John D. Rouse, MD

Class Year




Posted on: May 2, 2017

John Dashiell Rouse, MD, son of Anne Colonna Rouse Burnette and the late John Dashiell Rouse, passed away peacefully at his home in San Francisco April 26, after an illness of several months.

A Newport News native, John graduated from Ferguson High School and Yale University. While at Yale he sang in the Freshmen Glee Club, the Spizzwinks, the University Chapel Choir, the Yale Glee Club and the Whiffenpoofs. He later became a founding member and longtime tenor soloist with the Yale Alumni Chorus, a group that traveled worldwide, most recently performing in Hanoi and Singapore. John also performed for forty years in the San Francisco Bay area as a tenor soloist with the Lamplighters Music Theatre, where he made many lifelong friends.

He attended the University of Virginia Medical School and did his residency in psychiatry at Mount Zion in San Francisco. John spent most of his career as an Attending Psychiatrist in Psychiatric Emergency Services at UCSF/San Francisco General Hospital. He was recently promoted to full Professor at UCSF and particularly enjoyed teaching bright young enthusiastic residents. In 2015, the Physicians’ Organizing Committee honored him with its Civic Engagement Award “in recognition of his active participation in advocating for the mental health needs of the seriously mentally ill and his activist stance in demanding that government entities live up to their responsibilities to the needs of the mentally ill.”

After John’s father died in the Korean War his mother married the late Marcus Clifton “Cliff” Burnette in 1958. John is survived by his mother, his sister Sarah Burnette Conrad (Roger) and their children Nate, Annlouise and Stuart of Alexandria, VA, as well as by many Burnette, Colonna and Rouse cousins. John was a legendary host and cook. He and sister Sarah co-hosted many memorable family celebrations for the extended Burnette and Rouse families on the east coast. They vacationed together every year. He will be greatly missed by all.

There will be a celebration of Rouse’s life at a future date on both east and west coasts. His remains will be buried at the Rouse gravesite in Smithfield, Virginia. Memorial gifts may be made to St. Andrews Episcopal Church in Newport News, where John sang as a child and later performed many tenor solos at Christmas and other special occasions, including his sister’s wedding in 1990 and his step-father’s funeral in 2015.