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James Emil Pancurak M.D.

1955 - 2014 Obituary Condolences
James Emil Pancurak M.D. Obituary
James Emil Pancurak, MD

AGE: 58 • Toms River

James Emil Pancurak MD, 58, Ophthalmologist, of Toms River, passed away after battling cancer on Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014, at Community Medical Center in Toms River.

God gave the world James on Aug. 31, 1955. He grew up in Clark with his parents and sister. He spent his childhood playing golf, studying, and participating in extracurricular activities such as band. James went on to play in the quarter finals of the US Amateur, but golf was just a hobby. He dedicated his life to his family, friends, and practice of medicine.

James always studied hard. He graduated with Summa Cum Laude honors in Biophysics from Cornell University, where he was Phi Beta Kappa and a member of Cornell's Board of Academic Integrity. He won two National Science Foundation awards at Cornell for research of the visual process. James received his medical degree from Upstate Medical College in Syracuse and his Ophthalmology Lancaster Basic Science from Harvard Medical School-Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary; he completed his ophthalmology residency at the University of Illinois Eye & Ear Infirmary in Chicago.

James married his wife, Leila in 1983 in Chicago. They later moved to Toms River, NJ so that they could be near James' sister, Susan who was ill; James' sister died on the Fourth of July in 1990.

James practiced ophthalmology for 28 years in Central and South New Jersey where he had several offices. He was inspirational to his children who are each pursuing various masters and doctorate degrees in healthcare. His daughter, Jane will graduate as an eye doctor in the spring.

James is survived by his wife, Leila; and his four children, Jane, Sara, Adam, and Susan. He is predeceased by his parents, Helen and Emil, and his sister, Susan.

A memorial service will be held in his honor at 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014 at Holy Cross Lutheran Church, 1500 Hooper Ave., Toms River.

As Dr. Pancurak was dedicated to the science of sight, contributions can be made in his honor to the Lions Eye Institute, an organization in which he believed in and volunteered for. Condolences may be made by visiting Anderson and Campbell Funeral Home, Toms River at

Published in Asbury Park Press on Feb. 19, 2014
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