Dr. Joseph Dolby Babb, 79, of Winterville and Ocracoke, died Sept. 6 in a car accident.
Born April 16, 1939, in Columbus, Ohio, he was the husband of Margo Babb.
He and Margo loved Ocracoke, the island community and visited their island home frequently.
A renowned cardiologist, Babb worked for the past 27 years at the East Carolina University Brody School of Medicine in numerous roles, including professor of medicine and cardiology, director of Interventional Cardiology Fellowship Program, director of Catheterization Laboratories.
A professor emeritus and distinguish faculty, Babb established The Heart Failure Clinic and, most recently, The Peer Review Process.
His medical career spanned five decades and included numerous awards, including recently the Distinguished Service Award, Master of SCAI. Most recently Babb was named Patient Preferred Cardiologist for the state of North Carolina on Sept. 5.
Babb was a president of the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Intervention (SCAI), chaired numerous committees within SCAI, and represented the group at meetings with federal policy makers and at international medical societies throughout the world.
He was active in the American College of Cardiology where he twice served as governor, once for the state of Connecticut and then North Carolina. He was also very active in the North Carolina Chapter of ACC.
Upon graduating Glenbard High School in Glyn Ellen, Illinois, Babb attended Kenyon College, where he was a Fulbright Scholar. He then attended Johns Hopkins Medical School, and upon graduation, he interned and did his residency at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School.
He was a captain in the Army Medical Corps and served with the U.S Army 83rd Artillery in the Vietnam War and at Walter Reed Hospital.
After his discharge from the military, Babb completed his fellowship at the Massachusetts General Hospital in interventional cardiology. He then joined The Pennsylvania State University/ Hershey Medical Center as an assistant professor of medicine and a cardiologist.
While at Penn State, he had the opportunity to study in Zurich with Dr. Andreas Gruentzig, a pioneer in angioplasty.
A medical pioneer, Babb performed the first cardio angioplasty procedure at the Hershey Medical Center. He moved to Connecticut in 1980 as chief of Cardiology at Bridgeport Hospital where he then performed the first angioplasty in the state of Connecticut.
Babb was preceded in death by his father, Joseph Abner Babb, and his mother, Dorothea Babb.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by daughter Elizabeth Babb of Wilmington; a son Peter Babb; stepsons John and Matthew Tregenza/Sara; and seven grandchildren, Jack Tregenza, Charlie Tregenza, Henry Tregenza, Madison Tregenza, Stuart Tregenza, William Tregenza and James Tregenza.
A celebration of his life will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 30. in the East Carolina Heart Center. Those who can’t attend may do so online via this link:
To read a tribute by ECU, click here.