Dr. Anatol H. "Harry" Oleynick, a retired neurologist who taught for half a century at the University of Maryland Medical School, died Feb. 19 of cancer at the Veterans Administration Hospital on Loch Raven Boulevard in Northeast Baltimore. The former longtime Timonium resident was 83.
"Harry was very devoted to the well-being of his patients and he was always looking for a reason why an illness was happening. He was devoted to detail," said Dr. Bernard S. Karpers Jr., a Baltimore internist.
"He loved having fun, studying, and could be serious. He could deal with many frustrations and was able to adapt and compromise in difficult situations," said Dr. Karpers. "I admired him and his inquisitive spirit."
The son of Simeon Oleynick, a dermatologist, and Rose Oleynick, a homemaker, Anatol Harry Oleynick was born in Newark, N.J., and raised in Elizabeth, N.J., where he graduated in 1948 from the Pingry School.
Dr. Oleynick, who never used his first name and preferred to be called Harry, was a 1952 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania. He earned his medical degree in 1956 from the University of Chicago.
He completed an internship at Temple University Hospital and his residency in neurology at Johns Hopkins Hospital in 1959.
Dr. Oleynick then joined the Army Medical Corps, where he served for two years as chief of neurology at Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma, Wash., and attained the rank of captain.
After a brief tenure at Fort Howard Veterans Administration Hospital, Dr. Oleynick went into private practice in the early 1960s when he established an office on Biddle Street. He later expanded his practice to include an office in Westminster.
He was also on the staff of what is now the University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center, Greater Baltimore Medical Center, Union Memorial Hospital, Baltimore Veterans Administration Medical Center and Springfield Hospital Center in Sykesville.
Dr. Oleynick was also a consultant to the Social Security Administration Disability Program, Veterans Administration, Motor Vehicle Administration and Springfield Hospital Center.
"I worked with him for 17 years at Social Security where he was my mentor," said Dr. Michael K. Greenberg, a Waldorf neurologist. "He was a great guy when it came to cutting through the morass at SSA when it came to evaluating claimants. He could cut to the chase and was fair to them and in evaluating the data fairly."
In addition to his professional career, Dr. Oleynick was a clinical associate professor in neurology for 50 years at the University of Maryland Medical School, a position he held until last year when he retired after being diagnosed with cancer, family members said.
"He was professionally very dedicated to his patients and was well-respected by his colleagues," said a son, Christopher Oleynick of Timonium. "He was also very generous with his time and energy."
"Harry had a terrific sense of humor, which was a great strength. He could pull a joke out of the air that was fit for every circumstance," said Dr. Greenberg. "He was a very polished individual who had a depth of knowledge that went well beyond medicine."
The former longtime Timonium resident had been a resident of the Edenwald retirement community in Towson since 2008. Dr. Oleynick had served two terms as president of the Stratford Community Association.
He was an art collector, and he and his wife had donated several pieces of art to the Baltimore Museum of Art and the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts in Hagerstown.
"He collected signed lithographs and prints by such artists as Pablo Picasso, Marc Chagall, Camille Picasso and Juan Miro, and original artwork of Bernard Buffet, the French Expressionist," said his son.
Dr. Oleynick also liked hunting, fishing, boating, gardening and photography, including making underwater movies, and scuba diving. He was also a gourmet cook.
Dr. Karpers and Dr. Oleynick had been fishing buddies for nearly 30 years.
"We may have disagreed about where the fish were, but never how to treat a patient," said Dr. Karpers. "He was a complete man and was always incredibly respectful of other's opinions."
"We had a dinner club that met every few months and Harry was very good at making elegant meals out of simple ingredients," said Dr. Greenberg.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. April 5 at Epiphany Episcopal Church, 2216 Pot Spring Road, Timonium.
In addition to his son, Dr. Oleynick is survived by his wife of 53 years, the former Laurel Coggins; another son, Marc Oleynick of Broomall, Pa.; and four grandchildren.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun