Dr. Bernard Gordon, 85, dentist who edited journal

July 18, 2006|By FREDERICK N. RASMUSSEN | FREDERICK N. RASMUSSEN,SUN REPORTER

Dr. Bernard Gordon, a retired Baltimore dentist and former dental journal editor, died of a stroke Saturday at Arden Court's Alzheimer's Assisted Living Facility in Pikesville. He was 85.

Dr. Gordon was born in Kingston, N.Y., the son of a dry goods merchant, and raised in Phoenicia, N.Y. He was a 1941 graduate of the University of Maryland and served during World War II with the Army in Europe, attaining the rank of staff sergeant.

He was a 1948 graduate of the Baltimore College of Dental Surgery at the University of Maryland and did graduate work at the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine.

For the next 35 years, until he retired in 1993, Dr. Gordon practiced general dentistry at offices on Wilkens Avenue in Southwest Baltimore and on South Charles Street across from the Cross Street Market.

"As a dental patient, you're afraid of going to the dentist, but I wasn't with Dr. Gordon. He was a very compassionate man who made sure you wouldn't suffer any pain when he was working," said Otto R. Bagus, a longtime patient. "He did excellent work and wanted you to always look good."

Dr. Gordon was editor of the Journal of the Maryland State Dental Association for nearly 30 years.

"He cared so much about our organization and the people who made up the organization. He wrote many of the scientific articles, member profiles, and even their obituaries. He made sure that anyone who joined the association was showcased," said Elza H. Dunning, executive director of the Maryland State Dental Association from 1987 to 2004.

"He had a wonderful sense of humor, was very laid-back, and a delight to work with. He'd drive over once a week to our Columbia office to look in on us and talk to the staff," said Ms. Dunning, now director of operations for the National Museum of Dentistry in Baltimore. "If we needed something, he made sure we got it."

Dr. Gordon had been a member of the dental association's executive committee for many years and was a member of the Baltimore City Dental Society, the American Dental Association and the American Association of Dental Editors.

Before moving into the Alzheimer's facility in 2002, Dr. Gordon lived for more than 35 years on Old Post Drive in Pikesville.

Dr. Gordon collected stamps, enjoyed fishing and playing pool, and was an excellent tennis player who enjoyed the game into his 70s, family members said.

"He financed some of his dental education by playing pool; he was that good," Ms. Dunning said.

He was a member of Baltimore Hebrew Congregation.

His wife of 52 years, the former Letitia Rose Zuskin, a social worker, died in 2001.

Services will be held at 2 p.m. today at Sol Levinson & Bros., 8900 Reisterstown Road.

Surviving are a son, David M. Gordon; and a daughter, Ann Erica Gordon, both of Baltimore.

fred.rasmussen@baltsun.com

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