Dr. William Patteson, 70, dentist in area for more than 40 years

March 18, 2003|By Jacques Kelly | Jacques Kelly,SUN STAFF

Dr. William Russell Patteson, a dentist who practiced in the Baltimore area for more than 40 years and was a leader in his profession, died of a heart attack Friday while vacationing in St. Augustine, Fla. The Towson resident was 70.

Born in Beckley, W.Va., he was a 1953 graduate of Marshall University in Huntington, W.Va., and a graduate of the University of Maryland Dental School, where he was honored last year with its Distinguished Alumnus Award.

He was a captain in the Air Force before establishing his practice at the Medical Arts Building in the Mount Vernon section of downtown Baltimore in 1960. He moved the practice to Towson 25 years ago and saw about 2,200 patients annually. He was a specialist in prosthetic work.

"He never, ever lost patience or temper. He was proud of what he did for his patients, making sure they were never in pain," said Dr. Sheldon Silverman, a former president of the Baltimore City Dental Society and secretary of the state Board of Dental Examiners.

"He was a great advocate for his profession -- Bill was a leading force in making sure that the University of Maryland dental students would have top clinical skills -- the ability to practice on patients. He was a champion of technical competency."

Colleagues recalled Dr. Patteson as having a sense of humor and strong personal work ethic.

"He just loved dentistry," said Nancy Von Hagel, his office manager for the past 26 years. "He was a man with broad shoulders who cared about everyone and strove to be the best."

"His quiet and cool manner in incidents of aggravated discussions and other stressful situations made him a rare and respected leader," said Dr. Harry Dressel Jr., a friend and colleague. "He was devoted to the dental school and was a strong advocate for excellence in education.

Dr. Patteson had been a regent of the United States section of the International College of Dentists; chairman of the Maryland section of the American College of Dentists; president of the city dental society in 1978; and president of the Baltimore Association of Dental Surgeons in 1980. He was also a past president of the Optimist Club of Baltimore. From 1974 to 1975, he was president of the dental school's alumni association.

He was listed in the Guide to America's Top Dentists and Who's Who of Dentistry, and included in a 1999 Baltimore Magazine article on top local professionals.

Services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Timonium Presbyterian Church, 303 W. Timonium Road, where Dr. Patteson was an elder, trustees board president and education committee chairman.

Survivors include his wife of 35 years, the former Phyllis Chambers; a son, William R. Patteson Jr. of Hunt Valley; three daughters, Kathy Voigt of Timonium, Virginia Warren of Hilton Head, S.C., and Sondra Connor of Jacksonville; a sister, Patricia Bair of Wilmington, N.C.; and nine grandchildren.

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