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Arthur E. "Buck" Rikli
COLUMBIA — Dr. Arthur E. "Buck" Rikli, age 97, of Columbia, Missouri, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, May 20, 2015, at his home.
Dr. Rikli, nicknamed Buck by his father, was born December 2, 1917, the son of Arthur and Sarah (Brown) Rikli. He was predeceased by his loving wife of 68 years, Frances Mayer Rikli; survived by his children, Barbara Clark of San Antonio, Texas; Stephen Rikli, Columbia, Missouri; Ann (Dr. William) Bishop, Elmira, New York; and Robert Rikli, Navato, California; five grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.
Buck earned his BA from North Central College, Naperville, Illinios, MD from the University of Illinois and MPH from John Hopkins University.
Buck served in the United States Public Health Service (USPHS) for 23 years, first as director of the tuberculosis control program in Montana and Denver and later as the Chronic Disease Consultant in Chicago.
In 1959, Buck became director of the National Heart Disease Control Program in Washington, D.C., and managed programs to screen populations for TB and heart disease. In this role, he recognized the potential diagnostic capability of computers and created a schematic diagram that contributed to the design of the first clinical diagnostic computer.
In 1964, he served as the Health Attaché to the U.S. Mission in Geneva, Switzerland, working on international health relations, and then returned to D.C. to work at the Hospital and Medical Education Facilities Program.
Buck retired from the USPHS in 1968 and accepted a position with the University of Missouri as Coordinator of the Missouri Regional Medical Program and Professor in the School of Community Health and Medical Practice. He retired as Professor Emeritus from the University of Missouri in 1984 and became a consultant for the National Library of Medicine and University Missouri Department of Health Management and Medical Informatics.
Buck and Fran enjoyed traveling and made friends around the world. Together they faithfully attended concerts, plays, exhibits and lectures in Columbia. Buck's greatest joy was his family. He never missed a Rikli Reunion and worked endlessly to expand and computerize the family genealogy records.
Throughout his life, Buck was an avid stamp collector and amateur photographer. In the spring and summer, gardening was a favorite pastime. He was a member of the Community United Methodist Church, Optimist Club, SAR, and a board member of the Missouri Symphony Society.
A memorial service will be held at the Community United Methodist Church at a later date in July. Those wishing may remember Buck with a donation to the Missouri Symphony Society, P.O. Box 841, Columbia, Missouri, 65205.
He is a Past President of the M. Graham Clark Chapter. Dr. Rikli was married to Frances Mayer. His patriot ancestor is John Adam Brown.
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