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March 4, 1925 – Dec. 14, 2012

Nelson C. Ribble, Ph.D., of the Town of Tonawanda, who helped launch the Vietnam Veterans Outreach program at Veterans Affairs Medical Center, died Friday in the hospital where he worked for 43 years. He was 87.

Born in New York City, he attended high school in Lake Worth, Fla., where he was a football star. During World War II, he served in the Navy as a pharmacist’s mate, second class, from 1944 to 1946. He was a reservist during the Korean War.

Dr. Ribble earned his bachelor’s degree from Emory University in Atlanta and his Ph.D. from the University of Florida in Gainesville.

He was employed as a clinical psychologist at the VA Medical Center in Buffalo from 1962 until his retirement in 1997. Dr. Ribble was instrumental in developing treatment programs for Vietnam veterans diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. He continued to volunteer his services to the hospital for 12 years after his retirement.

His longtime companion, Emma Melancon, died in 2008.

He is survived by three daughters, Donna L. LaBarbara, Mary Jo Marino and Corinne Melancon; and a sister, Shirley McNutt.

A memorial service will be at 6 p.m. today in Amigone Funeral Home, 2600 Sheridan Drive, Town of Tonawanda.