WHITMIRE — Dr. Robert Yannetti, whose dedication to providing medical care to the people of Union and Whitmire made him one of the most popular physicians in both communities for more than 30 years, has died.
Yannetti, who passed away Sunday, began practicing medicine in 1985, first in the Whitmire community and then, within less than two years, the Union community as well. Over the next 32 years, Yannetti would become one of the most popular physicians in both communities, gaining the trust, support and loyalty of the residents of those communities with his devotion to and his caring for his patients.
Those decades of service, however, came to an end in 2017 when Yannetti, after suddenly collapsing, was diagnosed with a brain tumor. In an interview with The Union Times that year, Yannetti said his blood pressure had bottomed out and he lost consciousness. In addition, Yannetti said he developed pneumonia and that, together with the brain tumor, left him unable to continue his practice.
Even though he could no longer practice medicine, Yannetti’s years of service to the people of Union and Whitmire was not forgotten, but celebrated in both communities.
On Oct. 13, 2017, the Whitmire Community High School Football Team was scheduled to take to the field at Legends Stadium, but before they did, the Whitmire Community honored Yannetti for his many years of service and contributions to the Whitmire Community High School Athletic Department during a pre-game ceremony. With his family at his side, Yannetti stood in a place of honor before those assembled and was presented with a plaque recognizing him for his service to the team and the community.
Yannetti’s service to the Whitmire community included providing physicals for the members of the Whitmire High School Football Team. While he initially had to charge a small fee for some of the testing required, changes in the rules governing the physicals enabled Yannetti to provide them to young athletes for free and he continued providing this service until earlier this year. His service to the team didn’t end there, however, as when his children were in school he would be at the games standing by to provide medical assistance if someone was injured.
On December 20, 2017, Yannetti’s service to the Union community was recognized during an “Appreciation Celebration” for Yannetti at the Union Medical Center sponsored by the Union County Health Care Foundation. The celebration was attended by Yannetti’s family, friends, former members of his office staff, and others who gathered to honor him and his legacy of compassionate medical care to the people of Union.
In looking back over Yannetti’s life and service to the people of the Union and Whitmire communities, many things could be said, all of them good, but perhaps the best thing that can be said in summing up his life and legacy and what it meant to the people of those communities is what was said at the pre-game ceremony honoring him.
“Thank you for your service Dr. Yannetti!”
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090.