Richard R. Roy, MD

The late Dr. Roy grew up in Berlin, but it was the contributions he made to Rochester, where he moved in 1962, that still impact hockey in the state. He was one of the men responsible for starting the Rochester Youth Hockey Association in the early 1970s, and he gave back to the community in ways that included, but were not limited to, fundraising for a new rink and inspiring others to donate their time.

Born in Berlin in 1931, he spent one year at Notre Dame High School and then attended St. Charles School in Sherbrooke Canada. He graduated from the University of Montreal, where he attended medical school. After serving as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy in Portsmouth, he made his home in Rochester, where he opened his private practice and was the first pediatrician on staff at Frisbee Memorial Hospital. He would practice there for 35 years.

“Doc” Roy, as he was known by many in the community, was heavily involved in it, serving as chairman of the school board at Holy Rosary School and on the parish council at Holy Rosary Parish, and he was the team doctor and coach for many sports teams in town.

By the late 1960s, Roy and some of his colleagues began taking steps to grow the game in the area. In 1969, Berwick Academy coach Pop Whalen wanted to upgrade the school’s outdoor rink and the boards were donated to Rochester to replace the current rink at the school grounds.

Roy reached out to parents from the community and three of his friends — Skip Kendall of Kendall Insurance, Charles Baxter Jr. of Baxter Woolen Mills and Jim Bisbee of Varney’s Insurance — to sponsor the teams by providing jerseys, pants and socks. This four-team league was the start of the Rochester Youth Hockey Association.

With Roy serving as its president for the first three years, the RYHA grew from four neighborhood teams to over 200 participants. With the money being raised, he applied a down payment for a new indoor rink in town, getting local businesses on board to support it. He went to fi ve other local communities — Dover, Somersworth, Oyster River, Portsmouth and York, Maine — for commitments to start youth programs and created what would eventually become Seacoast Hockey League.

In 2008, the Rochester Ice Arena was renamed the Dr. Roy Ice Arena. In 2015, Roy was posthumously inducted into the Rochester Sports Hall of Fame as a contributor, two years after he’d passed away at the age of 82.

“When it comes to youth hockey contributions over the last 40 years, he ranks at the top,” said Rochester Sports Hall of Fame chairman John Creteau. “It’s obvious when you look at (former Spaulding High School coach) Paul George’s program and the many state hockey championships for Spaulding over the years. We thank God for Dr. Roy, as he is one individual who has made an impact in the lives of a lot of children.”