, died on January 18, 2013 of respiratory failure after years of declining health.

A native of Portsmouth, Va., Dr. Rossheim practiced internal medicine and cardiology for 32 years in Norfolk and Williamsburg, Va. The historic renovated house at 841 Redgate Ave., where he worked as a solo practitioner, currently anchors a sprawling medical campus.

Born on Nov. 15, 1932, Dr. Rossheim was the grandson of the late Hannah and Robert Scher, son of the late Kate S. and Benjamin F. Rossheim, and brother to the late Ruth Caplan.

Dr. Rossheim’s medical career began in the three-year, pre-medical program at The College of William and Mary. Success came quickly. He was the John Winston Price Scholar his freshman year, and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa in his third year. At the age of 20, he entered the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond as an inaugural member of the Florence Smith Scholars. He graduated in 1957, and entered a residency program at Boston City Hospital in internal medicine.

In Boston, Dr. Rossheim met his future wife, Beth Joan Novitch, a college student at Jackson College for Women (Tufts University). Their courtship in Boston was a highlight of their lives together, from the free rehearsals of the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Symphony Hall to the splurges on $1 plates of spaghetti at Simione’s Restaurant. Throughout their married lives, the couple returned often to Boston.

Dr. Rossheim continued his residency in cardiology at Emory University in Atlanta, followed by an NIH fellowship at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis. He then returned to his home in Virginia.

From 1961 to 1963, Dr. Rossheim served as a Lieutenant Commander in the United States Naval Medical Corps, Naval Station Dispensary at Norfolk. Upon discharge he opened a private medical practice, the touchstone of his professional life. He derived significant pleasure by supporting the fledgling Eastern Virginia Medical School, where he served as assistant professor of medicine for five years. Over his career he held staff membership at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, Sentara Leigh Hospital, De Paul Hospital and Williamsburg Community Hospital. Professionally he was a member of the Norfolk Academy of Medicine, Virginia Medical Society, and a Fellow of the American College of Physicians.

Dr. Rossheim had four children: Andrew, who died in infancy in 1960; Anne Melissa born April 13, 1962; Brooke Weinger born Feb. 18, 1966; and Jane Blair born May 23, 1969. As a father, Dr. Rossheim enjoyed sharing his interests in medicine, tennis, and classical music with his three children. He introduced each child to the sights of New York City and especially Broadway, as his aunt Fanny Scher had done for him.

Dr. Rossheim’s family will greatly miss his vast store of medical knowledge, sharp wit, and entertaining stories. He loved to regale his family with stories of his adolescent life. Only days before he died, he remembered the capacity crowd gathered for his own Bar Mitzvah at Gomley Chesed Synagogue in Portsmouth, including his proud grandmother. He appreciated his grandson Joel Friedman wearing the same tallit for his Bar Mitzvah a week earlier.

Dr. Rossheim is also survived by his sons-in-law, Robert Rubinovitz and Frank Friedman; four grandchildren, Charles and Michael Rubinovitz and Joel and Emily Rose Friedman; and three nieces, Barbara Murovitz, Laurey Borowsky, and Shelley Kahle.

A private service was held at Forest Lawn Cemetery. Donations to the Florence L. Smith Medical Fund of the Hampton Raoads Community Foundation.