Richard W. Piontek
Braintree, Vt. — Richard W. Piontek died peacefully at his home on Sunday, Oct. 27, 2013. He was the son of Stanley Piontek and Anna Navicky and born in Greenfield, Mass. on July 3, 1937. He is predeceased by his parents and sister, Janet Kurtyka.
Dick graduated from Greenfield HS, Class of 1955, earned an AAS degree at Holyoke Junior College in 1957 and worked as a mechanical engineer for three years first with the Nickel Cadmium Battery Corp. in Easthampton, Mass. and then with Kingsbury Tool in Keene, N.H. In 1958, he joined the Bricklayers & Allied Craftworkers Union Local 1 and worked on many projects including the early stages of the building of I-91 in Brattleboro, where he worked on the bridge abutments. From 1960-1963, he worked in Manhattan and Long Island for John B. Kelly as a bricklayer. After earning a BA in Biology in 1965 he took a three year position as a biochemist at Sterling Winthrop Research Institute in Rensselear, N.Y. and one year at the NE Institute for Medical Research in Ridgefield, Conn. From 1968-1969, while working as a fellow in Radiation Physics at Brookhaven National Labs in Upton, N.Y. he earned his MS in Radiological Health Physics at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J. In 1970, he earned his MS in Radiological Physics from Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, Mass. and worked as a Radiological Physicist for the Harvard Joint Program in Nuclear Medicine at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston, Mass. In 1971, he was appointed Associate in Radiation Therapy at the Harvard Medical School, and joined the Joint Center for Radiation Therapy in Boston, Mass. as a staff medical physicist, where he stayed until 1985. During this time period he produced and co-authored many papers and publications involving research of Proton beams, electron therapy, design properties of intraoperative radiation therapy and bone marrow transplantation. In 1982, he received certification in Therapeutic Radiological Physics from the American College of Radiology. In 1985, he took a position as staff medical physicist at DHMC, retiring in 2003 and was appointed Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine at Dartmouth Medical School in 1985. He was a member of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) and the Health Physics Society (HPS).
Always an outdoorsman, Dick enjoyed hunting, fishing and cutting trails in the woods. He also enjoyed reading & collecting maps, traveling and learning as much as he could about physics, science and math. He loved to cook, anywhere from a hibachi on the fire escape in Manhattan, to tailgate grill or food on the manifold of his army truck. He will be remembered for his hard work, dedication, jokes, limericks and crazy antics. If asked what he did for a living, he usually said he was a bricklayer, proud to have received a 50 year recognition in the Bricklayers Union.
Survivors include his wife of 26 years, Ann (Cadarette), his brother-in-law Kenneth Kurtyka, Sr., nephew Kenneth Kurtyka, Jr. and niece Kimberly Barnes, all from Greenfield, Mass.
There are no formal services, however, he requested that there be a gathering of his family and friends with plenty of food, drink and stories, A celebration of his life will be held on Sunday, Nov. 17, 2013, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at 305 Plain Road, Greenfield, Mass. and again on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Braintree Town Hall, Route 12A in Braintree, Vt. Online condolences may be left at www.dayfunerals.com.