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Highland mourns after passing of local doctor

By Joseph Abraham
Posted 7/20/21

BARRYVILLE –– Shockwaves were sent through the Town of Highland recently, following news that beloved local doctor, Richard Daboul passed away of a heart attack at the age of …

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Highland mourns after passing of local doctor

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BARRYVILLE –– Shockwaves were sent through the Town of Highland recently, following news that beloved local doctor, Richard Daboul passed away of a heart attack at the age of 70.

Daboul and his family moved to the area in 1986, owning and operating River Valley Family Medical Services in Barryville on State Route 97. He also had a second office at 209 New Ball Street in Port Jervis.

His wife Cathy served as a medical technologist and was his assistant office manager and care coordinator.
The couple, who recently celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary, have four kids.

Dr. Daboul could be called an old school type of doctor, the kind that knew everyone in the community and their families.

Patients remember him for his willingness to listen and a dry sense of humor that’d put a smile on their face, while loved ones will remember the dedicated family man, who was a big fan of the Philadelphia Eagles and the Grateful Dead.

Each morning Dr. Daboul would make coffee and bring it up to his wife as they got ready for work.
“He was a really wonderful husband and father to his children,” said Cathy. 

Dr. Daboul was a member of the American Academy of Family Practice. He served in the Military Reserve, and was a member of St. Ann's Church, Shohola, PA, as well as the Town of Highland Lions Club.

One of his patients for close to 35 years was Town of Highland Supervisor Jeff Haas.

“Personally, he had a dry sense of humor and I liked it,” said Haas. “We told jokes and laughed with each other. He was very professional. The community gained a valuable asset in 1986 and lost one in 2021 with the passing of Dr. Daboul. A lot of people went to him. His office was always full. He tried to help everyone who went to him and ran a very successful practice.” 

Veronica Dellatore, another one of Dr. Daboul’s patients, remembers how, years ago, his office generously donated a microscope to the Eldred Central School District.

“I’m devastated,” she said. “When I got here, he was the only doctor who understood my needs as a patient. He always had a smile on his face when you asked about his grand kids.”

Going back to Dr. Daboul’s sense of humor, Dellatore said one day she came into the office complaining about a bunch of things, and he said he had some sage advice for her, “Buck up, buttercup.” 

She noted they were both fans of the PBS show NOVA, and would talk about it.

“He was very compassionate, soft-spoken, but very confident,” said Dellatore. “He was a faithful servant in life who served his purpose. Job well-done.”

Highland Town Justice Tony LaRuffa, who is also the captain of the American Legion Ambulance Service, said Dr. Daboul served as their Medical Control Officer.

“He will be missed by the community and by us,” said LaRuffa. “I’ve known him and his family since he started his practice. We [American Legion Ambulance Service] had somebody we could always go to. Everything he did enabled us to better help the community.”

After nearly three decades of the practice being on its own, Dr. Daboul became affiliated with Middletown Medical in 2015.

The multi-specialty physicians’ group acted swiftly to fill the medical need at both of Dr. Daboul’s offices following his passing. Physician Assistants McKinnley Conklin and Amanda Hansen are now seeing patients in Barryville and Port Jervis respectively.

“It was a privilege to know and work with Dr. Daboul,” said Dr. Raj Gulati, President of Middletown Medical, PC. “He was a quiet and gentle man who let the world do the talking for him. Throughout his career, Dr. Daboul served thousands of Middletown Medical patients, providing them with quality and compassionate care. He will be deeply missed by his patients and colleagues alike.”

Services were held to pay respects to Dr. Daboul last week.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Richard's name to: St Ann’s Church, 123 Richardson Ave., Shohola, PA 18458; American Legion Ambulance Corp, 17 Collins Rd., Eldred, NY 12732 or Yulan Fire Dept., P.O. Box 33, Yulan, NY 12792.

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