Dr. William L. Meyer, 95, Baltimore dentist

January 10, 2001|By Jacques Kelly | Jacques Kelly,SUN STAFF

Dr. William Leo Meyer, who practiced dentistry in Baltimore for more than 50 years and was known for his low fees, died Friday of respiratory failure at Brightwood Retirement Community in Lutherville. He was 95 and had earlier lived in the Woodbrook section of Baltimore County.

Until he retired in 1988, he drove his gray Buick LeSabre to his office in the Medical Arts Building in Baltimore each day, arriving at 6:30 a.m.

He usually saw two or three patients before walking across Read Street for breakfast. Then he returned to his office for a full day's work.

"He was a dentist who never seemed to be out for the money," said his friend, Dr. John MacGibbon of Baltimore. "His office had people hanging from the chandeliers - and there were no chandeliers in it."

Friends recalled that Dr. Meyer never turned away a patient for lack of an appointment or inability to pay. Occasionally, the patients in his waiting room overflowed into the hall.

"He was an extraordinarily kind person. You could walk in with any trouble and nothing seemed to rattle him," Dr. MacGibbon recalled.

Dr. Robert Berry of Ten Hills recalled a visit to Dr. Meyer's office in 1943.

"I was a young intern at Mercy Hospital. He fixed my tooth and, of course, didn't charge me," Dr. Berry said.

Dr. Meyer leased his office in the Medical Arts Building in Mount Vernon beginning in the 1930s and remained there until his retirement.

He treated the Little Sisters of the Poor in Catonsville, students at St. Mary's Seminary and University in Roland Park and foreign sailors who arrived in Baltimore with aching teeth.

"His practice was enormous," said Maris Stella Mueller of Guilford, a former patient. "He would visit the homes of his elderly patients when they weren't able to make it in to his office."

When World War II broke out, Dr. Meyer volunteered his services to Army inductees at the 5th Regiment Armory.

Born in Baltimore and raised in Ten Hills, he was a graduate of Mount St. Joseph High School and University of Maryland Dental School. He was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa.

A baritone, he sang with local choirs and organizations. At Wiltondale Gun Club, he led the singing at the dinner meetings.

Dr. Meyer enjoyed sailing on the Magothy River and the Chesapeake Bay, and playing golf at the Country Club of Maryland.

In 1937, he married Virginia Elizabeth Daly, who died in 1997.

A Mass of Christian burial for Dr. Meyer was offered yesterday at Shrine of the Sacred Heart in Mount Washington, where he was a member.

He is survived by a brother-in-law, H. Kenneth Daly of Woodbine; and nieces and nephews.

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