Dr James Riddell, a former Reader in the Department of Therapeutics and Pharmacology at Queen's University, and a Consultant in Medicine at the Belfast City Hospital has died at the age of 77.
James Gray Riddell was born in 1942, and was the son of a Moy general merchant John Riddell and his wife Ellen (nee Dilworth).
He was a pupil in the P7 class of the primary school in the Moy when his father died suddenly.
Subsequently he became a boarder at the Coleraine Academical Institution.
He graduated with a BSc in chemistry from Queen's University in 1964, and he was a teacher at Portadown College for three years.
He later studied medicine at Queen's, graduating in 1972, and he won the McCaw Prize in Dermatology in his final year. Seven years later he was awarded an MD from Queen's.
He was an accomplished oarsman and during his time at Queen's he was captain of the University Boat Club and also of the Lady Victoria Boat Club, and at various stages a member of Portadown Boat Club and the Belfast Commercial Rowing club.
After graduating in medicine he took a house job in Lagan Valley Hospital, and later forged a distinguished teaching and research career in medicine.
He married Mary Rose McNally in 1969, and in his early medical days he acted as a locum GP, mostly in west Belfast, during the Troubles and had many hair-raising stories to tell.
From 1981-82 he spent a sabbatical year as a Research Fellow in the Department of Pharmacology of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee where he studied in particular the properties of beta-blockers which are used widely around the world.
Professor Robin Shanks, his former Head of Department at Queen's, said: "Dr Riddell was an excellent teacher of undergraduate medical and dental students, and he was very active in assessing the properties of drugs for use with humans.
"He had high standards, and he was a most reliable colleague whom you could trust to always get things done.
"He was also a fine, warm-hearted colleague, with a droll sense of humour."
Professor Sir Desmond Rea said: "My friendship with Jimmy goes back to the years when we were undergraduates at Queen's - he for the second time - and when we were Junior Boarding Masters at Methodist College, Belfast. Jimmy was not just highly intelligent; he was an educated man, and well read beyond chemistry, physics and the subjects underpinning medicine. He loved poetry, and he became a much-respected lecturer. Jimmy also had a great capacity for friendship."
His son Dr John Riddell, a consultant cardiologist, said: "There is an entire generation, including my brother Gareth and myself, who remember his lectures fondly.
"My mother attests that he went to great efforts, often rising at 5.30am, to prepare for his lectures to ensure that he would not be asked a question that he could not answer."
Memorably the drugs he mentioned were summarized in a 'Noddy's Guide' of points from one to 10.
However, these lectures were also sure to include plenty of aphorisms and examples of his dry wit, and this is what most people remember about them.
Dr Riddell's other main interests were walking, reading, travelling and the theatre.
He also had a deep interest in religion and philosophy and in his later years he was an active member the First Presbyterian (Non-Subscribing) Church in Rosemary Street, Belfast.
He is survived by his wife Mary Rose, by his sons John, Gareth and Stephen, by his brother John and his sister Nell, and by the wider family. He was pre-deceased by his brothers Robert and Willie.