Dr. Alan DeRovira of Rockville Centre died Dec. 28 at...

Dr. Alan DeRovira of Rockville Centre died Dec. 28 at the age of 67. Credit: Anthony Zirilli

Dr. Alan DeRovira, a beloved family medicine physician who still made house calls long past the era when it was popular to do so and who was known for his affinity for “nerdy” movies, has died  at age 67. 

DeRovira of Rockville Centre was the kind of doctor who called patients around the clock to check on their condition. A midnight visit wasn’t unusual if a patient needed him, said his wife Rachel DeRovira. He often ducked out early from movies to check on patients and was known to spend the better part of an hour assiduously explaining conditions to them until they were confident they understood their diagnoses. 

The physician was still making phone calls to patients on Christmas Eve before his health took a turn on Christmas Day. He died from cardiopulmonary arrest Dec. 28, his wife said. 

“If he didn’t have his stethoscope around his neck, he didn't feel complete,” said Rachel DeRovira, a registered nurse, who would drive him to his late-night house calls. “He was compassionate, dedicated, loving and caring, and those words are not even fit to really describe him.” 

The couple had their first date at George Martin The Original restaurant in Rockville Centre on Jan. 20, 1995, after a mutual friend played matchmaker. It was love at first sight, his wife said. The two wed in 1999. 

“We went on our first date and the rest is history,” Rachel DeRovira said. 

After DeRovira’s practice announced his death on Facebook, tributes to the physician poured in on social media, with many painting an image of the doctor and nurse as the perfect team, both tirelessly helping patients. His patience and compassion were praised by both patients and colleagues, who described DeRovira as a model for the medical community. 

DeRovira’s devotion to his patients, who he served at his practice as well as various hospitals and facilities in the area, did not interfere with his dedication to his family, loved ones said. 

“He never stopped fulfilling his role as a father and husband,” said daughter Kayley DeRovira, of Columbus, Ohio. 

DeRovira was no stuffy, dry doctor. He was “silly and creative” and adored storytelling and music, Kayley DeRovira said. DeRovira appreciated the arts and ensured his children’s days were full of exciting things, such as singing lessons, piano, crafts and movies. He didn’t hesitate to make a miniature jungle gym for Kayley DeRovira’s pet bird Margaret when she was younger. 

He also was “a total nerd at heart,” his daughter said. 

The fantasy and "Star Wars" loving doctor would bring his family to the New York Renaissance Faire each year. Of course, he dressed up. When he eventually began using a cane, he procured one from his beloved festival. 

Stepdaughter Nicole Broussard of Manhattan described her stepfather as loving, kind and generous. 

“I viewed him like a father figure 100%,” she said. 

DeRovira is also survived by his son Dr. Ben Hughes of the Bronx.

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