Biographical Sketch of Dr. Valentine Pardo
February 14, 1902 – August 23, 1996
Valentine Pardo was born on Valentine’s Day in 1902 in Placetas, Cuba, the third of 13 children. His father was a cattle farmer and his mother was a housewife. “He left Cuba in 1920 and came to New York City where he attended New York University and graduated with a degree in dentistry. He practiced dentistry for one year and then decided to attend medical school at Kansas City Medical College graduating in 1929 with a Doctorate in Medicine.”1 Upon graduation he interned at Baptist Hospital in Little Rock. He also worked at the Marshall Clinic and was offered a position there but his dream was to eventually begin his own medical practice. After visiting with his good friend Dr. Pierce in Helena, he traveled to Clarendon only to find there was already a doctor in town. Stopping by the local drug store, he was told a doctor was needed in Monroe. After visiting Monroe, he quickly decided he like the area and rented a two room building which served as his office and his living quarters. By this time the Great Depression had swept across the United States and Dr. Pardo found himself accepting a chicken, a goat or even a cow in exchange for his treatment. The people who could pay cash but not at the time of their medical services would make arrangements to pay at the end of the year when their crops came in or when they got a job. Dr. Pardo’s visit to Monroe began what was to become a 56 year, three-county medical practice.
In 1932 Dr. Pardo returned to New York City to marry his sweetheart, Rose Palazzola, whom he had met during his college years at New York University. Dr. Pardo and Rose had one child, Mary Ann, who was born in Monroe in 1933.
Dr. Pardo delivered more than 4,800 babies in his career, the first being Valentine Wilber Lee Parker born January 20, 1931. Dr. Pardo made house calls in the ‘30s and ‘40s with a mule and a jeep. He continued making house calls until the time of his retirement in 1986. The doctor’s office was always open to people of any race or religion. Unlike many other doctors’ offices across the south, Dr. Pardo had only one waiting room for everyone.
“Dr. Pardo devoted his life to the practice of medicine as a country doctor. It was hard work, but the doctor was very faithful to his profession. He always loved helping people. During his 56 year medical practice, he gained the affection and regard of the many people he aided. Dr. Pardo is greatly missed by the people of the Monroe area where most people have a story of the doctor that they are quite willing to share with others.”2
Dr. Valentine Pardo passed away on August 23, 1996 at the age of 94 in North Little Rock where he had been living with his daughter for three years. He is buried at Calvary Cemetery in Brinkley, Monroe County, AR.
1 Arkansas Gazette, Little Rock, AR, August 25, 1996
2 Central Delta Historical Journal, December 1997, pp 14-16
John T. Mitchell, BBA
February 15, 2020