Jerry H. Lichtenberg, 51, the owner and operator of Leonie's Restaurant in Langley Park and a life-long resident of the Washington area, died Sunday at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda following a stroke. He had cancer.

Mr. Lichtenberg, who was born in Washington, attended Wilson High School in Washington and the Bullis School in Potomac. After Navy service in the Korean conflict, he attended the University of Miami in Florida.

His first business ventures were a coffee house and a shoe store in Washington. He later owned the Shoe Mart here. From the mid-1960s until 1972, he was an agent for the Pilot Life Insurance Company. For the next five years, he owned Gordon's Crab House in Rockville. He then was the manager of Pearson's liquor store on Wisconsin Avenue. He became the owner of Leonie's in 1979.

Mr. Lichtenberg, who lived in Bethesda, was a member of Temple Beth El in Bethesda.

Survivors include his wife, Cathy, and a son, Ian Robert, both of Bethesda; his mother, Lillian Small Lichtenberg of Washington, and one brother, Warren, of Bethesda.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to Hadassah, or to the American Cancer Society.