American Veteran 01

John Philip Tindall M.D.

July 13, 1934 ~ September 4, 2021 (age 87)


Col (Doc) Tindall died on 4th September 2021, aged 87, doctor, USAF Colonel and [Image Gallery]
 polymath, he was known for his sense of humour, humanity and tremendous appetite for life.

He was born the only child of Charles and Marcella (Dee) Tindall in Kissimmee, Florida in 1934. He attended Osceola High School where he became president of his senior class and was known for his sporting achievements in the football and baseball teams. He went on to Duke University, becoming a Sigma Chi and being a member of the football team which held an impressive 3 year undefeated record.

Doc always knew that medicine was his calling and speculated, " Is it possible or even reasonable to want to be a doctor in utero?".  This certainly seems to be the case and he followed in the footsteps of his grandfather and father.

During his medical training at Duke Medical School, he elected to become an exchange medical student at St. Bartholomew's Hospital (Barts) in London. It was here that he met his future bride, Daphne Wood, a Lady Almoner in hospital records and the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. His persistent wooing finally prevailed much to his amazement and they were married in Durham in 1958.

After graduation, a rotating internship at DC General Hospital, Washington DC and a period in USAF in England for 3 years, he returned to Duke Dermatology in 1966. He was made a professor in 1975.  Doc enjoyed both teaching and practicing, as well as taking an active role on the admissions board.

Rejoining the Air Force in 1977, he trained as a Flight Surgeon and took his first posting at RAF Bentwaters, Suffolk flying in F-4s and A-10s with 91st Tactical Fighter Squadron sitting in the navigator's seat on missions as well as looking after the health of the pilots and their families. He subsequently served at RAF Lakenheath in F-111s in the 48th Tactical Fighter Wing, at Comiso in Sicily as Clinic Commander and at the Air Force Academy, Colorado as Chief of Staff.  He added to his academic achievements with a Masters degree in Public Health at Johns Hopkins, Baltimore as part of the RAM programme as his Residency in Aerospace Medicine. He made many lifelong friends there. He was deployed to Taif Airbase in Saudi Arabia as part of Operation Desert Storm in the 1st Gulf War in command of the Air Transportable Hospital, a latter day Mash unit.

Doc retired from USAF in 1998 after serving as Chief, Medical Services and Dermatologist for Europe at RAF Lakenheath and went into private practice as a dermatologist in Kinston, NC until his final retirement in 2004. Even then, he continued to participate in conferences and mentoring, notably the Duke - FAHEC program.

After the death of his wife Daphne in 2007, he moved to the Forest at Duke in Durham, NC.  He had always considered Durham as his home. Both his children were born at Duke and it was where he had many friends.

His love of sport turned into a passion for Duke basketball which would last for the rest of his life.  He actively supported both the men's and women's teams, attending games whenever possible and he became an Iron Duke. This love was also shared with his family who he took to games across the States whenever they visited. They will continue to sport their Duke memorabilia in London, Essex, Munich and France.

He was active in his support of community and charity projects through his membership of Rotary International and became president of the Woodbridge and Deben Club in England.  An avid and knowledgeable collector of ancient Greek coins, he amassed a second impressive collection having donated the first to the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke.

John was known for his lateral thinking and ability to always find a different way of doing things. One such idea resulted in an infamous touring vacation of the southern states;  an ingenious combination of relaxation and patient follow-ups.  As it was his first time piloting a borrowed and unfamiliar Winnebago it will come as little surprise that the first gas station was quickly demolished. This was followed by multiple hiccups including Daphne being knocked out by the bunk beds and an umbrella jamming the only exit door. This led to the obligatory lowering of both children out of a window to catch the large labrador for every subsequent pitstop. In the end, he resorted to a marathon journey back to Durham through the night and the return of a very used vehicle to an extremely unhappy owner.  None of this phased him one bit and it is still viewed as one of the best, and most memorable family holidays.

Doc was admitted to Duke Hospital on the morning of 4th September where he was treated with tremendous respect and wonderful care by all. He passed away peacefully with his family around him. 

He is survived by his son Charles, daughter Ann, grandchildren Jack and Genevieve and his "favourite daughter in law" Claire. 

Much loved by all his family and adored by his grandchildren, he will be missed always.

"Tally Ho!”

Memorial contributions can be made out to The Salvation Army, Durham.

909 Liberty St.

Durham, NC 27701

Please send condolences to or Walnut Tree Cottage, Great Maplestead, Halstead CO9 2RH United King

Graveside services will be announced at a later date.

The Tindall family is being cared for by: CONRAD & THOMPSON FUNERAL HOME AND CREMATION SERVICES, 511 Emmett Street, Kissimmee, Florida 34741; 407-863-4881.

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