Dr. William (Bill) Hartley Hayling, esteemed physician, community leader and Vineyarder, died Friday, Oct. 2. He was 94.

Bill was born in Trenton, N.J., in 1925. His father, a physician, died in 1939, and his legacy of caring for families inspired Bill to enter medicine. At age 17, he was admitted to Boston University, where he majored in pre-medicine while playing varsity baseball and basketball.

At the age of 19, Dr. Hayling gained admission to the Howard University College of Medicine. After graduating, he completed an internship at Harlem Hospital in New York and began a residency in obstetrics. In 1951, he was drafted into the U.S. Army Medical Corps as a captain and served as a battlefield surgeon with a MASH unit in Korea, earning a Bronze Star. Upon returning to New York, he completed his residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Lincoln Hospital in the Bronx. He closed his private practice in Newark, N.J., after 38 years and relocated to Los Angeles, Calif., where he became chief of ambulatory obstetrics and gynecology at Martin Luther King Jr. Hospital. From 1981 to 1998, he was a faculty member at the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science. A fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) and of the American College of Surgeons, Dr. Hayling delivered more than 8,000 babies while providing maternal care for thousands of women over the course of his 60-year medical career.

In addition to caring for underprivileged women, he had a several passions, including mentoring and developing youth, which was evident in his work with the 100 Black Men of America, 100 Black Men of Los Angeles and their Young Scholars Program. He helped pioneer the formation of both the New Jersey and Los Angeles chapters of the 100 Black Men, Inc., and was pivotal in bringing the various 100 Black Men organizations under the single banner of 100 Black Men of America Inc. where he served as the first national president of this significant organization from 1986 to 1990.

Bill first visited Martha’s Vineyard in 1944 as a college student. Years later, he and his family became members of the Oak Bluffs community and continue to be. The family home was at 19 Shirley avenue near the lobster hatchery. Along with his wife, Laura, and his two daughters, Pamela and Patricia, the family spent every summer enjoying friendships, tennis, golf, bridge, beach time at State and South Beaches, immersed in the beauty of the Island, their favorite place to be.

One of the highlights of Bill’s life was to enjoy the company of his humorous younger brother, Dr. Leslie (Big Les) Hayling and his family on the Vineyard. Bill was an avid sportsman who played tennis or golf almost every day while on the Island. He and Laura, along with Mel Patrick, the Popes, Davises, Cunninghams, Virginias, Reeds, Kings, Warehams and others, launched the annual Oak Bluffs Labor Day Tennis Tournament. It was the place to be and be seen over the Labor Day weekend, a destination for tennis lovers across the country. Even after relocating to California, Bill would continue the tradition of Vineyard summers with his second wife, Carolyn.

He is survived by his wife, Carolyn Mitchem Hayling; two daughters, Pamela Hayling Hoffman and her husband Dr. Joseph I. Hoffman Jr., and Patricia Hayling Price and her husband Dr. Thomas Price; a nephew, Dr. Leslie Hayling Jr.; grandchildren, Kristen Hoffman Ajaegbu, Kara Hoffman Lowery, Thomas Hayling Price, and Hilary Price; a brother in law Alva Mitchem, sister in law Lila Rideau; a niece Apryl Rideau; a grand-nephew, Sage Correa and Gracie, his lovable and devoted cocker spaniel.