dr-william-donley_web.jpgPatients of Dr. William Lyons Donley II had to exercise patience. He was known for his impeccable bedside manners which included taking his time with each patient, so the duration of an office visit could be longer than anticipated.

Donley, who saw people from all walks of life, including medical colleagues, prominent attorneys and religious leaders at his family practice at the North Shore Medical Center in Miami, died Saturday at Memorial Regional Medical Center in Hollywood of head injuries sustained in an accident. He was 60.

The bicycle Donley was riding collided with a landscaping truck parked in a bike lane in Miramar. Donley, an avid cyclist, was wearing a helmet. His family reported that his commitment to giving continued even in death, as his organs were donated.


Donley was born in Bellefonte, Penn., to William Lyons Donley and Audrey Bell on May 20, 1951, at the county hospital close to Penn State University where his parents were attending graduate school. When he was 6 months old, his family moved to Montgomery, Ala., where he attended elementary and middle schools while his parents taught at then Alabama State College. He also participated in the Selma to Montgomery March.

 Donley married his high school sweetheart, the former Latricia Cunningham, on July 3, 1976. Two days later, he started medical school  while his wife went to law school. The family grew to include two sons, William Lyons Donley III, who is attending Florida A&M University’s law school, and John Cunningham Donley, a student at Broward College. 

Donley graduated from the University of North Dakota in 1973 with a B.S. in chemistry, and he obtained an M.S. in biology from Old Dominion University and a medical degree from Eastern Virginia Medical School in 1979. He completed post-graduate work at Jackson Memorial Hospital in 1982 before going into practice with Dr. Thomas Garvin. He then practiced solo for several years before moving to North Shore Medical Center, where he spent the last 24 years as a family practitioner.

At North Shore, Donley served in several leadership roles, including chairman of the Department of Medicine, and on the hospital’s Governing Board. He was president of the James Wilson Bridges Medical Society from 2004 to 2007 and, at the time of his death, he was president of the Florida State Medical Society. He was also a member of the 100 Black Men of South Florida.

Donley was an active member of The Fountain of New Life, formerly The Fountain of Pembroke Pines, and accompanied his pastor on three medical missions to Nigeria and Haiti. 

In addition to his wife, and sons, he is survived by his mother, Audrey Donley, and a sister, Carrie Gilmore, both of Houston.

Funeral services were held. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent to Eastern Virginia Medical School, checks payable to EVMS Foundation, c/o Law Offices of Latricia C. Donley, 9050 Pines Blvd., Suite 450, Pembroke Pines, FL 33024.

Photo: Dr. William Donley