Andrew D. DeMasi, 88, of Cherry Hill, a longtime obstetrician and gynecologist in the Philadelphia region who rose to national prominence, died Saturday, Dec. 21, at his home of a stroke.

Dr. DeMasi served as chairman of the American Board of Osteopathic Obstetricians and Gynecologists and president of the American College of Osteopathic Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

He was a professor emeritus at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, where he had served as a clinical professor and physician, and at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, where he served as director of the OB/GYN residency program.

Despite his accomplishments, he was humble and rarely spoke of them, said son-in-law James Higgins, 57, who had known the doctor since he was 16.

Dr. DeMasi was born in 1925 in his family home at 10th and Mifflin Streets in South Philadelphia, on the second floor above the family's pharmacy.

He attended South Philadelphia High School, but at age 15 was selected by the Navy to begin college on a fast track, and he enrolled at Villanova University.

He accumulated enough credits to enroll at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and graduated in 1947 with a degree of doctor of osteopathy.

Dr. DeMasi completed an internship and residency at the former Osteopathic Hospital of Philadelphia.

While on the staff at the hospital, he met his future wife, Mary Ellen Gaenzle, who had become a nurse through the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. They married in 1951.

Dr. DeMasi first had a practice out of his home in South Philadelphia, then expanded it with offices in Bristol, Bucks County, and Stratford, Camden County. He spent many years running his practice with Daniel H. Belsky, one of his former medical students.

As a young man, he played the violin and piano. He later taught himself to play the mandolin and joined the Munier Mandolin and Guitar Orchestra in South Philadelphia. He became the president of the orchestra, which performed annually at the Columbus Day celebration at Penn's Landing.

Dr. DeMasi is survived by daughters Kathy, Lesly Baker, Mary L. Higgins, and Lisa; sons Mark and Jon; 11 grandchildren; and a great-granddaughter. His wife died in 2003 and a son, Guy Andrew, died in 1996.

Viewings will be Sunday, Dec. 29, from 6 to 8 p.m., and Monday, Dec. 30, from 10 to 10:45 a.m., at Holy Eucharist Roman Catholic Church, 344 Kresson Rd., Cherry Hill. A Funeral Mass will be at 11 a.m. Entombment will be private.

Contributions in his name can be made to Habitat for Humanity at Habitat.org.

bmoran@phillynews.com

215-854-5983 @RobertMoran215