Open Wide - The Official Blog of The Chicago Dental Society

Permanent link  Leo Finley Jr., past CDS president, dead at 73


Past president of the Chicago Dental Society Dr. Leo R. Finley Jr. died Friday in his home in Orland Park. He was 73.

Dr. Finley served as president of CDS in 1989-90, and served the American Dental Association as 8th District trustee in 1998.

Finley, LeoVisitation will be today, Aug. 29, from 3-9 p.m. at Thornridge Funeral Home (Janusz Family Funeral Service), 14318 S. LaGrange Rd., Orland Park. Funeral services will begin at 10 a.m. tomorrow, Aug. 30, at St. Elizabeth Seton Church, with interment at Good Shepherd Cemetery. 

It was requested that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the American Cancer Society.

Dr. Finley enjoyed a long career in dentistry, managing a busy practice in Chicago’s south suburbs. He was also active in organized dentistry on the local, state and national levels for more than 40 years. 

At CDS, Dr. Finley held all offices in his South Suburban Branch before his term as president in 1972-73. He was later elected to the CDS Board of Directors, and ultimately served as president of CDS in 1989-90, which coincided with the 125th Midwinter Meeting.

At the state level, Dr. Finley was elected vice speaker of the Illinois State Dental Society’s House of Delegates and chaired the Dent-IL-PAC Governor’s Club. 

At the national level, Dr. Finley represented Illinois dentists at the ADA House of Delegates, 1986-88 and 1996-97. He was elected 8th District Trustee in 1998.

Dr. Finley ran an unsuccessful campaign for president of the ADA in 2002. He told the CDS Review at that time, “In the past 39 years, I have been privileged to work with many volunteers in my capacity as committee member or officer and have made many close friends across the country. I’ve enjoyed seeing how our organization has changed and grown. My role in making some of those changes possible has been the most satisfying moments of my career.”

Dr. Finley was both a graduate of the Chicago College of Dental Surgery/Loyola University, Class of 1963, and a veteran of the U.S. Army. He served with the Dental Corps as a captain, 1963-65.

He returned to Chicago at the end of his service to start his practice and to teach at the Loyola University Dental School through 1969.

Dr. Finley is survived by his wife of 50 years, Alicia; their children Leo III (Brenda), Timothy (Donna), Allen (Laurie), Suzanne Duntz and Paul (Laura); 13 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren.



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Permanent link  Dr. Claude Driskell, African American Dental Historian, Dies at 83


CDS received this obituary from the University of Illinois College of Dentistry. Dr. Driskell is pictured on the right with his wife, Naomi, in an undated photo.

Dr. Claude E. Driskell, a premier expert on the history of African-American dentists, particularly in Chicago, and who practiced dentistry in Chicago's Roseland community for 55 years, died on May 23 at age 83.

Born in Chicago on Jan. 13, 1926, Claude Evans Driskell was a decorated World War II veteran of the U.S. Army. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Roosevelt University in Chicago in 1950 before entering the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) College of Dentistry, where he earned his DDS degree in 1954.

Dr. Driskell served as a dental journalist for and served a term as President of the Lincoln Dental Society (LDS), the largest African-American dental society in Illinois, and also was a dental journalist for the National Dental Association (NDA), the largest African-American dental association in the United States. He earned numerous citations and awards from the LDS and NDA for excellence in dental journalism.

He served as editor of the LDS publication from 1966 to 1980, Assistant Director of Publicity for the NDA from 1969 to 1972, Director of Publicity for the NDA in 1972, and Assistant Editor of the NDA Journal from 1976 to 1982. Dr. Driskell was the author of the book The History of Chicago Black Dental Professionals, 1850-1983.

Dr. Driskell wrote four chapters in the book Essays on Earl Renfroe-A Man of Firsts, which was published in 2001. The book is a biography of Dr. Earl W. Renfroe, a world-renowned orthodontist who was the first African-American Department Head at the UIC College of Dentistry. The book won an international Apex Award for Publications Excellence from Communications Concepts, a writing and publishing think-tank based outside Washington, DC.

"Dr. Driskell did this work while continuing to practice dentistry full time," noted Dr. Richard Perry, former President of the Illinois State Dental Society. "I think that's a great example of school spirit-sacrificing personal time for the good of the school."

"Grateful for the work that Dr. Driskell and others had put into Essays on Earl Renfroe, the Renfroe family established an endowed scholarship that will provide funding for minority students at the College in perpetuity," said UIC College of Dentistry Assistant Dean for Advancement and Alumni Affairs Mark J. Valentino.

A dental consultant and supervising dentist of the Dental Hygienist Supportive Health Service of the Chicago Board of Education in the mid-1970s, Dr. Driskell also was instrumental in the fight to obtain dental insurance for Chicago teachers. In the early 1970s, he served as faculty member at Chicago State University and the Illinois Institute of Technology. He also served as Attending Dental Surgeon at the Department of Stomatology at Michigan Avenue Hospital in the 1960s.

A member of the Original Forty Club, a prominent African-American professionals' organization, Dr. Driskell served as the organization's historian and was the author of the club's 75th anniversary book. He also was a Fellow in the Academy of General Dentistry and the Academy of the International Biographical Association.

At the UIC College of Dentistry, he served as an advisor to the Dean's Committee on Black Students in the early 1970s..

Dr. Driskell is survived by his wife, Naomi Roberts Driskell, daughter of Bishop William Roberts, founder of the Church of God in Christ in Illinois, whom he married in 1953. They had five adult children: Yvette Russell, wife of Al; Isaiah, husband of Barbara; Ruth Davis, wife of Fredric; Reginald, husband of Gale; and Elaine Chenier-Johnson, wife of Melvin. He also is survived by nine grandchildren; many great-grandchildren, nieces, and nephews; and his sister, Helen Driskell-Evans.

Dr. Driskell lived in the South Shore community of Chicago's South Side. Interment is at Oakwood Cemetery in Chicago.


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Permanent link  CDS mourns the passing of Dr. Grant MacLean


Editor emeritus of the CDS Review and World War II veteran Grant A. MacLean died June 6 in Sun City, AZ. He was 91.

A respected dentist and editor, Dr. MacLean led the transition from the Fortnightly Review to the CDS Review in 1973, and was repeatedly honored for his efforts.

The late Karl Richardson said of Dr. MacLean upon his retirement in 1983:

A retrospective study of Grant's editorials over the past dozen years is an amply rewarding experience in sound comment on, shrewd analysis of, and vigorous advice and guidance to organized dentistry. Grant's record is evident and eloquent. To have so highly merited the acclaim and recognition of his colleagues in dental journalism and his many readers is certainly an achievement of which any editor would be proud.
Dr. MacLean was born in Detroit but raised in Evanston, and graduated from Illinois State University. He married in 1942 and shortly enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps; he served in World War II, including two years in the South Pacific. His first Marine division landed on Guadalcanal.

Upon returning to the U.S. in 1945, Dr. MacLean returned to school for a specialty degree in orthodontics.

Dr. MacLean was appointed editor of the Fortnightly Review in 1972 and lead the staff through a redesign when they renamed and relaunched their publication as the CDS Review in 1973. During Dr. MacLean's 12-year tenure, he and the magazine were honored with several awards:
  • The 1974 Golden Scroll Award for improvements in the format, layout and overall appearance of the CDS Review;
  • The 1976 Golden Pen Award for an article about Dr. Robert Shira;
  • A 1977 Special Citation for an outstanding collection of feature articles;
  • A 1978 Honorable Mention for the Golden Pen Award; and
  • The 1979 Golden Scroll Award for outstanding cover design.
CDS Review Editor Walter Lamacki said Dr. MacLean made many contributions to the profession and dental journalism, adding that Dr. MacLean was "a true old-world style gentleman at all times."

While serving as editor, Dr. MacLean was also president of the Illinois State Dental Society in 1977. Dr. MacLean was also active with other CDS activities, including the first Children's Dental Health Day, when more than 12,000 people received care at McCormick Place, and the launch of closed circuit television at the Midwinter Meeting.

Dr. MacLean retired to Arizona in 1983.

He is survived by his wife of seven years, Peggy; sons, Rev. Grant A. (Carol) MacLean, Jr. and Craig (Annette) MacLean; step-children, Debby (William) Radio, Susan (Ronald) Hendee and John (Melissa) Scott; sister, Sarah Jane MacLean; brother, James MacLean, Donald MacLean, 11 grandchildren and six great grandchildren.

A memorial service was held June 17 at the Congregational Church of Sun City.


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Permanent link  Past president of the Chicago Dental Society, Dr. Richard Kozal, dies at age 73


CDS has learned that Dr. Richard Kozal, president of the association from 1982-1983, passed away on March 11 at age 73.

The American Dental Association has posted an obituary. Services will be held in Mesquite, Nevada, where Dr. Kozal lived. Friends and colleagues may also sign the online memorial guestbook.


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