Richard L. Polgar
ONEONTA — Dr. Richard Louis Polgar of Oneonta, passed away Saturday afternoon, Jan. 12, 2013, at the Philadelphia Cancer Treatment Center of America, while surrounded by his family. The cause of death was pancreatic cancer, which Polgar vigorously battled over the last year. He was 62.
Richard was born April 22, 1950, in New Brunswick, N.J., to the late Theodore and Elizabeth Polgar.
In 1972, he married Barbara Diane Bystrek, who was by his side 24 hours a day.
Richard attended Delaware Valley College in Doylestown, Pa., and graduated from the College of Dental Medicine at Fairleigh Dickinson University in 1975.
He moved to Oneonta in 1976, to open up his dental practice. Known throughout the area as “Doc,” Richard was a noted dentist, avid sportsman, world traveler, and committed family man.
He was also recognized for his unique brand of humor and his tremendous giving nature. His deadpan delivery was quixotic to some and enjoyable to others.
He was particularly notorious for ordering a half-cheese/half-sausage pizza and convincing an unsuspecting waitress that the pie needed to be returned because the sausage was on the wrong side, against his Italian upbringing. The waitress took back the pizza, apologizing that the sausage was not on the left side like he wanted. The owner of the restaurant figured out the ruse by simply rotating the pizza.
Richard was also 100 percent Hungarian.
On the giving front, “Doc” was an active gardener who often gave away many of his exotic plants, flowers, and blueberries that he grew in his greenhouse and backyard. He was a man who was most comfortable playing in the dirt, fishing in a stream or lake in any weather, or hunting in the woods.
Fascinated by other cultures and cuisines, he traveled the world many times over with his wife and family. One of his favorite activities while abroad was scuba diving, a hobby he documented with colorful pictures of fish, coral reef, and sharks.