In Memory

Eleanor Maloney

Eleanor, 59, died on February 15, 2010 after fighting  breast cancer for five years, leaving her husband, Henry, her daughter, Emily, and her son, Jacob.

Her friend, Martha King, writes: "Eleanor was a quiet, gentle and unassuming giant--accomplished in academics, badminton, piano, family, her medical practice as a radiologist, dragon boat racing, and in life. I miss her a lot!  Some will remember her courage at our 2008 reunion.   She died less than 2 years later. I remember visiting her several times during her 5-year ordeal -- and when I would suggest our "next time," she would hesitate to plan anything much in the future, all because she knew her prognosis wasn't good.  One of the things she relished most was that she survived long enough to visit her daughter, Emily, in Ghana while she served in the Peace Corps there.  I thought of her often when I visited my son in Burkina Faso less than a year after her death, so wishing that we could share our experiences and our pride in our kids."


Death notice: SMERGEL, Eleanor Maloney, M.D. On Feb. 15, 2010, age 59, longtime Haddonfield resident, beloved wife of Henry and loving mother of Emily and Jacob. Also survived by her sister Rita Maloney of Silver Spring, Maryland, brother David Maloney and his partner Emil George, of Washington D.C. Dr. Smergel was a graduate of Swarthmore College and Georgetown Medical School. She was a radiologist at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children in Philadelphia for 24 years, and Associate Professor of Radiologic Sciences at Drexel University College of Medicine. As Director of the St. Christopher's Radiology Training Program, she taught numerous medical students and radiology residents. Additionally, Dr. Smergel was very active for several years with local dragon boat racing teams, including the Philadelphia Dragon Boat Association. The family will receive friends on Friday evening, Feb. 26th, from 6-8 pm at KAIN-MURPHY FUNERAL SERVICES, 15 West End Ave., Haddonfield, where prayers will follow at 8 pm. Interment at Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, will be private. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Center for Grieving Children, Teens, & Families, 1139 East Luzerne Street, Philadelphia, PA 19124, or the Philadelphia Dragon Boat Assoc., 137 N. 11th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107.


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07/05/13 09:07 PM #1    

Richard Wilson

The Philadelphia Dragon Boat Association website has the following memorial tribute to Eleanor.




In February of 2010, the Philadelphia Dragon Boat Association lost its 'Quiet Warrior,' as Dr. Eleanor Smergel lost her battle with cancer.  

As a previous member of Hope Afloat, Schuylkill Dragons, and finally the PDBA and Team USA, Eleanor's spirit and strength touched all those who had the good fortune to know her.

As a lasting tribute to her time with us, we have established the Eleanor Smergel Memorial Endowment.  One of Eleanor's last wishes was for people to donate to the endowment. The money from the endowment will help a youth from the club in the form of a scholarship for post secondary education or trade school.


February 4, 2010
Eleanor's Farewell to Bob McNamara

I started out feeling like a nobody as far as dragon boat skill, and frankly a bit intimidated by the strength, power and testosterone in the boat.  What drew me to keep coming was your consistency, predictability, and high expectations.  I discovered my metastatic disease by accident the week before we went to China.  I nearly pulled out but in the end decided it wouldn’t kill me to go.  After that my disease was very indolent, but I greeted each new spring time on the river with joy.  

The week before Australia, I cracked a rib practicing, but put it off as a pulled muscle because Advil took care of it.  By spring I had cracked more ribs working out, and developed severe anemia.  Fortunately I had a complete response to Xeloda, and was with you drumming in Long Beach.  

It was like a miracle to get out again the next year and paddle.  

Now I am weary but the memories are priceless.  

I’ll always be there by the river.  

Thank you.  Thank you. 



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