John Douglas Christian, Sr.

Obituary Notice

John Douglas Christian, Sr., of Little Rock died Saturday, August 28, 2004, at St. Vincent Infirmary. He was born on November 29, 1918, in Rocky Mount, North Carolina to Douglas Lee and Mary Ella Christian. He is preceded in death by his parents and an elder brother, Mansfield Lee.

He is survived by his wife of nearly sixty years, Virginia Rupprecht Christian, his children, John Douglas Christian, Jr. and Lee-Ann & Mitch Jansonius, all of Little Rock, three grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

He was a longtime member of Pulaski Heights United Methodist Church. He was a cum laude graduate of Wake Forest College Medical School in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and Temple University Medical School in Philadephia. He served his internship at Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem and his residencies in orthopaedic surgery at Kennedy Veterans Administration Hospital in Memphis and Arkansas Children's Hospital.

Dr. Christian served in the armed forces for three years during World War II, and was discharged with the rank of major.

He was a diplomate of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery; fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons; past councilor for the Mid-Central States Orthopaedic Society; past secretary-treasurer and president of the Arkansas Orthopaedic Society; past chief of staff, vice chief of staff and chief of Orthopaedics at St. Vincent Infirmary. He held memberships in the Southern Medical Association, American Medical Association, Arkansas State Medical Society and the Pulaski County Medical Society.

Dr. Christian was a founding partner in the TCS Orthopaedic Clinic (now Ortho Arkansas). He was an assistant clinical professor at the University of Arkansas College of Medicine, and served as a consultant to the Arkansas Crippled Children's Service and the Easter Seal Rehabilitation Center.

He was an avid golfer and fisherman. He at one time played in as many as three standing foursomes a week at Pleasant Valley Country Club. He maintained a membership at Old River Fishing Club in Scott, Arkansas, where he caught enough crappie to provide fish fillets for his extended family and numerous friends and neighbors for many years. A raconteur of some note, he enjoyed a witty story and considered the pun the highest form of humor. In his later years he continued his interest in the outdoors and in nature conservation. At the time of his death he was involved in a project to reread his complete set of the writings of Mark Twain.

The family will receive friends at Ruebel Funeral Home from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. on Monday, August 30. A memorial service will be held at Pulaski Heights United Methodist Church at 11 a.m., on Tuesday, August 31.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to either Pulaski Heights United Methodist Church or to the Nature Conservancy.

Register Book

  • Dr. Douglas G. Holt
    Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  • Dr. Christian was our girl's doctor back in the 70's. He was so kind and patient with them and also with Doug and me. He was a wonderful man and appreciated by so many. We are proud to have known him.
    Doug and Vicki Stafford 
    Arkadelphia, Arkansas
  • I was a patient of Dr. Christian's back in the 1970's. Though I was very young, I do remember how caring and kind he was. He will be greatly missed! The world will miss you, but the Lord is welcoming you!
    Jennifer (Stafford) Culp
    Former Patient in the 1970's 
    Anchorage, Alaska (formerly of Arkadelphia, Arkansas)
  • My sympathy to the family. When I was 8 years old I became a patient at Ark. Children's Hospital. Dr. Christian was the senior orthopedic resident there at the time. I remember him from that time and from having met him later. I now work at Children's and have for 42 years. I remember him as a very dapper, and as a very nice fellow.
    Lowell Staggs
    Little Rock, Arkansas


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Last modified: June 07, 2005