Leonard C. Kalmar, of Tucson, Arizona, formerly of Manorville, died on December 22 after a long battle with heart disease. He was 71.
Born to George and Katherine Kalmar in Manorville, he grew up in a rural environment, helping with a large garden plot and caring for a series of pets. He often rode horses through open land around his home. He attended St. John the Evangelist Elementary School in Center Moriches and, following his graduation from Center Moriches High School in 1955, he served in the U.S. Army for three years. Stationed mainly in Hawaii, he maintained helicopters and other aircraft.
After his military service, he worked for Pan American Airways as an aircraft and power plant mechanic for several years. He then joined Brookhaven National Laboratory where he served for 30 years as a technician specialist before retiring in 1992.
Mr. Kalmar suffered a massive heart attack in 1990. During his recovery, he was married in Brookhaven Memorial Hospital to his wife, Audrey (née Ringhouse). Two cardiologists on the hospital staff served as best man and matron of honor.
The couple moved to Tucson, Arizona, in 1992, but made annual trips back to Long Island in motor homes and trailers. Survivors recalled that he was a talented storyteller with an extensive memory who maintained a countrywide network of friends through personal visits and frequent telephone conversations, during which he shared his vast store of anecdotes.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by two children from a previous marriage, a daughter, Kimberley and her husband Rich Lehr of Center Moriches; and a son, Leonard C. Kalmar Jr. of East Moriches; a brother, George Kalmar and his wife Norma of Arizona; a sister, Kathleen and her husband Joe Strebel of Illinois; and two grandchildren, Abigail and Joshua.
He is also survived by two stepsons, Scott Bangel and Bruce Bangel and his wife Kimberly; two stepdaughters and their husbands, Claudia and Daniel Kreskowski, and Audra and Matthew Hopkins; 11 step-grandchildren, Shannon, Kevin, Eric, Shane, Ethan, Brian, Brittany, Robert, Chelsea, Dana and Lauren; and four step-great-grandchildren, Hunter, Madison, Zachary and Egan.
The family is planning a memorial at the Tucson Estate Clubhouse later this week; no local services had been planned at press time.
In lieu of flowers, donations to the American Heart Association would be appreciated by the family.