Moses Rabson, 91, of Cheltenham, an orthopedic surgeon and decorated World War II veteran, died Wednesday of heart failure at Rydal Park Nursing Home.

Dr. Rabson graduated from Northeast High School. He earned a medical degree from Temple University, where he met his future wife, Frances Weiner, who was a medical technician at Temple University Hospital.

During World War II, he served in the Army Medical Corps in the Third Armored Division in Europe. In the 2002 book

Legacy of Heroes

, about World War II surgeons, he is quoted as saying: "My job was to stop the bleeding; set a fracture with anything handy; and pack up a chest wound so the fellow could breathe."

Dr. Rabson landed in Normandy in late June 1944, and, while in France, won a Bronze Star for caring for the wounded while under fire. In September 1944, he was awarded a Silver Star for "gallantry in action" in Mons, Belgium. According to the award citation, "Captain Rabson heard violent screams coming from a damaged tank. He left his covered position and traversed 100 yards of open terrain. Arriving at the damaged tank, he found that one of the men was wounded so seriously that it was necessary to amputate his leg before removing him from the vehicle." The man recovered. Two weeks later, Dr. Rabson was wounded in Germany and received a Purple Heart.

After his discharge in 1946, he and his wife married. They had corresponded daily during his 26 months overseas, she said. He completed a residency in orthopedic surgery at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. In 1950, he established a practice in Center City and later moved his office to Olney. His wife assisted him in his practice.

He was affiliated with Albert Einstein Medical Center and the former Rolling Hill Hospital and John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital and was also a clinical professor at Temple's medical school. He was very conservative, his wife said, and preferred to prescribe exercise and rehabilitation therapy to his patients before resorting to surgery.

He was a past vice chairman of the medical division of the Allied Jewish Appeal.

Dr. Rabson, who retired in the late 1980s, was a talented photographer and classical music aficionado. He enjoyed polishing and cutting stones, which he fashioned into jewelry for friends and family. He could fix anything around the house, his wife said.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by a son, Joseph, and daughter, Sylvia Karasu, who are physicians, and two grandchildren.

The funeral will be at 1 p.m. Sunday at Goldsteins' Rosenberg's Raphael-Sacks Memorial Chapel, 310 Second Street Pike, Southampton.

Memorial donations may be made to Congregation Melrose B'nai Israel Emanu-El, 133 W. Cheltenham Ave., Cheltenham, Pa. 19102.

Contact staff writer Sally A. Downey at 215-854-2913 or sdowney@phillynews.com.