African American News and Genealogy

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Thursday, January 05, 2006

Doctor helped break racial barriers at hospitals

DETROIT -- Dr. Delford G. Williams Jr., who blazed medical trails for other blacks, including two sons, died of lung cancer Dec. 21, 2005, in Sinai-Grace Hospital. He was 85. The Wilmington, N.C., native, who was valedictorian of his high school and graduated cum laude from college, was an intern at a St. Louis hospital in 1946 -- a time when few minorities were training at majority institutions. He came to Detroit four years later to serve a surgical residency at Trinity Hospital and never left. He practiced medicine until 1997, specializing in obstetrics and gynecology. His two sons, David and Delford III, also became doctors and followed their father into his private practice. "He was proud to tell you that he practiced medicine for 52 years," said David Williams. Dr. Williams, who served on the staff of six hospitals, was chief of staff at two of them: Boulevard General Hospital from 1969 to 1975 and Southwest Detroit Hospital from 1976 to 1991. He was a trustee at Southwest Detroit Hospital for more than a decade. Dr. Williams is survived by his wife, Eresteen; son David; daughter, Donna; and four grandchildren. Services were held. Arrangements were by the Fritz Funeral Home in Detroit. Memorial tributes may be sent to the Howard University College of Medicine, 520 W Street N.W., Washington, DC 20059. You can reach Frances X. Donnelly at (313) 223-4186 or


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