Rheumatologist Leroy Henry Hunninghake dies at 86

Leroy Henry Hunninghake passed away peacefully on July 19 at the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital at Hamilton. He was 86.

Born and raised in Seneca, Kansas, Leroy graduated from Kelly High School, where he was valedictorian, and received his medical degree at the University of Kansas School of Medicine. He continued his internship and residency at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He moved to Princeton after and was the first rheumatologist in New Jersey, opening practices at Princeton Rheumatology in Princeton and Monroe.

During the Vietnam War, Leroy served as a medic for public service and received a plaque of honor from the president. He served as president of the New Jersey Medical Society for many years. He received many awards from the Medical Society, Princeton Hospital, and Robert Wood University Hospital in New Brunswick, where he was also employed. He enjoyed presenting talks to the community about rheumatology and autoimmune diseases as well as throughout the Northeast.

Leroy was a member of St. Paul’s Parish, where he regularly volunteered. He had a passion for medicine, Michigan and Kansas football and basketball, his Kansas farm, and regularly taking his children to farms and mini golfing when they were younger. He enjoyed helping the community and the sick, but most of all spending time with his family. He especially enjoyed birthdays with his sons.

He is predeceased by his parents Henry and Mary Hunninghake, and brother Donald Hunninghake.

Leroy is survived by six sons and one daughter: Zachary Hunninghake, Trevor and Kyle Hunninghake (and their mother Susan Hunninghake), Leroy Hunninghake Jr, Lisa Hunninghake, Christopher Hunninghake, and Michael Hunninghake (and their mother Rosemarie Hunninghake), two sisters and brothers-in-law Mary Lee and Jim Smith and Alice and Ron Wurtz; and one brother and sister-in-law Gary and Margie Hunninghake, and many nieces, nephews, cousins, and colleagues.

Visitation will be held on Thursday, Aug. 3, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. with a funeral service at 8 p.m. at the Mather-Hodge Funeral Home at 40 Vandeventer Ave. in Princeton. Burial will be on Friday, Aug. 4 at 11 a.m. in the Princeton Cemetery.