Cover photo for Dr. Raphael J. DeHoratius's Obituary
Dr. Raphael J. DeHoratius Profile Photo
Dr. raphael

Dr. Raphael J. DeHoratius

d. November 26, 2020

A beloved son, brother, father, grandfather, and most especially, a renowned physician, eminent teacher and beloved mentor, Dr. Raphael J. DeHoratius, 78, passed away suddenly on November 26, 2020 at his home in Upper Gwynedd, PA with his companion Elizabeth Grace. A longtime resident of Philadelphia, Ralph was the first born of Pasquale and Edith DeHoratius. He grew up in Overbrook and graduated from St. Joseph’s Preparatory School, St. Joseph’s University, and Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University. Having completed his internship at Jefferson, Dr. Raphael J. DeHoratius left the Philadelphia area briefly for a residency and fellowship under the tutelage of Dr. Ralph Williams at the University of New Mexico where he began teaching in the early ‘70s. During this same time, he served two years as a Major in the United States Air Force caring for the young families of airmen and women in Wichita, Kansas, tornado alley as he remembers it. On returning to Philadelphia, Dr. DeHoratius began teaching at Jefferson, his alma mater. Between 1976 and1982, Dr. DeHoratius inspired young doctors with a love of learning, which was itself a signature of his own academic life. These early graduates, even to this day, remember a master teacher with great affection. From 1982-1992, Dr. DeHoratius directed the Division of Immunology and Rheumatology at Hahnemann University. At some time during his tenure at Hahnemann, he also served as Acting Chief of the Department of Medicine. Subsequently, Dr. DeHoratius returned to Jefferson as the Director of the Clinical Rheumatology Fellowship Program. Under his leadership, some thirty young fellows from the early ’90s to 2006 graduated from so rigorous and demanding a program that they were sought out consistently year after year by hospitals across the United States. During these years, Dr. DeHoratius distinguished himself as a leading rheumatologist in Philadelphia. Patients travelled long distances to be seen and heard by this remarkable diagnostician. Dr. DeHoratius dedicated himself to each one of them, listening attentively, determining the precise diagnosis, the appropriate medication or the singular therapeutic approach needed to resolve the issue. He developed the first Lupus Center in Philadelphia, served as President of the American College of Rheumatology in 2002/2003, and was awarded both the prestigious title of Master in Rheumatology and the Hollander Award for his significant contributions to the field of rheumatology. Dr. DeHoratius continued his important work as Medical Director in Rheumatology at Johnson & Johnson until his retirement in 2017. He is survived by his longtime companion, Elizabeth Grace; three daughters: Nicole DeHoratius, Ph.D. (Dieter Cohrs); Danielle M. DeHoratius, M.D., herself a physician who continues her father’s legacy of care and competence (Dr. Kevin Brown); Gabriel Koons; and six grandchildren. Also survived by his brothers, Francis (Marlou); Paschal (Mary Ann); a sister, Margherite Shaeffer (Bernard); and many adoring nieces and nephews. Relatives and friends are invited to celebrate his life on Saturday June 19, 2021 at 12PM at the Joseph Ambler Inn 1005 Horsham Rd, North Wales, PA 19454. Please RSVP by June 9, 2021 to
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Service Schedule

Past Services

Pending Arrangements

Thursday, November 26, 2020

1220 Bethlehem Pike


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