Dr. Fred Wemer, Seattle: In September I was given a Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award for donating more than 4,000 hours to the Master Gardener program. As a result, the Master Gardener Foundation of King County interviewed me for an article in their newsletter. I have been my class representative on the Alumni Board since 1974 and I have been a part-time faculty member in the Restorative Department for the same period. I have been a King County Master Gardener since I sold my dental practice in 1999. All of these positions are either volunteer or close to it. Dentistry has given me a profession that has enabled me to have a good living and an enjoyable lifestyle. The Master Gardener program has taught me a lot and enabled me to have a hobby that keeps me healthy. I feel obligated to repay both of these groups by giving my time. (Spring 2016)
Dr. John Linvog, Seattle: Still enjoying retirement; I highly recommend it! And looking forward to my return to Cambodia to do volunteer work in clinics there. (Spring 2015)
Dr. Michael L. Gage, Lakebay, Wash.: Retired and sold my practice in 2009 after nearly 36 years in practice. Now working one to two days for a dentist in Olympia and enjoy that very much. Judy and I are building our retirement dream home on Herron Island (between Harstine Island and Key Peninsula). We hope to take occupancy in March 2012. In the meantime, we spend a lot of time with our five grandchildren, some travel and fishing whenever I can. We are blessed. Life is good! (Spring 2012)
Dr. Neil Bergstrom, Enumclaw, Wash.: Dennis Litowitz and I attended the Oregon Dental Conference in Portland on April 7-9. On the way down to Portland, we actually ran into a snowstorm. We had the pleasure of dining with Dan and Jerry Warner at their favorite restaurant. Dan is the current vice president of WSDA and will be our president next year. He was instrumental in Olympia, addressing the concerns of the profession with respect to dental therapists. Dennis is retired and living in Florida. It is nice to see our classmates being so successful. (Fall 2011)
Dr. Gerald Summerhays, Salt Lake City, Utah (sent by Dr. Wally Brown): Dr. Summerhays is a periodontist here in the Valley and is preparing to retire this summer. He has been outstanding in dental humanitarian service, working in Mexico, Peru and other places, with his fluency in Spanish a great benefit to missions in Latin America. He has served in leadership positions in the Salt Lake District Dental Society, Utah State Dental Association, the LDS Academy of Dentists, and Rotary International. He was president of the Murray Rotary Club in 2003-04. Now he has been selected to serve as District Governor for Rotary International for District 5420, which is Utah. He will serve as District Governor July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013. Jerry was asked why he would want to serve as District Governor, as it is very demanding. His reply: “Because it will make me a better person.” Typical Jerry. Some years ago, he was awarded the Utah Dental Association Distinguished Service Award. (Fall 2010)
Dr. Burl B. Buskirk Jr., Fox Island, Wash.: I sold my practice in 2007 and returned to school to receive a master’s in addiction counseling. I have recently opened my own outpatient agency in Gig Harbor called Peninsula Counseling. It is exciting and challenging work, and the stories are much better than my dental stories. You can’t make this stuff up. (Spring 2010)
Dr. Glyn Anthony Fleury, Sedro Woolley, Wash.: Linda and I have been married 40 years and have 11 grandkids. I still have a full head of hair and plan to go sailing again, hopefully to Australia this time. (Spring 2010)
Dr. Douglas H. Reams, Lucerne, Calif. (via note from Dr. Fred Wemer): Doug spent five years in the Air Force, ending up in San Francisco. After being in a big city and growing up in the Aberdeen area of Washington, he wanted a rural practice. Doug bought a practice that had been open for only 18 months, located on the eastern shore of Clear Lake, California’s largest totally contained lake. Thirty-plus years later, he still has the original receptionists. He is the only dentist in Lucerne. Doug spent almost half his career as a single parent raising four children, three boys and a girl. They are now all out of the nest and successful. He is quite proud of them. However, none have followed in his professional footsteps. Doug lives only a short walking distance to his office on the lake. Doug is still in good shape and regularly runs 10 miles per day. He has given up the high-risk sports of skydiving and whitewater rafting, but has continued to snow ski. He is still enjoying his practice and is not planning to retire soon. (Spring 2010)
Dr. Fred Wemer, Seattle: I have been retired for the last six years but still continue to volunteer in the Dental Materials class at the UW. I took the Master Gardener class when I retired, and I volunteer as a King County Master Gardener at a Bellevue demo garden. Last December I became severely frostbitten leading a snowmobile ride and eventually lost the tips of three fingers. I am still recovering and learning how to detect what I am feeling. However, it has not slowed down my ability to garden or travel. Last spring we went to Tahiti on a UW-sponsored tour, and this past fall we went on a very enlightening tour to Iran. We learned a lot about the history, geography and politics of the area. Most cities were very modern as any here. New construction is brick and steel but may be next to a centuries-old building of mud and straw built over 2,000 years ago. I visited two dental offices that looked as up-to-date and modern as any in Seattle. The people were very outgoing and friendly to us in almost every place we went. They don’t like our previous government but frequently thanked us for visiting. (Spring 2010)
Dr. Glyn Anthony Fleury: Linda and I have celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary and have 11 grandkids. We have been spending more time in Arizona during the winter. (Spring 2009)
Dr. Jeff Burgess, Seattle, Wash.: Jeff is now involved in Fusion Photography. Jeff’s work has won several awards including a “silver” award from Create magazine and purchase award at the 25th annual national photographic exhibit at the Larson Gallery. His works have appeared in Create and Advanced Photoshop. They have been displayed in the Center for Fine Art Photography in Denver, Mark’s at the Garage in Honolulu, the Dunville Gallery in Seattle, and the Gallery 8 in Phoenix, as well as other venues. You can view the images at Fine Art America. Inquiries can be made through the email address: email@example.com. (Spring 2009)
Dr. Bob Stephan, Spokane, Wash.: At long last, and without further ado, our research article “Resolution of Cavitational Osteonecrosis Through Neuro-Modulation Technique, a Novel Form of Intention-Based Therapy: A Clinical Case Study” is published in the January edition of the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. The article is available now online and you can download it at no charge prior to publication. The address is: http://www.liebertonline.com/doi/pdfplus/10.1089/acm.2008.0095 (Spring 2009)
Dr. Burl B. Buskirk Jr.: Because of a hereditary tremor, I have retired from dentistry and sold my practice of 34 years in Gig Harbor. I am currently in a Masters of Addiction Studies Program at Hazelden in Center City, Minn., and will graduate in April 2008. I plan on starting a private practice in chemical dependency counseling in the South Puget Sound area. (Spring 2008)
Dr. Dennis Jay Litowitz, Tacoma, Wash.: I retired in 2004. I divide my time between fishing flats from my house in Fort Myers, Fla., and spending time in the Northwest at my home there. (Spring 2008)
Dr. Robert William McCulloch, Yakima, Wash.: I sold my practice on July 15th, 2007. I have and continue to help out at the YVCC Hygiene Clinic; so while not completely retired, I did give up the headaches and problems that staff, patients, and third party payers can cause. Life is nice! (Spring 2008)
Dr. Paul G. Rubin, Seattle: I was awarded Master of the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT) at their annual Scientific Session in Las Vegas in September. Mastership is the highest award bestowed by the academy, recognizing outstanding education, research, service, and leadership in the IAOMT. I have been an active member and served on its Board of Directors for many years. I am in private practice in Seattle. (Spring 2008)
The Class of 1973 held its 45th-year reunion on July 7 at Kris Overby’s Tacoma home on Commencement Bay. Twenty 20 classmates and 16 spouses or significant others attended, including people from Alaska, Idaho, Arizona, Florida, and Canada. There was no program, but Kris’ three outdoor decks and multiple shops made for lots of time to tell embellished dental school stories and talk over old times and current ailments. Kris and his wife, Karen, put on a great steak barbecue with multiple salads. Kris took almost half of the group on a trip around Commencement Bay in his boat. Kris generously funded the full expense and donated the money we had collected to the Dental Alumni Association. (Fall 2018)
DR. MICHAEL D. BENNER, CLASS OF 1973
Dr. Michael D. Benner died of lymphoma on Sept. 14, 2011 in Olympia, Wash. He was 64.
Dr. Benner was born on Jan. 3, 1947 in Seattle. He graduated from Blanchet High School in 1964 and attended the University of Washington, where he rowed in the Varsity Boat Club and was named Commodore (Head of the VBC). In 1968, he received a BS degree in zoology. He coached the Green Lake High School crew team from 1968-69.
Dr. Benner received his DDS from the School of Dentistry in 1973. He then joined the U.S. Army as a dentist to serve our country for what he thought would be two years, but ended up being 20. During that time he received advanced education and training to become an endodontist. After a great run in the military, he retired as a colonel at Fort Lewis (now Joint Base Lewis-McChord), Wash., in 1993 and joined his dental school classmate Fred Gonzalez in an endodontic practice in Olympia.
Dr. Benner was a member of the Thurston-Mason County Dental Society, Washington State Dental Association of Endodontists, American Dental Association and American Association of Endodontists.
He was an avid golfer, kayaker, tennis player and scuba diver. In recent years he took many memorable diving trips to Thailand, the Galapagos Islands and Dominica and enjoyed many travel adventures with his fiancée, Joan Sullivan.
Dr. Benner is survived by his children, Sarah of San Francisco and Matt of Denver; fiancée Joan Sullivan; and siblings Patrick Benner and Sally Jo Benner. He was preceded in death by his wife, Victoria (Anderson) Benner.
DR. MERLE C. HERBISON, CLASS OF 1973
Dr. Merle Clifford Herbison died on Nov. 22, 2019, in Seattle. He was 75.
Dr. Herbison graduated from Shoreline High School in 1962. He received a BS degree in zoology from Washington State University in 1966, followed by three years in the U.S. Army. Upon his arrival in Korea, he was given the assignment of dental hygienist only because he was available. He cleaned everyone’s teeth, from generals to privates, after being shown how on one patient.
He had previously considered medical school, but with his Army training and experience, dentistry was his choice. He was happy and grateful to be a part of the dental community for the rest of his life.
Dr. Herbison practiced in Everett, Wash., for four years and in Bothell, Wash., for 42 years. He was a member of the Snohomish County Dental Society.
He was a lifelong passionate golfer, and preferred road trips to flying. He also enjoyed driving his SUV to high mountain and saltwater destinations. He coached youth baseball and basketball. He looked forward to and appreciated gatherings of family and friends, good food, dogs, horses, fishing, campfires, and spending time at the family cabins on Puget Sound and at White Salmon, Wash.
Dr. Herbison is survived by his wife, Connie; dentist son Blake (Jennifer), and grandchildren Robert, Elizabeth, James, and Molly; and attorney son Bennet (Jessica), and grandchildren Ethan and Aiden. (Dignity Memorial)
DR. CHARLES O. HOLMES, CLASS OF 1973
Dr. Charles Oliver “Chuck” Holmes passed away on April 1, 2014. Practicing privately in Des Moines, Wash., he had a career that spanned more than 40 years.
Early in his career, Dr. Holmes was active in the Seattle-King County Dental Society, serving on numerous committees. He was past president of the UW’s Psi Omega dental fraternity, whose house he donated to the School of Dentistry with the national fraternity’s consent after the chapter became inactive. Proceeds from the sale funded the Psi Omega scholarship, which continues to be awarded annually.
Dr. Holmes is survived by his wife, Kathe; and his son, Chas.
DR. THOMAS L. HOSSFELD, CLASS OF 1973
Dr. Thomas Lee “Tom” Hossfeld passed on Aug. 6, 2021 in Arizona. He was 77.
He was born in Enid, Okla., to Helen F. Hite and Loyd F. Hossfeld. He was the eldest of three children and part of a military family. His education spanned multiple locations, including Tucson, Bossier City, La., Bermuda, and Newfoundland. He graduated from Northern Arizona University, where he played on the varsity golf team and was a member of the Blue Key Honor Society and Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity. After graduation he attended the UW, where he obtained a teaching degree and taught junior high math and science. He then attended the School of Dentistry, joining the Navy reserves during that time.
After his naval service, Dr. Hossfeld set up practice in Tucson. He enjoyed the challenge of caring for and building relationships with patients, many of whom became friends. His avocations included exhibiting and breeding dogs. In 1967, he acquired his first Scottish terrier. Along the way he added Dandie Dinmont terriers and standard wire-haired dachshunds. He was approved to judge all terrier breeds, as well as 19 hound breeds and Best in Show. He was a member of the Scottish Terrier Club of America (STCA) since 1984. He served the organization as a board member, worked with the Illustrated Standard Committee, and co-chaired the Judges Education Committee. For his contributions, he was awarded a Silver Service medallion.
He was also a member of the Scottish Terrier Club of California, the Dandie Dinmont Club of America, and the Desert Valley Dachshund Club. In Tucson, he was a member of the Cañada
del Oro (CDOKC) and Madera Canyon Kennel Clubs, serving as an officer and working many hours to help the clubs host annual shows. In 2020, CDOKC awarded him the AKC Outstanding
Sportsmanship medallion for positively influencing the sport of purebred dogs.
Dr. Hossfeld was a longtime member of the UA Wildcat Club and rarely missed a football or basketball game. He was most proud of being in attendance for the Wildcat Final Four Championship in 1997 and subsequently attended several other Final Four tournaments.
He had an artistic eye and used this skill to fashion unique jewelry for his wife, Janie, and create bronze statues. The couple loved traveling, especially cruising European rivers and experiencing Europe’s Christmas markets. He loved fly fishing and tied his own flies and made his own fly rods. His prize catches ranged from steelhead to halibut and salmon. He had a wonderful sense of humor, took great pleasure in making dozens of tamales at Christmastime with his wife’s family, and loved nothing more than a rousing political debate.
Dr. Hossfeld is survived by his wife of 54 years, Janie L. Nuñez; brother Dennis (Tath), and sister Vicki. He was preceded in death by his parents, brother-in-law Eduardo “Ed” Nuñez and mother-in-law Dolores L. Ortiz. (Vistoso Funeral Home)