J.P. Salb, M.D., 88, Jasper

Salb3J.P. Salb, M.D, 88, of Jasper, died Friday (January 20) at Brookside Village in Jasper. He was born in Jasper July 8, 1928, to Grover and Lucille (Beckman) Salb. He married Elizabeh Fierst in 1951. She died February 22, 2003.

Doctor Salb was a graduate of Jasper High School where he achieved the rank of Eagle Scout, was awarded the Edward Rottet Memorial Trophy, and was selected for the Kiwanis Award for senior achievement. He attended Indiana University and was a dedicated “Hoosier” for life having received both his B.S. and M.D. Degrees from IU. He then enlisted in the United States Air Force as a flight surgeon achieving the rank of captain.

In 1956 J.P. returned to Jasper and opened his office of family practice. He maintained this practice until December 1985 when he assumed the position of Medical Director of Southern Railway in Atlanta, Georgia. In 1989 he was responsible for consolidating the medical departments of Southern Railway and Norfolk Western Railroad and moving those combined units to Norfolk,Virginia. He was then appointed Director of Medical Services for Norfolk Southern Corporation, which oversaw healthcare for 27,000 employees. He served in that capacity until his retirement in 1994. During his employment he served as Chairman of the Medical Section of The American Association of Railroads and as President of the American Association of Railway Surgeons.

Upon retirement, he returned to Jasper where he served on the board of directors of Memorial Hospital and Health Care Center. He served as Secretary of the Board and later as Chairman of the Board from which he retired in 1998.

Dr. Salb was a life member of the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Family Practice, and the Indiana State Medical Association. He was board certified in Family Practice. He was a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Jasper, the Jasper Knights of Columbus, VFW Post #673, and American Legion Post #147.

He served as Chief of Staff for Memorial Hospital twice. He was Chairman of the Board of First United Savings Bank and was Secretary of the Dubois County Board of Health. He also served on the board of Directors of The Jasper Group, and Case Goods and Seating Manufacturing Company.

In 1971 he was elected to the Silver Anniversary Team of The Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame. In 1987 he was inducted into the Indiana Football Hall of Fame for his many years of service as team physician. In 2001 he was recognized by the Lincoln Heritage District of the Boy Scouts of America with the Distinguished Citizen Award. In 2009 he was selected as the Indiana University Outstanding Alumnus for the Southwest region.

An avid fisherman and hunter, J.P. spent his retirement fishing, hunting, and camping with his family and close friends. He enjoyed winters in Naples, Florida, where he volunteered for Habitat for Humanity.

He is survived by two daughters, Rebecca Eckerle and husband Michael and Nancy Morelli and husband Mark; one son, John Salb and wife Margaret; six grandchildren, Chris (Stephanie) Eckerle, Craig (Courtney) Eckerle, Alex Morelli, Hannah Morelli, Keri (Mike) Mertz, and Kaitlyn (Jose) Celis; and six great-grandchildren, Emma and Charlotte Eckerle, Tristin and Garrett Favia, and Jaydenn and Madalyn Mertz.

Friends may call from 3-7 p.m. Tuesday at the Becher-Kluesner Downtown Chapel in Jasper. In lieu of flowers memorial gifts may be made to the J.P. Salb Scholarship at the IU School of Medicine and mailed to the IU Foundation, P.O. Box 7072, Indianapolis, IN, 46207-7072 or to St. Joseph Catholic Church. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday at St. Joseph Church with burial following in Fairview Cemetery. VFW Post #673 will conduct military graveside rites.

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