Enyi Okereke, 54, of Voorhees, an orthopedic surgeon with the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, died Nov. 25 of a heart attack in Enugu, Nigeria, where he was training physicians.

Dr. Okereke was chief of the division of foot and ankle surgery for the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center and was an associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Dr. Okereke was a consultant physician to the Penn Relays, to Penn's basketball, football, lacrosse and track teams, and to professional teams, including the 76ers. He was interviewed by reporters as an expert on musculoskeletal conditions, and produced several multimedia lecture series for the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.

Dr. Okereke conducted health fairs in the Philadelphia area and mentored inner city high school students in Philadelphia and South Jersey.

Several times a years, he traveled to Nigeria, his native country, to conduct health fairs, donate medical equipment, train doctors and treat the indigent. He was passionate about establishing a nonprofit facility that would focus on trauma and emergency care, especially for victims of traffic accidents, his wife, Moriam, said.

Dr. Okereke had lived in the United States since 1973. He earned a bachelor's degree in biochemical pharmacology at the State University of New York and a bachelor's degree and a doctorate in pharmacy from Mercer University in Atlanta, where he met his wife. After earning a medical degree from Howard University, he completed a orthopedic surgery residency at Penn and a fellowship in foot and ankle injuries at the Hospital for Joint Diseases in New York City. He completed leadership courses at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

He was a life member of the NAACP and was a member of several professional societies. He was program chairman of the Philadelphia Orthopedic Society.

Dr. Okereke was a member of a distinguished family. A brother, Eze Kelechi Okereke, is the traditional ruler of Okpala, Nigeria, and a sister, Nne Kurubo, once was Nigeria's ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago.

"He was a humble person, a quiet soul, a true gentleman and an effective leader," his wife said.

A runner, Dr. Okereke participated in several marathons and in the annual Broad Street Run. He enjoyed parasailing, table tennis and downhill skiing with his sons, Karim and Kelechi.

In addition to his wife of 24 years and sons, Dr. Okereke is survived by a daughter, Kalaya; three brothers; two sisters; and a grandson.

A memorial service will be at 3 p.m. Sunday at Hope United Methodist Church, 700 Cooper Rd., Voorhees. Burial was in Okpala.

For information about an endowment fund in Dr. Okereke's honor, contributors may send an e-mail to

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