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Merton Root III

A celebration of life for Dr. Merton Louis Root III of Grass Valley will be conducted at 1 p.m. Oct. 19 at the Parkside Church of the Nazarene, 3885 Richardson Drive in Auburn. His ashes will be scattered in the Pacific Ocean.

Dr. Root died Wednesday, Sept. 25, in Auburn of complications from pneumonia. He was 80.

He was born Aug. 13, 1922, in San Jose to Merton L. II and Anita M. Root. He graduated from San Jose High School, San Jose State University in 1948 and from the California College of Chiropody (Podiatric Medicine) in 1952.



Dr. Root served in the U.S. Army from 1943 to 1946 during World War II. He married Roberta J. Bryant June 19, 1948, and Elaine J. Ellsworth Jan. 3, 1978.

Through research, he discovered and classified 26 foot abnormalities. He developed the functional orthosis to treat foot abnormalities. He had a private practice in San Jose while teaching at the California College of Podiatric Medicine in San Francisco. He wrote three podiatric textbooks that were used around the world on lower-extremity biomechanics.




He enjoyed reading, fishing, telling a good story and recreational gambling in Reno.

Dr. Root is survived by his wife of 24 years, Elaine; daughter, Sharon Root of San Jose; son and daughter-in-law, Jeff and Kathy Root of Colfax; stepson, Scott Ellsworth; sister and brother-in-law Marion and Lee Marsh of Pebble Beach; former wife Roberta Lisinski of Roseville; and grandchildren Brian and Gary Root. He was preceded in death by his sister, Betty Jean Sunford.

Memorial contributions may be made to the charity of the donor’s choice.

Arrangements are under the direction of the Neptune Society of Grass Valley.


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