Dr. George A. Resta was eulogized as a "gifted healer, a family doctor and a man who rebuked greed" in funeral services held for the late team physician for the Senators and Redskins at St. Francis Xavier Church in Southeast Washington yesterday.
Many of the athletes and their families to whom Dr. Resta ministered during his more than 40 years of practice as an orthopedic surgeon attended the services.
The Rev. Msgr. John L. Bailey, pastor of St. Francis Xavier, commented on the many stories about the late physician's dedication to his profession, often withoug pay. "George Resta was a healer," Msgr. Bailey pointed out, "without regard to compensation. He didn't forget to send out bills. He was just dedicated to healing. He was the family doctor who was concerned more about his patients than money, and he rebuked greed."
Msgr. Bailey revealed that Dr. Resta, who died at 72 Saturday of a heart ailment, had recently held up his hands, which had performed so many operations, and commented, "I'm useless now when I can't use these."
Tom McKenna, trainer for the New York Mets who had worked with Dr. Resta and teh Senators for eight years, came from New York for the funeral, along with Mets pitching coach Robe Walker, another Washington alumnus.
The Redskin contingent included trainer Joe Kuzco, Jerry Smith, Brig Owens, Bobby Mitchell, Pete Larson, Al Demao, Chuck Drazenovich, Joe Tereshinski, Dave Kopay, Johnny Allen, Ray Schoenke, Ossie Clay, Ted Vactor and Mitch Johnson.
Stan Lavine, the curent Redskin physician, also attended, along with Jim Lemon, former Senator slugger and manager, and former pitches Dick Bosman and Jim Hannan. John Morrisey, ticket manager for more than 50 years at Griffith Stadium and, later, RFK Stadium, was there as was Dr. Resta's longtime friend, the Rev. Gilbert V. Hartke, head of Catholic University's speech and drama department.
Rev. Hartke, who also celebrated the mass, recalled the story of the old country doctor, known as "Dr. Sam," who never sent out bills and died penniless. He had his office over a livery stable with a sing: "Dr. Sam, Office Upstairs."
"Dr. Resta was a beautiful man," said the Rev. Hartke, "and no one will ever know how many patients he treated without charge. He was like Dr. Sam. When Dr. Sam died, allof those patients who couldn't afford to pay him contributed to a headstone with a simple inscription 'Dr. Sam, Officer Upstairs.' We can say the same about Dr. Resta."