Monsignor George Tribou, principal of Little Rock’s Catholic High School since 1964, died Friday morning at age 76.
Tribou died from heart and lung complications following intestinal surgery at University Hospital in Little Rock.
A noted community leader, Tribou had remained at the hospital almost continuously since mid-December. President Clinton visited him in January during his Little Rock trip days before leaving the White House.
“The loss all of us feel can’t be put into words, so great was his impact,” said Bishop Peter Sartain of the Little Rock Catholic Diocese.
A native of Jenkintown, Pa., Tribou attended St. John’s Seminary in Little Rock. He was ordained at the Cathedral of St. Andrew in downtown Little Rock by Bishop Albert L. Fletcher on May 26, 1949.
He joined the faculty of Catholic High in 1950 and remained active in teaching even after being named principal of the boys school in 1964.
Tribou, renowned for his disciplinarian ways, taught freshman religion and junior and senior English until he was hospitalized in December.
Jim Hathaway, vice chairman of The Hathaway Group in Little Rock, recalled that Tribou was one of the finest men he had ever met.
“He had an impact on the lives of so many people it can’t be measured,” said Hathaway, whose three sons graduated from Central High School.
“He was an outstanding and very unusual man. He had a sense of humor and ability to understand the minds of his students.
“I’ll never forget when we told me that a teenaged boy is looking for a wall and will keep pushing and pushing until he finds the wall.
“‘I am the wall,’ Tribou said.”
The rosary and funeral Mass will be held at Catholic High School. Times and dates for the services are not available.