Born November 1, 1930, Dr. William L. London was just shy of his 84th birthday when he passed away on October 20, 2014. His parents were Lilly Frances Thompson London and William Lord London of Pittsboro, North Carolina. He left Pittsboro to attend Episcopal High School in Alexandria, and the University of North Carolina where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. In 1955, he received his MD from UNC and was one of three original members of Alpha Omega Alpha honor society. From Chapel Hill, he went to Boston to complete his internship and residency at Boston’s Children’s Hospital. He joined the Navy, where his request to be stationed in an exotic location was met with his being stationed as a flight surgeon at the Marine Air Base at Cherry Point, North Carolina. He returned to Boston to complete a fellowship at Harvard in Pediatric Hematology. In 1961, he joined his uncle Arthur London in practice at Durham Pediatrics. For forty years, he took care of the children of Durham.
Will loved medicine, the outdoors, and his family. In 1964, he chaired the committee to provide polio vaccines to all residents of Durham and Orange counties. He was the President of the Medical staff at Watts Hospital, and later Durham Regional Hospital, and was Chief of Pediatrics at Watts, Lincoln and Durham Regional. He enjoyed teaching medical students and young doctors as an associate clinical professor at Duke and UNC and was often called in to consult on difficult cases. His colleagues described him as a “doctor’s doctor”.
He received many accolades during his life, including, in 2000, the Distinguished Service Award from the UNC School of Medicine. As noted in that award:
“An active member of the American Board of Pediatrics since 1979, Dr. London served on the board of directors for six years and was secretary-treasurer for another year. He was a dynamic force in the North Carolina Pediatric Society, serving as its long-term president, as well as the American Academy of Pediatrics, where he held positions of national prominence and leadership roles in the state chapter. Dr. London was chapter chairman from 1969 to 1974, and under his leadership the two state organizations-once fragmented in their efforts-worked collaboratively to champion programs for children.”
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In addition to serving on its Board, from 1979 to 2000, he was an official examiner of American Board of Pediatrics, writing and grading the tests for the specialty.
He hunted ducks in the cold, and fish in storms. He made beautiful furniture and toys. The best decision he ever made was to marry his wife of 58 years, the love of his life, Carolyn White London. She was with him until the end.
He is survived by his wife, two children, John Haughton, William Lord (Skip) and his wife Lisa, and four grandchildren, Rachel and her husband James Stahl, Adair, James, and Henry London to each he left with wonderful memories.
A memorial service will be held at Saint Stephens Episcopal Church, in Durham at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, October 24th. The family will receive visitors after the service at the church. There will be a private burial for the family at Saint Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church on Saturday. In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to the William L. and Carolyn London Loyalty Fund, a scholarship for Medical students at the University of North Carolina.
Howerton & Bryan Funeral Home is assisting the London family. Online condolences may be submitted to www.howertonbryan.com select obituaries.