THADDEUS R. LEONIAK, M.D., F.A.C.S., 63, of BRICK Dr. Leoniak graduated from the Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina, in 1963 with academic honors including Distinguished Military Graduate. He attended medical school at New York Medical College and graduated in 1967, followed by his internship and residency at New York Medical College and Metropolitan Hospital in New York City. After years of active duty in the U.S. Army, he opened his practice in Brick. He served on the staff of Meridian Healthcare System, where he was chief of ophthalmology and focused his creative energy toward the study and application of organizational development, strategic planning, community service and social marketing as they apply to Meridian Healthcare and Ocean Medical Center. He was an assistant clinical professor at the New Jersey University of Medicine and Dentistry in the department of ophthalmology. Dr. Leoniak was past president of the New Jersey Academy of Ophthalmology, vice president of the Mid-Coastal IPA, Holmdel, and a member of the Ocean County Airport Advisory Committee, Toms River. For many years, he taught cataract surgery by phacoemulsification with the late Dr. Charles Kelman, eye surgeon, at his New York office and was the first ophthalmologist in this area to use this modern method for removing cataracts. Dr. Leoniak was a retired member of the U.S. Air Force Reserve and New Jersey Air National Guard, where he served as a flight surgeon in the 108th Tactical Hospital, Commander of the 177th U.S. Air Force Clinic and State Air Surgeon, retiring with the rank of full colonel in 2001. He was a consultant to the Air Force Surgeon General and served on a task force to study the feasibility and safety of laser refractive corneal surgery in Air Force personnel. He served as seminar president when enrolled at the Air War College. Dr. Leoniak was a devoted pilot with over 3000 hours of flying experience in fixed-wing, rotary and amphibian aircraft and flew aerobatics. He served the flying community as a senior aviation medical examiner who addressed the health needs of over 1,000 area pilots. Dr. Leoniak dedicated his entire life to helping and making it better for others. One of his last, but on-going contributions to his community, was the formation of the Ocean Medical Center Student Wellness Project. He is survived by his wife, Gloria Miritello Leoniak; a son George T. Leoniak of Marlboro, Vt.; a stepson and his wife, Charles and June Milianta of Brick; a stepdaughter and her husband, Ann Marie and Vincent Clements of Gaithersburg, Md.; his father and mother, George and Theodosia Leoniak of Toms River; and four grandchildren, Vincent, Kristin and Danielle Clements of Gaithersburg, Md., and Skyler Milianta of Brick. He leaves behind many faithful staff, co-workers, friends, and patients who will miss Ted Leoniak very much. Relatives and friends may call from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday at the Orender Family Home for Funerals, 2643 Old Bridge Road, Manasquan. A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 9 a.m. Thursday at the Visitation Roman Catholic Church, Brick. Interment will follow at the Brig. Gen. William C. Doyle Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Arneytown. Contributions can be made to the St. Barnabas Burn Foundation, 94 Old Short Hills Road, Livingston, NJ 07039.
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