Leading equine vet Joseph De Leo, 68, dies

06:14 PM 16 Mar 2012 NZDT
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Joseph R. DeLeo DVM, 68, one of the leading harness racing equine veterinarians in New Jersey, passed away on Tuesday, March 13, 2012 at University Medical Center in Princeton.

There will be a viewing on Monday, March 19, 2012 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the A.S. Cole Funeral Home, 22 North Main Street in Cranbury, NJ. A Mass will be offered on Tuesday, March 20 at 11 a.m. at Nativity of Our Lord Roman Catholic Church, 185 Applegarth Road, Monroe, NJ.

Born in Far Rockaway, NY, Dr. DeLeo was a Cranbury, NJ resident for many years. Dr. DeLeo earned both his undergraduate degree and doctorate in veterinary medicine from Cornell University. He was president of the Beta Chapter of the Omega Tau Sigma fraternity in 1968.

“He didn’t care if you had a two-horse stable or a 42-horse stable, everyone got the same undivided attention,” said trainer Robbie Siegelman, who was a client and friend of DeLeo’s for more than 25 years. “He was incredibly dedicated to his clients and his family. He was dedicated to the animal. He really was a brilliant guy and a good friend. He liked to talk about life, family and horses.

“He was very scientific,” Siegelman added. “He didn’t like to guess. He wanted to know.”

Both Siegleman and trainer Larry Remmen commented on Dr. DeLeo’s sharp sense of humor.

“He was very witty,” Remmen said. “You couldn’t be around a nicer guy.

“He was a very capable veterinarian, very conservative in his approach,” Remmen explained. “He was as good as there was at diagnostic blocking to find the source of problems.

“I asked him why he made the trip from Cranbury to the Meadowlands Racetrack every day when he could have worked closer to home at the farms, but he loved being at the racetrack,” Remmen added.

“He was in the hospital on Sunday night and called me to say he wasn’t going to make it to the barn on Monday morning,” Remmen said. “A day later he was gone.”

DeLeo, according to his family, loved going to Lake George in the Adirondack Mountains, playing his guitar and caring for his 1964 Corvette. His greatest joy was spending quality time with his wife, children and family.

He is survived by his devoted wife of 31 years, Christine L. DeLeo and three loving children, Joseph, Jeffrey and Jessica. He also leaves one sister, Janice Wysocki and her husband, Albert; his niece and nephews, Scott and his wife, Danielle; Jaime and Craig along with grand nieces and nephews Miranda, Scott Joseph and Lina.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Standardbred Retirement Foundation [www.adoptahorse.org] and the American Cancer Society [www.cancer.org].

by Carol HODES FOR SBOANJ

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