Leader in Orthopaedic Surgery, Trauma and Sports Medicine, Dies at 71
William G. DeLong Jr., M.D., an accomplished orthopaedic surgeon, Network Chairman of Orthopaedic Surgery at St. Luke's University Health Network, former team physician for the Philadelphia Flyers, and widely respected doctor both nationally and internationally died from a sudden heart attack on Friday in Camden, NJ. He was 71. He leaves his wife (Ginny) of 48 years, son Christian, daughter Lauren (Greg Ng) and grandson Joel Opdenhoff. Sisters Rosemary Duffy (William), Theresa Ackerman (Bruce) and Brother in Law Frederick Decker. His nephew Daniel Ackerman (Christina). Nieces Jennifer Duffy, Julia Higgins (Tim), Sarah Becker (Matt), Bonnie Baab, Lisa Dowd (Mike), Emma Ackerman and of course his faithful four legged companion Stella.
Dr. DeLong trained countless surgeons and was a genuine leader whose most recent position as Chairman at St. Luke's oversaw the rapid growth and development of a community program into a large network of academic specialists. Always leading by example, he continued to take overnight trauma call responsibilities and maintained full surgical and clinic schedules up until his passing. He never turned a patient away, never said no to a colleague in need, and generously mentored countless new surgeons. His contributions continue to benefit patients and doctors around the world.
Bill was a lifelong Philadelphia and South Jersey resident - born, raised and educated in the Philadelphia area. An avid fan of all Philadelphia sports teams, it was hard to pull him away from any game. As an athlete himself he participated in triathlons and was very active in both personal competition and support of athletic endeavors at all levels.
Dr. DeLong was an accomplished drummer playing in the world champion Cardinal Dougherty High School Marching Band from 1962-66, and many happy years in drum and bugle corps, beginning with the Rising Sun Cadets, PAL Cadets and finally with the 1968-70 state and national champions Blue Rock.
William G. DeLong, Jr., M.D. completed undergraduate degrees in both Chemical Engineering and Chemistry from Temple University and St. Joseph's University, respectively. He graduated from the Temple University School of Medicine and completed his Orthopaedic Surgery residency at the University of Pennsylvania Health System.
He served many leadership roles at Cooper University Hospital, University of Pennsylvania Health System and Temple University Hospital. He was currently serving as the Network Chairman of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at St. Luke's University Health Network. He also lent his expertise to the Philadelphia Flyers as well as multiple other professional, collegiate, and youth sports teams.
Dr. DeLong was an active member of professional organizations as well as a board member of the Orthopaedic Trauma Association, the Pennsylvania Orthopaedic Society, and Healing the Children of Philadelphia County. He has been recognized with awards including Best Doctors in America, Top Physician in multiple publications, as well as teaching and research awards.
Dr. DeLong was a sought-after educator, not only taught at the bedside and in the clinic, but taught at a high level at training courses throughout his career, was course chairman and keynote lecturer around the country, and has written numerous book chapters and scientific publications.
Bill was also well-known for his "boots on the ground" humanitarian efforts during Hurricane Katrina and the Haiti earthquake and his leadership as Chairman of the Humanitarian Committee of the OTA. He was a member of the Trauma Critical Care Team of the Department of Homeland Security for many years. In addition to these professional service activities, he was active as a consultant to the Haddonfield Child Care Advisory Board, a member of the Haddonfield Little League Board of Directors, Cub Scout master, the Haddonfield Substance Abuse Task Force, and coach of the Haddonfield Junior Basketball Team.
Dr. DeLong's family will receive friends at Kain-Murphy Funeral Services, 15 West End Ave., Haddonfield, NJ UPDATE 3/16/2020 – GREETING TIME CHANGE 5:00-7:00pm and again on Thursday morning at 10:00 am at Christ the King RC Church, 200 Windsor Ave., Haddonfield. Please refer to our website, www.kainmurphy.com
for any additional updates. Following the greeting, all are invited to his Mass of Christian Burial at the Church beginning at 11:00 am. Interment private.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory can be made to the STG Foundation, PO Box 60, Haddonfield, NJ 08033, Healing the Children, 46 St. Andrews Ct., Westhampton, NJ 08060 and Burlington County Animal Alliance https://bcaaofnj.org/
Published by Morning Call on Mar. 16, 2020.