Donald White Rooker
Donald White Rooker
  • September 30, 1934 - January 11, 2018
  • Atlanta, Georgia

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Donald White Rooker, M.D., Essential in Bringing Covenant House to Atlanta, Dies at 83

Donald White Rooker, retired otolaryngologist and facial plastic surgeon died peacefully, surrounded by family, on Thursday, January 11th, at Emory St. Joseph's Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia. He was 83.

His family reports that his death was caused by complications of Parkinson's disease.

Born in Rocky Mount, NC in 1934, he was an Eagle Scout who graduated from Rocky Mount High School in 1952. He went on to graduate from the 7 year medical program at Duke University in 1959. He completed his ENT residency at the University of Michigan and then served in the U.S. Air Force, where he headed the ENT clinic at Wright-Patterson AFB.

After moving to Atlanta in 1967 he treated patients and taught at Emory University before beginning his own private practice. During this time he invented artificial inner ear bones that assist in alleviating deafness. Whenever possible, he traveled, sailed and painted.

Dr. Rooker was a deeply compassionate man, who may best be summed up by the career choices he considered at Duke, namely, medicine, engineering and the clergy. He was most proud of his contributions to the community including his support of the American Red Cross, his service on the board of the Schenck School and his term as president of the Kiwanis Club.

With the encouragement of his devoted wife Julia, he championed Atlanta as deserving of a chapter of Covenant House. In 2000, Covenant House Georgia opened its doors in Atlanta where it continues to provide counseling, shelter, support and empowerment for homeless, runaway and trafficked youth.

Dr. Rooker is survived by his wife Julia O'Connell Rooker; his children April Ashley Richards Rooker and Douglas Longacre Rooker; his daughter-in-law Whitney Travis Rooker; his grandchildren Grayson, Lexie and Douglas Jr. (Logan); his stepdaughters Amanda Carroll Rainwater, M.D. and Jennifer Carroll; his stepgrandchildren Campton Wilkins and Kendall and Pierce Rainwater; and the children and grandchildren of his brothers. He was predeceased by his parents Presley Marvin and Teva Ashley Rooker; and his brothers James Utley Rooker and Marvin Ray Rooker.

A memorial service will be held at Peachtree Presbyterian Church on Saturday, January 27th at 2:00 pm in Wilson Chapel with reception to follow in the Williams Center.

In lieu of flowers, his family invites you to donate to:
Covenant House Georgia
1559 Johnson Rd., NW
Atlanta, GA 30318