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DR. WILLIAM GERARD "BILL" LIEKWEG JR.

Dr. William "Bill" Gerard Liekweg, Jr., 68, passed away
on Sunday, October 14th after medical complications induced by heart failure.
Bill was preceded in death by his father, William Gerard Liekweg; his mother, Catherine Bernadette Liekweg (nee Murphy). He is survived by his three sons, Eric William Liekweg, Christopher James Liekweg (Renee) and Brian Joseph Liekweg. He is also survived by his two brothers, Stephen Liekweg (Kathy) and Richard Liekweg (Stacey), and three sisters, Cathy Conlon, Jane Eddy (Tom), and Paula Davis (Wyatt).
He was born March 20th 1944, in Washington D.C. to William G. Liekweg, and Catherine B. Liekweg. From childhood, Bill asserted his aspiration of becoming a heart surgeon. Bill pursued this dream by attending Gonzaga College High School and then Mount St. Mary's University. He graduated "magna cum laude" with a Bachelor's degree in chemistry. He then went on to receive his medical degree from Jefferson Medical College, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA. Bill completed a five-year residency in General Surgery at the Medical College of Virginia and a two-year fellowship in Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery at the Medical College of Wisconsin. It was at this time that his training was interrupted while serving as Lt. Commander, United States Navy-Fleet Surgeon-6th Fleet, aboard the USS Intrepid during the Vietnam War. Bill had a very active medical practice at St. Joseph/ Genesys Health System in mid-Michigan. He concentrated his efforts in heart, lung and chest surgery. He was Chief of Cardiac Surgery for over 10 years and remained Board Certified throughout his years of retirement. He consistently manifested professional integrity, high moral standards, superb surgical skill and professional judgment throughout his 20+ year career as a Cardio-Thoracic Surgeon. He belonged to many medical societies and boards including the American Medical Association, Michigan State Medical Society, Genesee County Medical Society, American College of Chest Physicians, Society of Thoracic Surgeons and American College of Surgeons. Bill has been the recipient of many national and state awards and has been published in medical textbooks and journals.
Upon retirement, Bill moved to Myrtle Beach, SC and finally to Cape Coral, Florida. He was an avid lover of the ocean and always dreamed of residing close to it. Throughout his latter years, he remained committed to the field of medicine, having been an active member of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the U.S. Public Health Service. Bill was deployed on several national disaster missions, including Hurricane Katrina. Bill humbly volunteered his gifts and talents to several remote people groups overseas having participated in numerous medical mission trips. Despite his admirable success in the field of medicine, he was, self-proclaimed, proudest to be the father of his three sons: Eric, Christopher and Brian. Bill was a lifelong learner. He devoured countless books and was considered a regular at the local public library. As a result, he was knowledgeable about virtually every topic under the sun and was often sought out for advice and counsel. He continued to write, swim, fish and boat throughout his final years. Bill led a full life experiencing countless endeavors and adventures. He will be greatly missed by everyone who was blessed to have him in their life.
A private family service will be held. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial contributions be sent to Mission of Hope, Haiti at PO Box 60004 Fort Myers, FL, 33906 or online at www.mohhaiti.org.

Published in The News-Press on Oct. 30, 2012
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