Dr. James C. Piraro, 77, dentist, host of radio show

February 15, 2003

Dr. James C. Piraro, a retired dentist who was the host of a weekly radio show on WBMD-AM, died of myelo-fibrosis Feb. 8 at Northwest Hospital Center in Randallstown. The Owings Mills resident was 77.

Dr. Piraro was born and raised in Baltimore and graduated from City College. He received a bachelor's degree from Loyola College in 1952 and a master's degree from Franklin & Marshall College in 1956. He received his dental degree from Temple University in Philadelphia in 1962.

For more than 40 years, until retiring last year, Dr. Piraro maintained a dental practice in the Howard County community of Simpsonville.

"Throughout his dental career, he always extended a hand to those patients that were less fortunate, believing that each person that entered his office deserved to be treated equally, whether they could afford dental care or not," said a niece, Dr. Wendy Brown, a dentist who lives in Gambrills. "As a result, he was the dentist for generations of families, many of whom began as patients and became dear friends."

Dr. Piraro made sure his patients had his home telephone number for dental emergencies.

"One patient, awakened by the pain of a toothache, remembers calling Jim in the middle of the night," Dr. Brown said. "An hour later, he was in the dental chair being attended to."

Fluent in Italian and interested in the culture and music of Italy, Dr. Piraro was the host of Musical Greetings from Italy, which aired Sunday mornings for 23 years, with a mix of music, news, Italian history, current events and studio guests.

An accomplished accordionist and pianist, Dr. Piraro had performed in earlier years at the Hippodrome Theater in Baltimore.

He enjoyed attending the opera and theater, and was an avid collector of antique furniture and clocks.

A funeral Mass was offered Wednesday in Baltimore.

Dr. Piraro is survived by two brothers, Frank Piraro of Owings Mills and Humbert Piraro of Reisterstown; a sister, Marie P. Brown of Gambrills; and many nephews and nieces.

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