Dr. George Bures, who delivered thousands of Long Island babies, died May 6 at Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center in West Islip. He was 85.
Bures had been found in bed in his West Bay Shore home breathing but unresponsive May 3, said a daughter, Gayle Dugan of Dix Hills.
Dugan estimated that her father delivered 15 babies a day during a two-year stint in the Air Force at Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls, Texas. That pace slackened to five or six a day when he returned to civilian practice on Long Island, practicing at Brunswick Hospital in Amityville from 1964 to 1999, serving as chief of staff and head of the obstetrics department for some of that time.
He also practiced at Good Samaritan and served as a partner in Amity OBG, a private practice with offices in Amityville and West Islip.
For much of his professional life, "he could never go to a baseball game on the South Shore without running into someone" he'd delivered, Dugan said.
Bures was born in Manhattan Sept. 17, 1929. His father, Joseph Bures, was a butcher in the Yorkville neighborhood of the borough; his mother, Josephine, was a homemaker. Both were Czech immigrants and he grew up speaking Czech. In a Czech youth sports group, he met Jean Harazin; she was 18 and he was 22 when they married. The marriage lasted 62 years, until her death last year.
Bures graduated from Stuyvesant High School in Manhattan, and Long Island University and medical school at the University of Kansas. He completed his training in obstetrics and gynecology at Meadowbrook Hospital in East Meadow, a 200-bed facility that was the forerunner of Nassau University Medical Center. He attained the rank of captain in the Air Force before returning to begin his career on Long Island.
Retirement at 70 meant more time for his garden, where he grew peppers, tomatoes and cucumbers, and for fishing in the Great South Bay and off Montauk. Until his death, Dugan said, Bures administered physical exams as a volunteer at Good Samaritan as part of the hospital's outreach program for needy patients.
Besides Dugan, Bures is survived by daughters Elyse O'Connell of Henderson, Nevada; B.J. Barnes of Charleston, South Carolina; and Kiki Luisa of Little Falls, New Jersey; and a son, Dr. George Bures Jr. of Shawnee, Kansas.
A funeral was held May 11 at Presbyterian Church of Sweet Hollow in Melville, followed by burial at Melville Cemetery. Donations can be made in Bures' name to the Presbyterian Church of Sweet Hollow.