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William F. Rath, MD

January 11, 1926 ~ January 28, 2018 (age 92)

Born January 11, 1926 in Philadelphia to George and Rose Rath. As a child, during the depression he supplemented the family income by selling donuts and newspapers door to door.  He also served as a lifeguard in Pennypack Park.  After graduating from Frankford High School in Philadelphia, Bill joined the Navy and was assigned to the construction battalion, known as the Seabees.  He served two years in Okinawa, Japan (1944-46).

Following his military service he graduated from Villanova University in 1950, and Hahnemann Medical School in 1954.  He served his internship in Ophthalmology at Fitzgerald-Mercy Hospital in Lansdowne, Pennsylvania, followed by a one-year program at the Graduate School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1956.  He began his professional career at the University of Pennsylvania- “Scheie Institute”, where he worked for two years under Dr. Harold G. Scheie.

In 1958 he joined the practice of Dr. William LaMotte in Wilmington, Delaware.  The practice became Ophthalmology Associates years later. During his years in Delaware he performed surgery at Delaware Hospital, Memorial Hospital, St Francis Hospital, Wilmington General and Christiana Medical Center.  As a doctor his bedside manner was unmatched and unheard of in todays world. If you were one of his many patients you would smile when he asked “better one, better two?” He retired in 1996 after thirty-eight years of practice

While in practice in Wilmington, he formed the Delaware Academy of Ophthalmology in 1964, serving as President for several years. 

He also developed real estate in Ocean City, New Jersey.  He was a true entrepreneur.

As a young man Dr. Rath spent his summers working in Ocean City, NJ where he met Cornelia McCue.  They were married in Philadelphia in 1952 and celebrated sixty-four years of marriage before her death in 2016.

His four boys were his pride and joy, teaching them all aspects of life. He had a moral compass that never wavered from the truth.  He taught his boys by way of example, lessons that will guide them for life.

His passion for the New Jersey shore was evident, teaching his boys to fish, boat, water ski and ride the ocean’s waves.

Dr. and Mrs. Rath divided their time between their homes in Greenville, Delaware, Ocean City, New Jersey and Naples, Florida.  

He was a longtime member of the Wilmington Country Club where his passions were playing tennis and golf.

His oldest son, William predeceased him in 1994. His son, Chip and wife Marissa, his son, Christopher, his son, Paul and wife, Beth survive him.  His grandchildren, Katie Rath, Abry Rath, Michael Rath, Colton Rath, James Rath, Cassie Rath and many nieces and nephews also survive him.

The Rath family would like to extend their appreciation to Cokesbury Village for their great care and compassion.

A viewing will be held on Friday, February 2 at 11:00 a.m. followed by a Memorial Service at 12:30 at the Doherty Funeral Home, 3200 Limestone Road, Pike Creek.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Little Sisters of the Poor, 185 Salem Church Rd., Newark, De 19713.



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