David J. McAleer, 92, retired physician

Posted: August 11, 2012

David J. McAleer, 92, who retired in 2002 after a 46-year medical practice in Delaware County, died Monday, Aug. 6, of heart failure at his home in Hershey's Mill, a retirement community in West Goshen.

Dr. McAleer was a surgeon at what is now Mercy Catholic Medical Center in Darby from 1956 to 2002 and at Riddle Memorial Hospital near Media from 1962 while maintaining a practice in Upper Darby, then in Havertown and Drexel Hill.

He was president of the medical staff at Mercy in 1985-86 and, in the same term, chairman of its medical board.

Dr. McAleer was an associate clinical professor of surgery at Temple University Hospital from 1956 to 1959 while teaching at Hahnemann Hospital in the late 1950s.

He then held the same title at Thomas Jefferson University from 1965 to his 2002 retirement.

"He was a busy fellow," his daughter Kathie Wagner said.

"I know he loved medicine and he wanted to share that," she said. "So through teaching he had the ability to do that."

It didn't affect his family life.

Even when he worked late, she said, "one of the things that was very important to him was that we all have dinner together."

Born in Philadelphia, Dr. McAleer graduated from North Catholic High School in 1938 and earned a bachelor's degree in commerce and finance at Pennsylvania State University.

He was president of the Class of 1943 but, because of the nation's need for men to serve in World War II, graduated in 1942.

As an infantry officer, he served in the Philippines and in the New Guinea campaign, where he earned a Bronze Star during combat.

Discharged in 1946 as an Army captain, he served in the Navy Reserve from 1951 to 1956.

Dr. McAleer graduated from Temple University School of Medicine in 1951 and earned his surgery degree there in 1956, his daughter said. "Breast surgery was his specialty."

Elected president of the Delaware County Medical Society in 1979, he was a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and of the American Society of Abdominal Surgeons and a member of the American Board of General Surgery.

He served two terms on the Penn State Alumni Council, from 1977 to 1981 and from 1984 to 1990. During his first term he was on the council's executive committee.

He was a member of the Llanerch Country Club and the Overbrook Golf Club.

Besides his daughter Kathie, Dr. McAleer is survived by his wife of 59 years, Georgetta; sons David P., Michael, and John; daughters Irene and Mary Frances McAleer; a brother; nine grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

A visitation was set from 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 11, at St. John Neumann Roman Catholic Church, 380 Highland Ave., Bryn Mawr, before an 11:30 a.m. Funeral Mass there, with burial in SS. Peter and Paul Cemetery, Marple Township.

Contact Walter F. Naedele at 215-854-5607 or wnaedele@phillynews.com.

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