Class of 1974

CLASS NOTES

Dr. H. Kirby Skavdahl, Kennewick, Wash.: I am now into my 34th year of private practice in periodontics. Periodontal disease is alive and not-so-well in Eastern Washington. I continue to do grafting and implants as well. I also continue to be a leader of a Spear Study Club which will soon begin its seventh season (Frank Spear, Class of ’79 and Pros ’82). My daughter lives in North Seattle and has three children. Her youngest son was born Oct. 10. I have the perfect excuse to fly my twin Cessna 340 from the Tri-Cities to visit her family – frequently! (Spring 2016)

Dr. Michael Buehler, Yakima, Wash.: Both Dr. Jeff Parrish and I were on a recent trip to Anse Rouge in northern Haiti with one hygienist from Seattle, two MDs, one nurse practitioner and five nurses. We saw over 900 patients over the course of six days. This was the 40th trip I have been on and Jeff has been on a dozen or more. (Spring 2012)

Dr. Michael Buehler: All in the photo are UW graduates and are equal partners in the west end of Yakima. Life is good in eastern Washington. (Fall 2010)

Dr. Sherwin Shinn, Gig Harbor, Wash.: Dr. Shinn and his lovely wife, Faria, proudly announce the birth of their daughter, Amnee Sameea, on March 16, 2014. She is already beautiful and talented well beyond her age. “Having and working with children is the key to longevity and this assures that I will live and prosper well into my 90s,” says Dr. Shinn.

Dr. Shinn and his For World Wide Smiles nonprofit organization volunteered in rural Haiti during the last two weeks of July. “We had two dentists, two assistants, two equipment/sterilization techs, and a clinic operations manager from the States. We also had a dental hygienist from Australia and a Haitian dentist and interpreter on our team,” he says. “Using portable dental equipment, we delivered over $100,000 worth of quality dental care to several hundred patients. It was hot and sweaty and challenging, but we were proud to help so many deserving people who had no other access to dental care. Our next trip will be to Jamaica in the fall.” (Fall 2014)

Dr. Sherwin Shinn: I recently returned from Uganda, where I was doing another dental humanitarian outreach project and picking up two children that I am adopting. I was accompanied by Dr. Carla Yamashiro. We teamed up with my wife and some Ugandan volunteers and set up two clinic sites, one in Kampala and one on a remote island on Lake Victoria. We saw about 200 patients for extractions and fillings. We also gave out toothbrushes and oral hygiene instruction to over 700 children in three separate schools who had never had a toothbrush before. The most exciting part of the trip was finally being able to take custody of my two adopted children. It took over two years for all the legal paperwork to clear. I married Faria about four years ago, and together we have a 2½-year-old daughter, Shaleena, and a 5-month-old son, Tomar. Our adopted kids are Jim-Nasser, age 6, and Yasmeen, age 4. I am working as the Dental Director for Lindquist Dental Clinic for Children in Lakewood (right across the street from Al Tronset’s office). In my free time I am busily chasing our four kids around our home in Gig Harbor. We have also recently founded For World Wide Smiles (www.forworldwidesmiles.org), a dental outreach nonprofit to continue the work of bringing dental care to people in areas of the world where there is no care. All this activity is definitely guaranteed to keep me young. As soon as I hit 85, I’ll hang up the hi-speed. I’m not so sure about the slow-speed. (Spring 2011)

Dr. Sherwin Shinn: Anyone who would like to do some volunteer humanitarian dentistry in Uganda, please contact me. I have established several work sites in areas that have little or no access to dental care. If any of you have dreamed of being on safari, surrounded by amazing wildlife and friendly native people, in breathtaking scenery… I can show you how to accomplish that while giving back something from our professional expertise. Since 2004, I have lived and worked in Uganda for almost one year. I know where to go, what to see and how to do it at the best possible price. (Fall 2008)

REUNIONS

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The Dental Class of 1974 held our 40-year reunion celebration at the Southcenter Doubletree Suites on June 13. About 50 classmates and significant others were in attendance. Together we acknowledged and agreed that the Class of ’74 was the best dental class ever to graduate from the UW!  We were honored by the appearance of Dean Joel Berg, who spoke about the future plans for education in our great school. We had several musical groups provide stimulating entertainment and an “open mike” allowed class members opportunities to share their memories and accomplishments. Collectively we realized that we have treated well over a quarter-million patients since graduation!  A good time was had by all and it felt great to share the love again of our special brotherhood.

Dr. Sherwin Shinn (Fall 2014)

IN MEMORIAM

DR. WILLIAM BETHEL, CLASS OF 1974

Dr. William Bethel

Dr. William “Bill” Bethel passed away on March 16, 2018 at his home. He was 69.

Dr. Bethel was born on Nov. 21, 1948 in Wichita, Kan., to Robert and Audra Bethel. They moved to the Seattle area when he was in the fifth grade. He graduated from Foster High School and attended the UW, where he found his passion for being a dentist and helping others. He opened his practice in 1974 in Renton, Wash., and for 44 years considered his staff and generations of patients as family. He was highly respected by his staff and colleagues for his high-quality dentistry. He was known as a loving and passionate person in his professional and personal lives.

Dr. Bethel is survived by his children Nathaniel, Nicholas, and Justin; sisters Leanna Janssen, Jeanne Watkins, and Babs Buchanan; brother-in-law Larry Laughlin; niece and nephews Jan Quick, Craig and David Janssen, Brad Miller, and Derek Schultze; and family friends Jim Bergstrom and Bob Catton.(Seattle Times)

DR. CECIL M. FITZGERALD, CLASS OF 1974

Dr. Cecil FitzgeralsDr. Cecil Michael “Mike” Fitzgerald died peacefully on Feb. 5, 2018 in Ketchikan, Alaska. He was 77.Dr. Fitzgerald was born on Dec. 28, 1940 in Seattle. He met his future bride, Judith Anne Spendlove, while singing in the choir at Olympia High School. They were sealed in the Cardston Alberta Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1960 and continued singing together for the rest of their lives. During their early married life, he served as a lieutenant in the Navy, as both a naval aviator and an instructor. He served three tours of duty in the South Pacific, receiving the National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with three bronze stars, and Vietnam Campaign Medal.

After graduating from the School of Dentistry and later from the University of Minnesota with an MPH, he moved his family to Utah, motivated in part by the dream of singing in The Mormon Tabernacle Choir with his high school sweetheart. For 20 years, the couple sang with the choir, making multiple tours that took them around the world. He served as the dental health director and the assistant medical director for the Utah Department of Health.

Dr. Fitzgerald had a beautiful tenor voice and was a captivating performer. He was known for singing his personal rendition of If I Were a Rich Man from Fiddler on the Roof. He enjoyed designing and building things and was an expert at refinishing woodwork. He loved the sea and was a gifted captain. He realized a lifelong dream of taking an extended voyage up the Inside Passage to Alaska in 1992 with his wife and children and their spouses as his eager, devoted, and admiring crew. When his beloved wife passed away in 2009, he decided to sell their condo in Utah, buy a handicap-accessible boat to live on and head for Ketchikan, where he performed an “Encore” (the name of his boat) to his Life With Judy (the title of his memoir), continuing the tradition of nautical exploration with his family.

He was ambitious and humble. He was generous and eager to serve and accept others. He loved his posterity without boundaries. He had a brilliant mind, understanding and exploring physics, history, current events, and Mormon doctrine with a wondrous curiosity. He had an indefatigable faith in his Heavenly Father and his place in the eternal realms that informed everything he thought and did. He faced muscular dystrophy without complaint, always exuding great faith, gratitude, and a joyous outlook. As he realized that he was fast approaching the end of his mortal life, he declared, “If I look back, I see joy. If I look ahead, I see joy.” Adored and admired by many, a friend to everyone he met, he is forever Our Captain to those who loved him.

Dr. Fitzgerald is survived by his children Michael (Kathy), Daniel Cecil, Rebecca (Brian) Gardner, Rachel (Jesi) Chapman, and Kathleen Anne (Jordan) Needles; 25 grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; and siblings Geri (David) Robnett, Robert E. and Kelly (Steve) Barker. He was preceded in death by his wife, Judith; granddaughter Sabrina Anne Needles; parents Robert Emmett Fitzgerald and Ruth Bertha Geck; and sister Patricia Baker. McDougal Funeral Home)

DR. DENNIS A. GALE, CLASS OF 1974

Dr. Dennis GaleDr. Dennis A. Gale died on Oct. 7, 2014. He was 66.

Dr. Gale was born in Tacoma, Wash., on July 7, 1948. He graduated from Charles Wright Academy. After receiving his DDS degree, he practiced in Bellingham, Wash., for 33 years, then retired in 2008 after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s. He touched many people with his spirit and passion for life. He was an enthusiastic entertainer, always singing, storytelling, or sharing his wisdom.

Dr. Gale is survived by his wife, Cheri; three children; five grandchildren; his brother, Todd; and a large group of extended family. Published in Bellingham Herald on Oct. 14, 2014 (Bellingham Herald)