John Robert Dille, MD


John Robert "Bob" Dille, MD passed away in Houston, TX Sunday, the 5th of May. He was born in Waynesburg, PA on the 2nd of September 1931, to Charles Emanuel Dille and Ruth Emma South Dille.
Growing up in a small coal mining town during the depression, Bob set his sights high. He graduated from Waynesburg College, 1952, Magna Cum Laude, and the University of Pittsburgh College of Medicine, 1956.
It was in medical school where he fell in love with Joan Marie Sirtosky, "the prettiest nurse there ever was!" After their wedding and his medical residency, Bob enlisted in the United States Air Force, where his love of aviation and medicine began. Commissioned as a Captain, Bob served as a Flight Surgeon at Loring Air Force Base, logging in more than 250 hours as a B-52 and KC-135 observer. In 1957, Bob completed the USAF School of Aviation Medicine at Randolf AFB in San Antonio, TX. He was then sent to Harvard University, where he completed his Masters in Industrial Health, 1960, and returned to San Antonio to complete the USAF advanced course in Aerospace Medicine, as well as a six week T-33 Indoctrination course.
After leaving the Air Force, Bob continued to pursue his passion of aviation medicine, joining the Federal Aviation Administration in Oklahoma City in 1960. He was named the Western Region Flight Surgeon, Los Angeles, in 1965, returning to OKC in 1966 to become chief of the FAA Civil Aeromedical Institute, holding that position until his retirement in 1987. During his years with the FAA, he published more than two hundred articles regarding fundamentals of aerospace medicine and lectured extensively across the country and around the world on pilot and aviation safety. Bob was active in the Aerospace Medical Association, serving on various committees, 1978-1990, and as President, 1992-1993.
Bob reenlisted in the United States Army National Guard, 1976, as a flight surgeon. He was attached to the helicopter squadron in Lexington, OK. Named Army National Guard Flight Surgeon of the Year, 1987 and Master Flight Surgeon of the same year. He served as State Surgeon , 1990-1991, retiring as a Colonel, 1991.
After Bob's retirement from the FAA, he served as the State Medical Director for the Oklahoma Department of Corrections, 1990-1993, and as a physician at the Cleveland County Jail, 1994-2002.
Bob was a prolific writer and historian. In addition to his numerous professional articles in Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine, his articles appeared in AgPilot, Airpost Journal, the Flying Physician, many textbook chapters, and one ill-timed article on "Montezuma's Revenge" for the magazine of an airline that was inaugurating flights to Mexico.
Bob's honors include: USAF Commendation Medal, 1959; US Army Meritorious Service Medal, 1987; Oklahoma Distinguished Service Medal, 1991; Fellow, American College of Preventative Medicine, 1964; William A. Jump Foundation Memorial Award for Exemplary Achievement in Public Administration, 1968; Fellow, Aerospace Medical Association (AsMA), 1973; Theodore C. Lyster Award, AsMA, 1978; Harry G. Moseley Award, 1987; the Harry G. Armstrong Lecture, AsMA, 1997; International Academy of Aviation and Space Medicine, 1982; and the Society of USA Flight Surgeons Order of Aeromedical Merit.
Bob enjoyed his numerous years in Norman, finding it an ideal place to raise his family. He was an associate professor at the University of Oklahoma, 1961-1998, in the colleges of Health and Medicine. He not only enjoyed attending the Oklahoma Sooner football games, he thoroughly enjoyed the many arts, theater, and music productions, as well. As busy as he was professionally, he made sure to spend time with family. He provided many family vacation trips, which his sons fondly remember. Bob gave back to the community, as well, whether it was volunteering for the Boy Scouts and the Norman Public Library, or donating. He supported numerous charities and was especially fond of the veterans groups.
Bob traveled extensively. Where his professional life didn't take him, he filled in on his own. He was proud to have made it to all seven continents, lecturing on five. His passion for aviation carried over into his private life, as well. He earned his private pilot license in 1981 and piloted hot air balloons.
Bob is proceeded in death by his wife and his parents. He is survived by his two sons, Paul Dille and his wife Dawn of Houston, TX, and John Dille of McKinney, TX, grandson Taylor Tellez, granddaughter Courtney Dille, and great granddaughter Whitney Dille.
The family would like to acknowledge and thank the staff of Autumn Leaves Memory Care, CyFair, of Houston for making Bob's final months so enjoyable. To his special friend, Millie, for bringing much happiness and joy back into his life.
Inurnment will be Tuesday, June 18th, at 11am in the columbarium of First Presbyterian Church, with the family receiving friends at 10am in the Church parlor. In lieu of customary remembrances, memorial contributions may be directed to First Presbyterian Church of Norman or to the charity of one's choice.
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Published on June 14, 2019
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2 posts

Gerald Coleson
Jun 16, 2019
Sorry to hear of your dad's passing Paul. Here in California with Janet, but going back to Oklahoma in 4 weeks. Hope all is well with you.
Dawn Dille
Jun 15, 2019
I am so grateful for the opportunity to have known this man. His accomplishments were many and outstanding, but him as a dad, father-in-law and grandfather far outshone everything else. Love him and miss him.