Obituary: Dr. Lawrence J. Kondra, Husband and Friend

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Lawrence J. “Larry” Kondra, 71, husband, father, physician, and friend to many passed away peacefully at home in Pacific Palisades on December 11.

Larry was born February 24, 1951, to Doris and Lawrence J. Kondra, DDS, in Englewood, New Jersey. He grew up in Clifton, NJ, and spent summers at the family home in Manasquan, NJ. While a student at Clifton High School, he earned All American High School Basketball Player status.

With aspirations of becoming a physician, he attended Brown University as a biology major, where he also played basketball. He graduated in 1973. He went on to the University of Medicine and Dentistry New Jersey Medical School graduating in 1978.

During that time, he met and fell in love with his wife, Jeanne Smith, of Montclair, NJ, whom he married in 1980. Larry completed the ophthalmology residency program at University of Medicine and Dentistry New Jersey Medical School in 1982.

He and Jeanne then relocated to Los Angeles for Larry to complete a fellowship in Retina-Vitreous Disease and Surgery in Ophthalmology at the USC Department of Ophthalmology Doheny Eye Institute.

Upon completion of his fellowship in 1984, Larry co-founded Vitreo-Retinal Associates with Boban Joseph, MD, and enjoyed many years of a successful practice in Pasadena and Pomona.

The couple moved to Pacific Palisades in 1988 and raised their children here.

Over the years Larry was acknowledged with many awards including Top Doctor, Best Physician, and Best Ophthalmologist and Vitreo- Retinal Surgeon. After a long and successful career, he retired in 2020.

Larry was an exceptional athlete and spent many hours watching and participating in the sports that he loved. He was a die-hard fan of the NY Giants, LA Lakers, LA Rams, and the Dodgers. He especially enjoyed his “second favorite place to be,” the Bel-Air Country Club, where he spent many happy hours on the golf course with family and dear friends.

He loved the adventures of the outdoors, whether it be in the winter snow skiing, or in the summer on the water fishing and boating off the Malibu coast. Additionally, Larry had his private pilot’s license.

He had a love of life and adventure and was first and foremost a family man who loved being at home in the Palisades and at the family’s second home in La Quinta, CA.

As a cherished friend and mentor, he was always willing to help when asked and was passionate about providing quality patient care, often providing free care to those in need. Those who knew him well will tell you that he had a welcoming heart and an engaging smile, all of which will be missed.

Survivors include his wife Jeanne; daughter Katelyn Smith Kondra, MD (and future son-in law, Zach Salinger) and son Lawrence James Kondra; sister Laura Sisto and her husband Dominick Sisto, MD; niece Nikki, nephews Michael and Marco Sisto, and innumerable friends, neighbors and colleagues.

A funeral mass will be held at Corpus Christi Church, 880 Toyopa Drive, Pacific Palisades, on Thursday, December 22, at 2 p.m.

A celebration of life will be held in February of 2023.

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1 Response to Obituary: Dr. Lawrence J. Kondra, Husband and Friend

  1. Julia Milan says:

    Dr. Kondra was the most caring doctor. He really loved helping people. He was always very kind and always had a smile on his face. I was heartbroken to hear that he had passed away. I hope that his wife and kids know, how much he was appreciated by those who came in contact with him. He will be missed!

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