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Operating room to be dedicated to man killed in February plane crash
Dan Delnoce and Courtney Flanders Provided by Kerra Murray

Always full of ideas and working on the “next big thing,” Dan Delnoce dedicated his last 14 years to Specialty Orthopaedics.

Later this month, the clinic will do the same for him, honoring Delnoce’s memory with an operating room in his name at the Gainesville clinic.

“Many people had no idea how much work he put in behind the scenes on so many fronts, although that has become obvious since his passing, as we’ve tried to fill the hole he left,” Specialty Orthopaedics ortho clinical coordinator Leah Gaither said. “This (operating room) pays homage to Dan’s commitment to our practice.”

Dan Delnoce, 44, his wife Courtney Flanders, 45, and Dan’s brother, Matthew Delnoce, 39, of Ohio, were killed in a Feb. 26 plane crash. The single-engine plane crashed down in the Memorial Park Drive area of Gainesville.

The Federal Aviation Administration reported the plane was heading to Daytona Beach, Fla.

“The controller informed the pilot that the airplane appeared to be on a westbound heading and asked if he was on the assigned heading of 140 (degrees),” according to a National Transportation Safety Board report released earlier this year. “However, the pilot did not respond. The airplane began a rapid descent and then the low altitude alert system activated at the controller’s station.”

The report said the controller alerted the pilot, but the pilot did not respond. Upon reviewing the scene, the safety board said the airplane hit wooded terrain around ¾ of a mile southwest of the approach end of a Lee Gilmer Memorial Airport runway.

Gaither said Dr. John Vachtsevanos, the clinic’s most senior partner and colleague of Dan Delnoce since 2007, had the idea to dedicate the operating room to him.

She said Delnoce had a “larger than life personality that made him the center of attention wherever he went,” a man who had an infectious laugh that paired with a persistent smile.

“He loved telling stories, and he never met a stranger. He was full of ideas, always working on the next big thing,” Gaither said. “He drove a hard bargain, but his easy personality brought peace to the most tense situations. He was extremely generous, and fiercely loyal.”

A dedication ceremony will be held for Dan’s family, close friends, associates and employees of the clinic.