Anthony J. (Tony) Micale, MD, 82, of Holmdel, passed away peacefully with his family at his side on Friday, June 9 at the Jersey Shore University Medical Center, Neptune. Dr. Micale was born February 26, 1935, in Brooklyn, New York, and moved with his family to the Jersey Shore, settling in Belmar in 1942. He attended St. Rose High School and graduated from Asbury Park High School at the age of 16. Dr. Micale went on to receive his bachelor of science degree from the University of Notre Dame in 1955 and he received his medical degree from Georgetown University in 1959. Dr. Micale served his country as a captain in the United States Air Force, stationed as a physician at Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii.
After leaving the Air Force, Dr. Micale did his internship at St. Michael’s Hospital, Newark. He did his residency in pediatrics at Metropolitan Hospital in New York City and opened his pediatric practice in Neptune in the early 1960s. Dr. Micale would make house calls to visit his patients and would often be invited to stay for dinner. But after realizing his true calling, he did a residency in ophthalmology at New York Polyclinic Hospital. He built a successful practice in two locations, Holmdel and Tinton Falls, as an ophthalmologist and eye surgeon and practiced for over 40 years. He was on staff at Bayshore Medical Center, Riverview Medical Center and Monmouth Medical Center. He enjoyed treating patients in his office and helping people with his surgical skills in the operating room. Dr. Micale made personal connections with his patients, discussing travel, restaurant rec- ommendations, and stories about their families.
Dr. Micale retired and was able to devote more time to his love of travel and explored the corners of the world from South America and Australia to China, the Middle East and Europe. He and his beloved Patty were proud to say that they traveled from the Arctic Ocean to Antarctica.
Tony loved people, even getting a cup of coffee was an opportunity to make new friends. Tony enjoyed his culinary adventures, from eating at the finest restaurants all over the world to eating pizza, hot dogs, and ice cream at the Jersey Shore.
Family traditions and family gatherings were important to him. His love of Notre Dame inspired five family members to attend the university and he was encouraging his grandchildren to do the same. Over the years, family outings included attending football games to cheer for the Fighting Irish. Christmas was one of his favorite times of year. He enjoyed the traditional Italian Christmas Eve dinner, always arriving laden with gifts, like Santa Claus, for the children, whom he adored.
He was a devoted son to his parents, Sal and Lee, who were central to his life. He enjoyed an exceptionally close bond with his sister, Marie, and considered her husband, Joe, a very close friend. Tony and Marie loved sharing childhood memories and revisiting their family roots. He had a loving relationship with his sisters-in-law, Jo-Ellen and Michaele, who he treated as sisters.
On May 14, 1982, Tony married Patty, and together they raised three very successful, accomplished, independent daughters, which he considered his greatest accomplishment in life. He was not only on call as a physician, he was on call as a father 24/7. He exposed his daughters to various world cultures through travel, from the pyramids to the Pantheon. He taught his daughters to follow their hearts, callings, and passions, and instilled in them the value of higher education. He was so proud of their accomplishments: Maria as a physician, Connie as a psychotherapist, and Marybeth as an attorney. And they are so very proud to have had him as a father.
Patty was the love of Tony’s life. Every day he would tell her, “I am so glad to have you in my life.” They shared their love of family, travel, friends and volunteer work. They enjoyed each other’s company and had a lot of fun together, whether it was attending a medical seminar, traveling the world, going to church, raising their daughters, or seeing their grandchildren. Their love for each other and their deep faith in God was the foundation of their life together. Tony promised to show Patty the world, and he kept his promise. Patty and Tony were inseparable. He was often heard to say, “Patty, let’s go!” – whether it was off to Tahiti or a trip to the bank. She was his life partner. He adored her, as she did him. They both felt lucky to have found each other.
Tony was a member of the Red Bank Rotary Club, Toast Masters International, the Notre Dame Club of the Jersey Shore and St. Andrew’s Club at St. Catharine’s Church in Holmdel. He volunteered at The Parker Family Health Center, Red Bank, and served on its board of trustees. On two separate occasions, Tony and Patty were part of a medical mission to Guatemala, where he performed eye surgery on the underprivileged. Tony was a force of nature – you felt his presence the minute he entered a room. He will be greatly missed.
He was predeceased by his parents, Salvatore Micale and Pauline Sammartano Micale. Tony is survived by his loving wife, Patty; and his daughters, Dr. Maria Micale and her husband Vincent Hager of Colts Neck, Connie Micale of Marin County, California, and Marybeth Hershkowitz and her husband Scott Hershkowitz of Wayside; his grandchildren, Sean, Joan and Grace Hager and Ellie, Matthew and Kate Hershkowitz; his sister, Marie Micale Dumbra and her husband Joseph Dumbra, Aberdeen; his sisters-in-law, Jo-Ellen Basaman of Loch Arbor and Michaele McKenna of Longboat Key, Florida; his nieces and nephews, Paula, Joseph, Michael, Christina, Leigh Ann, Michael and David; his grandnieces and grandnephews, Katie, Victoria, Max, Gaia, Emilia, Paolo, Jackson, Penny, William, and Amy; and his dear friend, Isabel Rodrigues.
Holmdel Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements. Memorial donations may be made in memory of Tony to Red Bank Rotary Scholarship Fund at www.redbankrotary.org or The Parker Family Health Center, 211 Shrewsbury Ave., Red Bank, NJ 07701 (www.parkerfamilyhealthcenter.com). To share a favorite memory, photo or message of condolence, please visit Tony’s tribute page at www.holmdelfuneralhome.com.
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