Celebrating The Life of
Dr. Richard Myers
AUGUST 16, 1935- JANUARY 16, 2022
We are saddened to share that Dr. Richard “Dick” Myers, Past President and leader of NESO, passed away January 16th, 2022. He was 86 years old. Dr. Myers served on numerous committees in county, state and national dental professional associations and held many leadership positions over the course of his career. He served as president for the Northeastern Society of Orthodontists and the American Association of Orthodontists Foundation Board of Directors. A testament to who he was as a person and as a leader, he was awarded the James E. Brophy AAO Distinguished Service Award, the Joseph D. DiStasio Distinguished Service Award, and the Eastman Institute for Oral Health Directors Award.
Dr. Myers was born in Hamilton New York, and graduated from Hamilton High School prior to attending Colgate University. During his undergraduate education, Dick served with the US Army Military Police Corps in Berlin, Germany. Post Colgate, he attended the School of Dentistry at the State University of New York at Buffalo earning his dental degree in 1963 and Certificate of Orthodontics in 1965. He opened his orthodontic practice, Orthodontic Associates of Central New York, in Oneida, New York in 1965 and was honored to serve generations of families in Central New York until his retirement in 2000.
Dr. Myers served as a part-time clinical professor for 40 years. He was a Clinical Instructor and Professor in the Orthodontic Graduate Program at Eastman Department of Dentistry at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry 1978-2018 and a visiting lecturer at his alma mater, SUNY Buffalo, from 1992-2018. He loved teaching and mentoring as much as practicing. Only the most epic snowstorms would keep him from driving the 2-3 hours to his lectures. He cherished life-long friendships with his students and colleagues and was always willing to listen and share his experiences. Students of his business management class learned a great deal from his business acumen, including negotiations and reading contracts. Residents and staff often described him as kind, smart, friendly, funny and engaging.
I first met Dr. Myers as a resident at Eastman. I learned he was good friends with my Uncle, a Central New York area oral surgeon, and he took it upon himself to check in on me from time to time. My husband Tim and I grew close with Dick over our time at Eastman, and were blessed to have him and his wife celebrate our wedding with us. When I was asked to write a tribute about Dr. Myers, I knew that my words alone could not truly reflect the impact he had on our profession and our members. His kind nature, progressive thinking and genuine humility affected so many.
Following are some memories from friends and colleagues on the impact this great man had…
Dr. John Callahan, current NESO Trustee shares, “Dick Myers, whom I fondly referred to as “the Brophy Man” (he was awarded the Brophy Award by the AAO in 2009) cared first and foremost for the orthodontic profession. He was my mentor, responsible for pushing me to be involved in organized orthodontics. We had lunch when he was in town just a few months back and he was still helping steward me on issues important to protecting patient care and our profession. He reminded me to always have fun and enjoy what I was doing. I will miss him terribly.”
Dr. Emile Rossouw, Department Chairman and Program Director of Orthodontics at Eastman comments, “I recall that he met with me and we had breakfast on the first occasion I was invited to come to Rochester. As he said to me, it was his responsibility to see that I get safely and on time to EIOH to meet everyone at Eastman Orthodontics. Our discussion was an indication how committed he was to his teaching endeavors. He met with me when he decided to retire and not surprisingly, he ensured that the transition of his contributions to our program occurred seamlessly. A wonderful and organized person. He will be sadly missed.”
Dr. Moataz Elmahdy, Eastman Resident and 2017 winner of the Eugene L. Gottlieb JCO Student of the Year Award, adds “Dr. Myers was a great professor. I appreciate how he was very thorough in his teaching but always had a fun story to tell!”
Dr. Ron Bellohusen, Associate Professor of Orthodontics at Eastman says, “Dr. Myers added several dimensions to our program that were both fundamental and unique, he will be missed at so many levels!”
Dr. Joe Sweet, Associate Progressor of Orthodontics at Eastman, comments “Dick Myers was quite simply a great man. We were all very fortunate to have his influence in our lives.”
Dr. Holly Yuen, Eastman Resident, adds “Dr. Myers held a special place in my heart during residency. He taught us so much and always had a smile on his face when he would walk through the door. He will be missed!”
Dr. Dimitrios Michelogiannakis, Eastman Resident and current Assistant Program Director at Eastman shares, “Dr. Myers was a great mentor and teacher for all Eastman orthodontic residents who had the privilege to learn under his guidance, including myself. He upheld the highest ethical and clinical standards and taught residents the art of obtaining orthodontic records, traditional biomechanical techniques and practice management. He was inspirational to me to continue his legacy in the preclinical training of junior residents here at Eastman Orthodontics. We will never forget his generosity, humor and impeccable manners. He will be missed.”
Dr. Dick Meyers, thank you for all you did for so many. You will truly be missed.
Dr. Lauren Vitkus
Friend of Dr. Myers
Chair, NESO Communications Committee