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Fordham Mourns The Passing of Louis Del Guercio, M.D.

On March 8, a founding member of Fordham’s Science Council, Louis Del Guercio, M.D., FCRH ’49, died from complications from a brain tumor. Fordham College at Rose Hill Dean Michael Latham reflected upon Dr. Del Guercio’s leadership in a letter to the doctor’s family, which with permission from the family is exerted here.

Dr. Del Guercio provided important leadership for the Council with the medical community and with physicians, helping to tell the story of Fordham's commitment to the sciences and the outstanding accomplishments of our students and faculty. He was also a generous supporter and devoted advocate of student research in particular. From the start of our undergraduate research symposia, he was always eager to encourage students. For Lou, the challenge was not simply for students to figure out what they were good at. It was to determine what they truly cared about, what they were passionate about, and then to think seriously about how they could use their abilities to address real social needs. Lou was a tremendous scholar, but he was also a teacher at heart, and I think that he was always eager to promote Fordham's student-centered, transformative mission. Dr. Del Guercio’s presence within the Fordham community will be truly missed.

What follows is from the New York Times obituary: 

Dr. Louis R.M. Del Guercio of Larchmont died on Friday, March 8, due to complications from a brain tumor. He was 84. A renowned thoracic surgeon and pioneer in his field, he was also an artist, inventor, public servant, mentor and entrepreneur. He was an individual who was committed to enhancing the lives of others.

He was born on January 15, 1929 to Louis and Hortense (Ardengo) Del Guercio and grew up in Larchmont where he lived all of his life. Dr. Del Guercio graduated from Fordham College in 1948 with a B.S. degree, cum laude. He attended the Yale School of Medicine and received his post- graduate training in surgery at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, Saint Vincent's Medical Center and Cleveland Metropolitan General Hospital. At the Albert Einstein College of Medicine from 1960–1971 he progressed from Instructor of Surgery to Professor. He then served as Chief of Surgery at the Saint Barnabas Medical Center in New Jersey until 1976 when he was appointed Chairman of Surgery at New York Medical College and Chief of Surgery at Westchester Medical Center where he served for 26 years until his retirement.

He was the author of three textbooks and 320 surgical articles. He was one of the founders and past presidents of the Society of Critical Care Medicine. He volunteered for the first Gulf War and was commissioned a full Colonel and put in charge of the 320th Evacuation Hospital. He was awarded the U.S. Army Commendation Medal in 1991. He most recently served on the board of the Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital at Westchester Medical Center, the Executive Committee of the Yale Medical Alumni Association and the Fordham Science Council.

In his retirement he walked with his sons on a 500-mile pilgrimage to the tomb of St. James in Santiago de Compostela. He was also an avid fisherman, sailor, painter, and tennis player. He loved nothing more than spending time at his waterfront home with his family and pets. He is survived by his beloved wife Paula of 56 years; his children Louis (Carolyn), Francesca (Robert) Monro, Paul (Marianne), Catherine (Luc) Gregoire, Maria (Greg) Stanton, Michelle (Mark) Ferri, Christopher (Berit) and Anthony (Magan); his 15 grandchildren; and his sister Eligia Dundee and her children.

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