In Memoriam: Dr. Willard Wolfe

Dear Friends:

Dr. Wolfe passed away Wednesday, February 16, 2011.  He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in June, 2010.  Since his diagnosis he chose to avoid aggressive anticancer treatment, and instead, to spend his last months visiting with family and friends.  As you know, Dr. Wolfe was an outstanding dentist, and a very kind and thoughtful gentleman.

Dr. Wolfe grew up on an island near Detroit called Grosse Ile.  His father had a diary business, and Dr. Wolfe drove the milk truck around the island as a boy.  It was from his father that he learned to love the outdoors.  Dr. Wolfe became a steward of our environment, and left Michigan a better place to live.  He enjoyed birding, cross-country skiing, and especially fly-fishing.  Dr. Wolfe served on many environmental committees that brought us cleaner rivers and lakes.

After high school Dr. Wolfe served three years in the Army in World War II, including time with the occupation forces in Japan.  After the war he attended Dartmouth College and became employed in human resources at The Ford Motor Company in Detroit.  While married with two children, Dr. Wolfe decided that he wanted to be his own boss, and attended dental school at The University of Detroit.  After dental school Dr. Wolfe moved to Grand Rapids where he started his practice.  In addition to the practice of dentistry, Dr. Wolfe taught dental hygiene and dental assisting at Grand Rapids Junior College and volunteered at the Blodgett Hospital Cleft Palate Clinic.

Adele and I had the privilege of carrying on for Dr. Wolfe in 1989 when he retired from dentistry.  Since then we have enjoyed seeing him regularly, both socially and professionally.  Although his physical presence has left us, his legacy lives on in the marvelous dental care he performed, and the many delightful stories you have shared with us about your experiences with him prior to our assumption of his practice.  We have lost a wonderful person.


James L. Lockwood, D.D.S.      

  3303 Grand Ridge Dr. NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49525