Gino R. Narboni, MD

  • Born: November 18, 1923
  • Died: July 16, 2016
  • Location: Shavano Park, Texas

Porter Loring Mortuary North

2102 North Loop 1604 East
San Antonio, TX 78232
Tel. (210) 495-8221

Tribute & Message From The Family

Physician, pilot, loving father and husband

Without fanfare and with gentle dignity, Gino Narboni, MD, died peacefully at home on Saturday, July 16, 2016.

As a physician, pilot, loving father and husband, Gino brought wisdom and strength to all who knew him. His moral compass never faltered.

Gino was born into a Sephardic Jewish family, in Constantine, Algeria, in 1923. He had a classic French education and planned to attend medical school until the events of WWII changed the course of his life. Drafted in 1943 by the army of the former Vichy French government which had taken power in North Africa, he defected from its forces in May that year to join General de Gaulle's Free French Air Force. While stationed at a remote base in Rayak, Lebanon, Gino learned he had been selected for pilot training in the US. In 1945, he graduated as a member of the Class of 45-C United States Army Air Corps and the French Air Force.

In 1948, as Gino had both a commercial pilot license and a French passport, a recruiter from the pre-state Hagana Jewish underground organization asked Gino to ferry planes and equipment from Europe to Israel during its War for Independence. He became a "Machal" (overseas volunteer) pilot in the Israel Air Force with the rank of captain, ferrying troops and evacuating wounded soldiers during the conflict. When the Israel national airline, EL AL, was launched, he flew first with ARKIA, the domestic airline, and later, internationally, as an EL AL pilot.

In 1952, upon his return to France, Gino resumed medical school. But, from the days of his initial US pilot training, he recognized the special qualities of America, and dreamt of his return. So in 1954, he left medical school once again, and immigrated to the US. He joined the US Air Force, became a citizen, and completed a four-year enlistment as an aircraft engine mechanic. He was honorably discharged as a staff sergeant.

In the next chapter, Gino returned to Paris. And with the GI Bill, in 1961, he finally completed medical school at the University of Paris. After graduation, he spent one year as an intern at the Deaconess Hospital in Buffalo, NY, where he met his future wife, Charlotte Anna Smith, a nursing student. They were married in 1962.

At the conclusion of his internship, Gino rejoined the USAF as a flight surgeon. Twenty-four years later, after serving tours of duty at Edwards AFB, California; in Vietnam, Germany, Wichita Falls, and Colorado Springs, where he was Air Defense Command Surgeon, Gino Narboni retired as a Colonel in the USAF Medical Corps in May 1981. During his career in the USAF, he amassed 750 flight hours and a rating of Chief Flight Surgeon.

While on active duty, Gino completed an internal medicine residency at Letterman General Hospital, San Francisco, and from 1973-1975, he served as a fellow in the Developmental Therapeutics program at MD Anderson Hospital, in Houston, Texas.

Gino Narboni retired from private medical oncology practice in 2002 at the age of 79.

He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Charlotte, and two daughters, Cecile Narboni and Nicole Narboni and son-in-law, Heath Cole.

We are sad and tearful, but we are filled with gratitude to have had Gino in our lives. "Il a repliƩ ses ailes." "He has folded his wings."

FRIDAY, JULY 29, 2016
9:30 A.M.

Interment will follow in Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery.

Because of his life-long, unrealized dream of being a symphony conductor, in 2007, Gino and Charlotte established the Gino R. Narboni Endowed Presidential Scholarship in Orchestral Conducting, at the University of Texas at Austin. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to this scholarship, Butler School of Music, College of Fine Arts, University of Texas at Austin. 78712.


Condolence & Memory Journal

Charlotte, Cecile and Nicole: The world is a diminished place for Gino's passing. He was a man of uncommon accomplishment, nobility, and humility--a rare combination of virtues in our day and age. And I know his life was an extraordinary one to the very end in large part because of your boundless attentions and uncompromising adventuresomeness. I'm so sorry to have been out of town and off-the-grid for his memorial.
My sincerest thanks on behalf of the University of Texas for your memorial commitment to the Gino R. Narboni Endowed Presidential Scholarship in Orchestral Conducting. I trust Gino will finally get his much-deserved day in front of the celestial orchestra!
With greatest affection and respect,
Doug Dempster

Posted by Douglas Dempster - Austin, TX - Friend   August 02, 2016

Dear Charlotte: So sad to hear about Gino's passing. It was a pleasure having been able to meet him and work with him. He was an incredible human being. God bless.
Enrique A. Perez

Posted by Enrique Perez - Dallas, TX - Friend   August 02, 2016

Dear Charlotte and family,
I was so sorry to hear about Gino's passing. We treated patients together for many years. All I have are lots of good memories of him. He was a very competent oncologist, and he had a very touching human side. With his amazing background and his varied interests, inside and outside of medicine, it was always a pleasure to converse and relate to him. We managed to socialize from time to time, and he was a most enjoyable and warm human being. Rest in peace.

Posted by Joaquin Mira - San Antonio, TX - Coworker   July 31, 2016

I am very sorry for your loss. I didn't know him personally, but know about him and what an incredible person he was. I know he is resting peacefully and I pray for all of you to have the strength to find comfort on his memories.

Posted by Mazal Moszkowicz . - San Antonio, TX   July 28, 2016

A very kind Colleague , with a great personality , friendliness , and love for Our Profession ,Had the privilege of working alongside with Gino and share together part of Our Medical lives , rest in Peace

Posted by Angel R Jimenez MD FACS - San Antonio, TX - Coworker   July 25, 2016

Dr Narboni, you took such great care of me in 1996 when I found out I had cancer. You were so compassionate and truly cared. You were the best♡
You were loved by so many! What an interesting life you lead! God bless you and your family!
My condolences to the Narboni family.

Posted by Alicia Haley - Schertz, TX - Friend   July 24, 2016

Gino, it was an honor to have known you. Rest in Peace, dear friend. Toby and John Tate

Posted by John Tate - San Antonio, TX - Friend   July 22, 2016


Heath and Nicole, Charlotte, Cecile-Bath in your sadness, for it is yours. Write down all your lone memories of him and you, talk to all about him. Talk to him everyday, he is there for you always. Laugh and remember good times and bad with Gino. And remember it is ok to cry for the ones we have lost. Love to all. Deb Cole Lincoln Ne July 20, 2016

Posted by Deb Cole - Lincoln, NE - Friend   July 20, 2016

lives are for sharing and caring,for learning and friendships, and this is what i have gained through a unique friendship with cecile,she shared mr.gino and miss. charlotte with me-for that i will be eternally grateful-to have been honored and privilaged to meet two equally unique people, that have empacted my life thank you mr.gino for all you gave!may God bless the narboni family

Posted by francine picillo - chico, CA - Friend   July 18, 2016

Charlotte and family we are so sorry to hear of Gino's passing. He was such a wonderful friend and neighbor. It was obvious how much he loved all of you. He had a gentle spirit and loving manner. He will be missed. We will always be grateful for your and Gino's support when Iris was ill. Please let us know if there is anything we can do.

Posted by Jesse Martinez - Shavano Park, TX - Neighbor   July 18, 2016

Please accept our heartfelt condolences on the loss of Gino. May you be comforted by the outpouring of love surrounding you. Please remember that you are not alone... We are always here for you. You and Gino lived a big, beautiful life and I will always look to your relationship as a barometer for my own. I will be praying for comfort and peace for you and the girls.

Posted by Pascale and Jason Royal - Weston, FL - Friend   July 18, 2016

So very sorry for your loss. I am sure his memory will live on in your heart forever.

Posted by Carol Anne Adamson - San Antonio, TX   July 18, 2016

je pense très fort à vous trois, c'était un homme exceptionnel , je suis persuadée qu'il a retrouver Jean michel.

Posted by DANINOS Nicole - Cavalaire - Family   July 18, 2016

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