Val Ian Robichaux, M.D.



Val Ian Robichaux, M.D. was born March 25, 1942 to Rodney and Helen (Chafey) Robichaux in Tempe, Ariz., where he grew up with his younger sister Gwen. He attended LaFayette Grade School and graduated from Camelback High in 1960. While in high school he met the love of his life, Patricia Marie Holly in 1957. Youthful exuberance and fate would not see them married until February, 1976.

In 1960, he joined the Navy, serving as a missile tech on two submarines; the USS John Marshall, and the USS Stonewall Jackson. April 1961, saw the birth of his first child Helen Anne Robichaux. After an eight year stint in the service and seven moves later, he returned to Phoenix and attended Arizona State University. Upon completing his Bachelors Degree, he went on to the University of Arizona Medical School, and graduated with his Masters Degree in Medicine. It was then that his life took what he would describe as the very best of turns...he and Patty were reunited. At that time, she had two daughters, Christina Marie, 8 and Cynthia Mary, 5. The following year they were marred in Phoenix, the city where their lifetime romance had begun.

With his new family in tow, Val moved to Ganado, Ariz. to do an externship, followed-up by a move to Denver, Colo. where he started his residency in Pathology. In 1980, he moved the family to Durango and began practicing at Mercy Medical Center, becoming Laboratory Director. While there, when he and Patty were 43, they were given the greatest of gifts; their son, Rex Michael Robichaux. Three years later, in 1988, they moved to Cortez into a house he had designed, where Patty still resides. He often commented on how fortunate he was to live in the Four Corners area, as it had been a childhood dream.

For the last 12 years, Val was a charter member of the ‘Over the Hill Gang’ Car Club — Cortez, being an avid “hot-rodder” and car enthusiast. Fishing and amateur astronomy were other favored hobbies.

Val retired in 2000 from Southwest Memorial Hospital, as Laboratory Director, and took up bicycle riding and racing, a pastime he and his son thoroughly enjoyed; however, one that would tragically take his life. While vacationing in Cozumel, Mexico, this April, Val was cycling with his son, when he was hit by a speeding cab driver who ran a stop sign.

He is survived by his wife, Patty; four children, Helen Gibson, Christina Hillis, Cindy Campbell, and Rex Robichaux (engaged to Mandi Norris); two son-in-laws, Dwayne Gibson and Marty Hillis; one grandson, Patrick Hillis; his sister, Gwen and brother-in-law, Rich Krieger and their daughter, Julie LaBadie and son, Timothy Krieger; two first cousins, Diana Wagner and Kathleen Chafey; and numerous Canadian relatives.

Val loved life, music, the Southwest, but most of all he loved his family. He was the greatest of men and will be deeply missed by all of those whose lives he touched.

Memorial services will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, May 25, 2012 at Ertel Memorial Chapel. A reception will immediately follow the services at Kokos; all friends and family are warmly invited.

Contributions can be made in his honor to, an organization dedicated to raising awareness for cycling safety. For further information please call Ertel Funeral Home at 565-3468 or log on to and click on the obituary section.