John Ribble MD

Obituary of John Charles Ribble MD

It is with great sadness that his family reports the passing of John Ribble.  His gentle wisdom, wry sense of humor and the loving kindness he shared will be deeply missed.


Born in 1931 in Paris, Texas, Dr. Ribble was raised and educated there until he attended medical school at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas. He completed his postdoctoral training at Parkland Hospital and Johns Hopkins. His first passion was the research of pediatric infectious diseases and he served as Director of Clinical Programs for the Dept. of Pediatrics at Cornell University Medical College in Manhattan.


At Cornell, he discovered a desire to continue into academic medicine and to train a new generation of physicians. He became Associate Dean of Admissions there before accepting a role as a Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Texas Medical School in Houston in 1978.  In 1983, he was named Associate Dean and was finally named Dean in 1986.  He was Dean until 1995 and also served as Interim President of the UT Health Science Center from 1987-1989.  Upon his retirement from those roles, he remained active in continuing to train physicians through UT’s Office of Educational Programs until 2016.


In 1974, Dr. Ribble married Anne Hoerner Strate, a widow with a young daughter, Helen.  Their family remained in Manhattan until 1978 when they moved to Houston.  They had an amazing life together enhanced with international travel, intellectual pursuits and entertaining.  John and Anne were known for their themed parties and play readings, as well as for bringing together disparate groups of people at every major holiday.  In Houston, he was active with the Rice University Library (he was a passionate bibliophile) and with the Houston Chamber Choir.


As a young man, he belonged to the Central Presbyterian Church of Paris, where he acted as organist for a time. His passion for music was lifelong, as was his dedication to his faith.  In Houston, the Ribbles were members of St. Francis and later joined Christ Church Cathedral Houston.  He has a deeply felt need to try to raise up the poor and oppressed, and demonstrated this passion through his work with The Beacon, Houston and through his support of Doctors Without Borders.


He was pre-deceased by his wife Anne in 2022.  He is survived by his beloved step-daughter, Helen Kielty and her husband, Tom; and his step-grandchildren Jack and Eliza Kielty.


A Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, November 4 at 2:00 PM at Christ Church Cathedral, 1117 Texas Avenue, Houston.  The family requests that any memorial gifts be made to UTHealth Houston, PO Box 20268, Houston, TX 77025-9998 or, please indicate gift is to the John C. Ribble, M.D. Endowed Scholarship Fund.


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