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Class of 1950



Dr. Collins Utter, Salem, Ore.: Retired in 1981 after 31 years in practice and enjoying life to the utmost! (Spring 2019)


Dr. Donald Raleigh, Edmonds, Wash.: A member of the first graduating class at the School of Dentistry, Don Raleigh was featured on the local section cover of the Seattle Times on Dec. 7, the 68th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor that launched the United States into World War II. Dr. Raleigh, who saw the action firsthand as an officer of the watch on the battleship USS Maryland during the attack, continued serving throughout the Pacific campaign. He rose to become a U.S. Navy lieutenant commander before turning to a career in dentistry in Seattle after the war. Now retired and living in Edmonds, he is the Class of 1950 representative on the UW Dental Alumni Association board. (Spring 2010)


Dr. Martin J. Miller, Laguna Beach, Calif.: I graduated in 1950 from UW Dental School 1st in class. My son Mathew John Miller, DDS, graduated from UW Dental School in June 2008. I am real proud of him. My daughter Teresa E. Miller will graduate in June 2009 from Dental Hygiene School. I am also proud of her. (Spring 2009)



Dr. Bacon

Dr. Richard Edward “Dick” Bacon passed away on July 14, 2013, in Ellensburg, Wash. He was 93.

Dr. Bacon was born on Jan. 9, 1920, in Wapato, Wash., to Stella and John Bacon. He attended grade school in Yakima, Wash., and graduated from Ellensburg High School in 1938. He took college courses at Central Washington University prior to enlisting in the U.S. Marine Corps. He graduated from flight school in Corpus Christi, Texas, where he met the love of his life, Clara Foreman, from Waterloo, Iowa. They had one date, married in March 1943 and lived in wedded bliss for 70 years. Two weeks after marrying, he was sent to the Pacific Theater as a World War II dive-bomber pilot, proudly achieving the rank of captain. He served in Guadalcanal, New Georgia and Bougainville for 18 months. Upon return, he was stationed in North Carolina to prepare for a 13-month assignment to China. In 1945, he was honorably discharged with multiple decorations in Seattle.Dr. Bacon attended the University of Washington School of Dentistry and graduated with the first class of licensed dentists in 1950.  He began his dental practice in Seattle, relocated to Chelan, Wash., for seven years, then returned to Ellensburg in 1957. He retired in 1982. He loved golf, bridge, gin rummy and, of course, his daily Yahtzee games with Clara.Dr. Bacon is survived by his wife, Clara; sons Robert of Vancouver and Gregory; daughter Midge (Ed) Church of Pe Ell, Wash.; grandchildren Trevor, Stephanie, Courtney, Cari and Taylor; and great- grandchildren Holly, Christian, Tatum, Haley, Seth and Jake. (Ellensburg Daily Record)


Dr, Wayne Bolton and wife

Dr. Wayne Allen Bolton died on Jan. 31, 2017 at Highgate Senior Living Center in Yakima. He was 94.

Dr. Bolton was born on Dec. 24, 1922 in Everett, Wash., to George and Edith (Jacobson) Bolton. He attended schools in Everett and graduated in 1941. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1942 through 1946 and married JoAnn Knisely that year. His undergraduate education included Gonzaga University and the University of California at Berkeley. He graduated in the School of Dentistry’s first class and its first orthodontics class.

He practiced orthodontics in Seattle and Mercer Island, Wash., and taught orthodontics at the UW before retiring to Yakima, Wash., in 1986. He was a kind, generous and gentle man who loved the Lord and his wife and family.

Dr. Bolton is survived by his wife, JoAnn; sons Mike of Yakima and Fred (Petra) of McMinnville, Ore.; daughters Darsie (Larry) Henderson of Gig Harbor and Kristi (Bruce) Graham of Yakima; grandchildren David (Alison) Easley, Jane (Bryan) Kiehl, Peter (Stephanie) Graham, George Graham and Angie and Alec Bolton; great-grandchildren Cameron and Brody Easley, Aubree Graham, Kate Kiehl and Addison Turner; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and sister Irene Cressell. (Dignity Memorial)


Dr. Glen Conley passed away on Nov. 5, 2011.  He was 91 years old.

Dr. Conley was the son of Marie and Roydal Conley of Cheney, Wash.  In high school, he set track and field records, sang and drew attention as an outstanding football player. He received a football scholarship at the University of Washington and soloed with the Glee Club.

After college, Dr. Conley was a medic with the U.S. Army Air Corps. He was not called overseas because the military needed him to play football for the Second Air Force Superbombers. He later played semi-pro and pro football until a lung hemorrhage sidelined him. He then went to dental school, graduating with the first class at the School of Dentistry.

Dr.  Conley and his wife, Barbara, had their first date in the seventh grade.  Their love endured, despite going to different colleges, the difficult war years, the challenge of working and struggling through dental school with two small children and the loss of a baby son. They shared a passion for music and were an amazing couple on the dance floor. Mrs. Conley would play her violin and Dr. Conley would sing. They raised four children in an environment of laughter, love, music and sports. Sports were also a huge part of Dr. Conley’s life. He loved fishing, bird hunting, golfing and skiing.

Dr. Conley is survived by his daughters, Jan Conley Waldrup of Sandpoint, Idaho, and Peggy Conley of Newcastle, Wash.; son Steve (Carrie) Conley of Richland, Wash.; six grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; and brother Don (Margaret) Conley of Huntsville, Ala. He was preceded in death by his wife, Barbara; sons John Scott (infant) and Todd; his parents; and his sister, Mildred Newstrom.


Dr. Drescher

Dr. Melvin James Drescher of East Wenatchee, Wash., died on Dec. 3, 2013. He was 90.

Dr. Drescher was born to Melvin and Mary Belle Greene Drescher on Nov. 1, 1923 in Lincoln, Neb. The family moved to Olympia, Wash., in 1927. After graduating from Olympia High School in 1942, he attended several colleges in the V-12 Navy College Training Program and served in the Pacific Theater during World War II.

On Aug. 4, 1946, Dr. Drescher married Marijo Loudin at the First Christian Church in Olympia. They settled into GI housing in Seattle’s Union Bay Village while he attended the School of Dentistry, where he was a member of the first graduating class.

After graduation, they moved to East Wenatchee, where Dr. Drescher established his practice in the King Street Building, retiring in 1994. He was well known for his compassionate care, quick wit and storytelling and for always whistling a joyful tune.

With his family, Dr. Drescher enjoyed hunting, fishing, skiing, backpacking and golf. He was a member of the American Dental Association, Wenatchee Swim & Tennis Club and Wenatchee Central Lions Club. He also served as a Boy Scout leader.

Dr. Drescher is survived by his daughter, Melinda Gulstine, of Lake Oswego, Ore.; his sons and daughters-in-law, Matt and Sunshine Drescher of Sun River, Ore., Brett and Janis Drescher and Doug Drescher and Stacey King of Orondo, Wash., and Adam and Jeri Drescher of East Wenatchee; 11 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife of 64 years, Marijo, who died in 2010.


Dr. McLaughlin

Dr. Robert Gerald McLaughlin passed away peacefully on June 19, 2014. He was 94.

Dr. McLaughlin was born to Grover and Mildred McLaughlin on March 19, 1920 in Seattle. He graduated from Garfield High School and attended the University of Washington, where he was a member of the track team and a member of the School of Dentistry’s first graduating class.

An Army Air Force pilot during World War II, he continued flying well into his 70s. He and his wife, Jean, married in 1944. They raised their children, Marian and Bob, on Mercer Island, where they lived until 2011.

Dr. McLaughlin was a member of the Seattle Yacht Club for more than 60 years and one of the founding members of the Orcas Island Tennis Club. He continued to play tennis into his 80s and loved making his opponents run with his two-handed play and slice shots. The McLaughlins enjoyed spending the winter months in Palm Springs, Calif., after he retired from his dentistry practice in Seattle’s Safeco Building in 1990.

Dr. McLaughlin was a great dad, but an even better “Poppy” to his granddaughters, whom he showered with love and spoiled beyond and above. He was also a die-hard Husky fan and 60-plus-year football season ticket holder.

Dr. McLaughlin is survived by his children, Marian Gentry (Paul) and Bob; granddaughters Megan Patton (Jeff), Heidi Hammersley (Grant), Shaun Myers (Jeff) and Taryn Hudgens (Mike); and great-grandchildren Andrew, Lindley, Hudson, Hope and Brody. (Seattle Times)


Warren McNeal

Dr. Warren Franklyn McNeal died peacefully in his sleep on Jan. 25, 2014 in Tacoma, Wash. He was 87.

Dr. McNeal was born to Charles Franklyn and Virginia Brady McNeal in Auburn, Wash. He graduated from Lincoln High School in Tacoma. He joined the Navy ROTC and studied at Gonzaga University before transferring to the University of Washington. There he joined the ATO fraternity and met fellow student Jane Bishop. They married in 1949, just before his graduation from the School of Dentistry, and were lifelong Husky fans.

The McNeals moved to Yakima, Wash., in 1951 to start his practice and raise a family. In 1961, Dr. McNeal returned to the UW for a two-year program in Orthodontics. He graduated in 1963 and had a successful practice until his retirement. He lived a life defined by adventure, as an Eagle Scout, professional, father, sailor and world traveler. The McNeals moored their sailboat, the “Desert Hawk,” at Shilshole Bay Marina in Seattle for three decades.

Upon retirement, they built a home in La Conner, Wash., where they made many friends and had fond memories of their time together. They loved exploring the Northwest waters, circumnavigating Vancouver Island and chartering boats in foreign seas. Together, they traveled to every continent.

Dr. McNeal is survived by his wife of 65 years, Jane; children Charlie (Patty), Sarah (Chuck) Kuhn, Peter (Janice) and Joan (Gary) Peterson; nine grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. (


Dr. Martin Miller

Dr. Martin Joseph Miller passed away on Feb. 2, 2013 in Laguna Beach, Calif. He was 87. A rosary service was held at McCormick Mortuary and a funeral Mass celebrating his life was said at St. Catherine of Sienna Church, both in Laguna Beach. Private burial followed at Holy Sepulcher Cemetery in Orange, Calif.

Dr. Miller was born in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood on July 19, 1925, the eldest son of Martin J. and Teresa E. Miller. He attended St. Alphonsus Grade School and O’Dea High School. He passed the U.S. Navy’s officer candidate test while in high school and, upon graduation, entered the V-12 Navy College Training Program at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Wash. He enrolled in pre-medial and pre-dental courses and was sent to the University of Detroit Dental School. The Navy discontinued the V-12 program after his first semester and he was sent to Great Lakes Naval Station. He was honorably discharged on May 18, 1946, still in the Naval Reserves. That year, Dr. Miller was accepted into the first class of the UW’s new School of Dentistry.

Dr. Miller practiced dentistry in Selah, Wash., for nine months. He was then recalled to duty as a naval dentist with the rank of lieutenant junior grade, attached to the Marine Corps Fleet Marine Force. He took the California dental board exam and, upon his honorable discharge in 1955, opened a practice in Anaheim, where he worked for 38 years.

A great athlete and avid sports fan, Dr. Miller loved cheering for the Gonzaga Bulldogs and UW Huskies. After retiring, he volunteered to coach elementary and junior high athletics for more than a decade at St. Catherine of Sienna School in Laguna Beach.

Dr. Miller is survived by his wife, Hermien; daughters, Diane of Albuquerque, N.M.. and Teresa of Encinitas, Calif.; sons, Martin III of Santa Fe, N.M., Matthew, a U.S. Navy dentist and UW School of Dentistry graduate, and Stephen of Maine; grandchildren, Sean and Sierra; great-grandchildren, Isaac and Lilly; brothers, Louis of Olympia and Roman of Seattle; and numerous cousins, nephews and nieces. He was preceded in death by his brothers Frank and James.


Dr. Nelson

Dr. Alton Marvin Grande Nelson passed away on July 4, 2014 in Kirkland, Wash. He was 90.

Dr. Nelson was born to Levi and Emma Nelson in 1924 in Grand Forks, N.D. He met the love of his life, Helen Starr, while they attended Carlton College in Northfield, Minn. Soon after, he went into the Air Force to serve in the Pacific Theater of WWII as a navigator/bombardier in the B-25 Mitchell Bomber. Immediately after returning from the war in December 1945, the couple married in her hometown of Tracy, Minn. They moved to Seattle in 1946 so he could attend the University of Washington. He was in the School of Dentistry’s first graduating class.

The Nelsons lived in Seattle for the next 63 years. Dr. Nelson practiced in the Mount Baker district and then on Capitol Hill. His wife managed the dental practice and was also his assistant.

He participated in the Seattle Kiwanis Club for several years and enjoyed playing bridge with friends. Together, the Nelsons raised their four children, worked in their garden, explored family genealogy and took trips and cruises.

Dr. Nelson is survived by his sons Randy (Martha), Brian (Miki) and Philip (Debbie); nine grandchildren; and 15 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife, Helen, his daughter, Cindy Peterson, and his sister, Darlyne Bendickson. (Seattle Times)


Dr. Celon Peterson

Dr. Celon A. “Pete” Peterson died in Pacific Palisades, Calif. on Feb. 14, 2013. He was 95. A memorial service was held at Palisades Presbyterian Church on Feb. 23. Dr. Peterson received the Silver Star and Purple Heart for combat duty with the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division and was a graduate of the UW School of Dentistry’s first class.

Dr. Peterson was born on Jan. 27, 1918 to Lena and Carl Peterson in Kildeer, N.D. He grew up in Beulah, N.D., with brothers Royal and Dale. Dr. Peterson’s high school graduating class had 11 members, which meant he was on every sports team and held every office over the years.

He hitchhiked to Seattle to attend the UW and graduated as a pharmacist in 1941. He met his future wife, Echo June, at a fraternity party. He was active in ROTC and joined the 3rd Infantry Division as a second lieutenant upon graduation. He proposed to Echo June before shipping out and sent her an engagement ring in the mail.

Upon his return to Seattle, the couple married on Oct. 22, 1943. They lived at Fort Benning, Ga., until his discharge in 1946. Taking advantage of the GI Bill, he enrolled in the first class at the new UW dental school.

The Petersons and their two children moved to Santa Monica, Calif., and then settled in Pacific Palisades. Dr. Peterson enjoyed a successful dental practice there until his retirement at age 72. His daughter worked for him as a dental hygienist.

Dr. Peterson was president of the local Rotary Club, Western Dental Society and Beverly Hills Academy of Dentistry. He received special recognition for 25 years of volunteer service as a staff member of the Children’s Dental Clinic at Santa Monica Hospital. He loved to golf and was a member of the Riviera Country Club.

In 1993, the Petersons celebrated their 50th anniversary with a Caribbean cruise. They discovered that Holland America was the only cruise line with a working dentist on board. Soon they were traveling the world, she attending lectures and playing bridge, he providing dental services to the crew and passengers. They also enjoyed dancing.

Dr. Peterson is survived by his daughter, Carol (David) Ross; granddaughters, Lindsay (James) Gillette of Los Angeles and Kelsey Ross of Pacific Palisades; and brother, Dale of Pinehurst, N.C. His wife and son Jack preceded him in death (2007 and 2004, respectively).


Dr. Don Raleigh

Dr. Donald Raleigh passed away on Sept. 9, 2019 in Edmonds, Wash. He was 101.

Dr. Raleigh had a remarkable life as an exemplary member of the Greatest Generation. He was serving in the Navy on the battleship USS Maryland at Pearl Harbor when it was attacked on Dec. 7, 1941. He fought in the entire Pacific campaign of World War II. He then enrolled in our first class at the School of Dentistry. After graduating in 1950, he went on to a long and productive career as a Seattle-area dentist.

He served as class representative on the Dental Alumni Association Board of Trustees, and stood out for his unflagging commitment, virtually never missing a meeting.

Dr. Raleigh was born on June 15, 1918 in Tacoma, Wash., in a home that eventually became the University of Puget Sound music school. His parents were Percy and Alison Raleigh, longtime Tacoma residents. He graduated from Stadium High School in 1936 and the College of Puget Sound in 1940 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. After college he took advantage of the V7 program and received an ensign’s commission. In June 1940 he was ordered to the USS Maryland and in June 1941, with the Pacific Fleet, was sent to Pearl Harbor. On Dec. 7, 1941 at 7:50 a.m., he was on the quarterdeck, having just relieved the officer on watch, when he looked up and saw a flight of single-engine planes approaching from the south. His ship was hit by two bombs and lost three men despite being moored on the shore side of the USS Oklahoma, which had heavy losses.

Later in the war he was transferred as a lieutenant to the USS Wilkes-Barre, a light cruiser. The ship fought at Okinawa, Tarawa, Kwajalein, and Iwo Jima. The ship was present in Tokyo Harbor, where he watched through a gunnery rangefinder as Emperor Hirohito met Gen. Douglas MacArthur on the battleship USS Missouri to sign Japan’s formal surrender.

Dr. Raleigh graduated second in his class in 1950, earning induction into Omicron Kappa Upsilon, the dental honor society, and practiced dentistry in downtown Seattle for 42 years.

He married Alison Turner in 1944. They raised three children in Seattle and spent summers on Vashon Island, sailing, water skiing, digging clams, cutting wood, and raking madrone leaves. Alison Raleigh passed away in 1991. In 1992, Dr. Raleigh married Alda Wakefield and moved to Edmonds, Wash. They traveled internationally, and then he settled into playing pool and bridge at the Edmonds and Lynnwood senior centers. He was a man of incredible honesty, fairness, intellect, and humor, always with a devilish twinkle in his eye.

Dr. Raleigh is survived by his loving wife of 26 years, Alda; her children Marilyn Perry and David (Diane) Wakefield; his brother Dave; and his three loving and adoring children, Bill (Wray), a retired dentist, Carolyn Smithee, a retired National Park naturalist, naturopath, and science teacher, and Betsy Raleigh (Carolyn Clark), who works part time at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington. He is also survived by granddaughter Kelsey (Jonathan) and great-grandson Bradley Alessi, and Tara Smithee (Eric Hein). He is predeceased by Carolyn Wakefield.  (Seattle Times)