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Enrico Rallos

DR. ENRICO “RICO” RALLOS, one of Logan County’s most respected physicians, died on March 26, 2020, after a lengthy battle with congestive heart failure. He was 78 years old. Rico trained as a surgeon, but spent most of his career in family medicine. At the time he withdrew from active practice, in 2007, he was on staff at Gilbert Medical Center. His work at Gilbert culminated a 36-year career serving the people of West Virginia. He had started work as an emergency department physician at Beckley Appalachian Regional Hospital after completing his formal medical training in 1971. Rico’s journey to West Virginia actually started at a time long ago and in a place far away. Enrico V. Rallos was born on October 2, 1941, in the Philippines, one of three children born to Ambrosio and Rosa Rallos. He was born in the town of Nagcarlan in Laguna province. Always a conscientious student, he went on to attend college at Manila Central University in Manila, later earning his M.D. there in 1965. With his heart set on advanced medical education in the United States, Rico secured an internship at Southside Hospital in Pittsburgh, and completed a residency in general surgery at Beckley Appalachian Regional Hospital. It was there that he met the love of his life, and his wife of 50 years, Carolyn Rockwell. After numerous requests for a date, she finally relented and accompanied him to the movies. The rest, as they say, was history, and his marriage to Carolyn sealed Rico’s fate as a permanent transplant to West Virginia. Rico was one of the West Virginia’s most avid high school football fans. He gave free physical exams to generations of student athletes in Man and Gilbert. He also liked traveling statewide to see Man High School compete. To recognize his decades of volunteer service to the school, he was initiated into the Man High School Athletic Hall of Fame, Class of 2010. Rico’s friends remember him not only as a passionate football fan but as a consummate salesman. He always needed shirts with pockets to ensure easy access to the tickets he was always selling for local raffles and charitable events. While others may have struggled to meet quota, Rico’s charm always guaranteed results. His associates at the Man Lions Club, the Man Quarterback Club and the Bruce McDonald Memorial United Methodist Church knew him as a man who could sell anything. Rico’s other talents led to his reputation as the “Renaissance Man” of Man. He was a master carpenter, an accomplished gardener and a gourmet chef of Filipino cuisine. Rico loved taking his family on fishing trips to Florida, thanks to a second home in St. Augustine. Rico was a man’s man in certain respects. His favorite films were Westerns and World War II movies. But he wasn’t afraid to break the meat-and-potatoes stereotype when it came to food for special occasions. For birthdays he always requested an apricot nectar cake. And speaking of birthdays, his philosophy on them reflected a trademark sense of humor: “I like birthdays,” he said, “because the alternative is worse.” When working full-time, Rico was known around the house as a man of few words. Family members thought it was because, being in such a demanding profession, he used up most of his words at work. The upside of this quiet side was an easy going manner in making routine household decisions. When it came time to pick a vacation spot, or even select a menu for dinner, he was happy to go along with the crowd. This does not mean Rico would not assert himself if the occasion required. If asked, for example, if he wanted another dog, he would always respond with a resounding “no.” Then, when the new pet arrived anyway, Rico would inevitably begin feeding it, letting it outside, and encouraging it to sit with him (before anyone else) on the couch. While his health declined in recent years, his involvement in the community did not. He remained active with his favorite group of friends, “the Hardee Boys,” who met every day for coffee and gossip at the Hardee’s restaurant in Man. Rico’s influence extended well beyond the confines of Logan County, as a result of his involvement in professional associations. He was an active member of both the American Academy of Family Physicians and the West Virginia Medical Association. Locally, he belonged to – and once served as president of – the Logan County Medical Society, which honored him as “Doctor of the Year” in 1994. He also was a founding member of the Man Lions Club and the Man Quarterback Club, and served as president of both organizations as well as other positions. Rico was faithful member of Bruce McDonald Memorial United Methodist Church. He served on the Administrative and Trustees Boards as well as a member of Methodist Men. Rico is survived by his wife, the former Carolyn Lee Rockwell; two daughters, Margaret Jane Rallos Ansay (Gener) of San Francisco, and Rosa Renee Lucille Rallos of Charlotte, N.C.; and one sister, Rosanie Fordan (Rodolfo) of Calgary, Canada. Surviving grandchildren include Christopher, Joshua and Jericho Ansay, all of San Francisco, and other family members in the United States, Canada and the Philippines. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, a private graveside service for immediate family will be at the Highland Memory Gardens in Chapmanville, W.Va. A celebration of Rico’s life will be held at a later date. Krantz Funeral Home of Man is serving the Rallos family.