West Allis hospital's history includes alderman

Roadt shares golden anniversary memories

Dec. 20, 2011

West Allis - It was a moment in history for West Allis Memorial Hospital, and, as it turns out, for Dan Roadt.

In 1958, a sign was erected where the new hospital, which this year celebrated its 50th anniversary, would be built. But at the groundbreaking ceremony, it was 3-year-old Daniel and his big brother Thomas, 7, who stole the show in a newspaper photo.

Playing underneath the sign announcing the groundbreaking, the Roadts became part of the ceremony and, inadvertently, the hospital's history.

Today, the hospital at 8901 W. Lincoln Ave. is known as Aurora West Allis Medical Center, and Dan Roadt is known as a West Allis alderman, who this year was honored as the hospital celebrated its golden anniversary with another ceremony.

A lot changed in the intervening years - though Roadt good-humoredly noted, "I'm still bald."

The Roadt brothers used to play baseball and football in the fields between 88th and 92nd streets. In fact, Dan and his brother grew up across from the hospital, completed in 1961.

It was rarely dull living across from the hospital.

For example, the growing boys got to see racing great Mario Andretti land in a helicopter and walk into the hospital for treatment following a crash on the Milwaukee Mile, he said. The helicopter had readied itself that morning with test flights, just in case.

Roadt even remembers when the message "Merry Christmas" shown brilliantly over the neighborhood from the hospital's stairway towers.

Just another moment or two in the hospital's history.

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