Dr. Leslie A. Hayling Sr., a retired dentist and longtime East Chop resident, died peacefully on July 24. He was 90.

He was born on March 17, 1927, in Trenton, N.J., the son of Dr. William S. Hayling and Mrs. Louise M. Hayling. Affectionately nicknamed by his son Big Daddy, Dr. Hayling Sr. was best known for his love of dentistry, flying, artistic talents, photographic memory, and most of all his zest for life, his jovial laugh and his warm endearing spirit.

He and his older brother Dr. William H. Hayling attended the Trenton public schools. After graduation from Trenton Central High and Trenton School of Industrial Arts, he volunteered for military service in World War II. He enlisted and was selected for the Aviation Cadet Army Air Corps Training Command 216th Army Air Corps Base in Tuskegee, Ala. He graduated in 1945 as a member of the legendary Tuskegee Airmen. He then enrolled at Howard University and in 1952 he graduated from the Howard University College of Dentistry. As a proud alumnus he returned almost yearly to Howard University. He was the only alumnus to ever return for a 65th Howard University College of Dentistry awards ceremony.

Upon graduation from dental school in 1952, he and his wife, Adrienne, returned to Trenton, where he practiced dentistry for 62 years. He treated tens of thousands of patients from all walks of life and was instrumental in directing and establishing the careers and practices of many newly-graduated dentists throughout New Jersey.

He received numerous prestigious honors and recognitions throughout his career, including from the New Jersey state senate, New Jersey assembly, City of Trenton, Aviation Advisory Council of New Jersey, Symphony Association, and many other civic organizations. He was often invited to speak about his experiences as a Tuskegee Airman.

He enjoyed membership in various organizations such as the Tuskegee Airmen International, New Jersey Guardsmen, American Dental Association, New Jersey Dental Association, Mercer Dental Society, National Dental Association, Mu Boule, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, NAACP, Comprehensive Health Planning Council of New Jersey, YMCA, Frontiers Club International, New Jersey Pilot Association, and Bonanza Society for Pilots Owning Beechcraft Bonanza Airplanes.

He is survived by his wife, Adrienne Maddox Hayling, one son, Dr. Leslie A. Hayling Jr., his older brother, Dr. William H. Hayling, and a host of loving cousins, nieces, nephews, family members, and dear friends to cherish his memory and legacy.

For those who wish to make a donation in the name of Dr. Leslie A. Hayling Sr., his family suggests the Howard University College of Dentistry Foundation, 192 West State street, Trenton, N.J. 08608.