A Man I Admired Has Passed

      Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS     March 11, 2016   [printfriendly]

Stanley Toporek, DDSStanley D. Toporek, DDS passed away yesterday. He was a dentist in Charleston, SC, and I admired him from the very first day I met him 42 years ago.


After completing my periodontal specialty training in Baltimore in 1974, I had a two-year commitment to the Air Force. I moved from Baltimore, MD to Charleston, SC and was stationed at the Charleston Air Force Base as the Chief of Periodontics in the Dental Clinic on base. It was a great experience. Just after I began working at the Base, I volunteered as the Director of Continuing Education for the military dentists stationed there. That’s how I met Stanley.


I did some research in the area to determine who was one of the best dentists. The name Stanley Toporek, DDS kept popping up. So, I called him, introduced myself, and the rest was history.


Stanley came to speak to the dentists at the clinic on several occasions about how he treated his patients. His explanations of treatment planning were unique and caring. He impressed me and the other dentists at our meetings when he was our guest speaker. My relationship with Stanley continued to grow.


At the end of my two years at the Charleston Air Force Base, I set up my private periodontal practice in Charleston. Stanley and I continued our close professional relationship as well as our personal and social connections. His family and my family became friends. He and his wife, Ijo, and I and my wife, Sue, spent many weekends together enjoying all kinds of social gatherings.


But, you know, life gets away from you sometimes.


During the last five years of my 42-year career as a periodontist in South Carolina, Stanley and I drifted apart as our careers moved in slightly different directions. Six weeks ago, I had lunch with Stanley. We reminisced about our lives together, and we got caught up on the last five years. It was great. He was still as feisty as ever. We talked about all kinds of things, and we rekindled our many years of a close friendship. We promised to get together with our wives for dinner within the next few weeks. That was not destined to be.


Several weeks after our lunch, Stanley was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumor. I spent a few precious moments with him at his home two days ago.


In less than two months from his diagnosis, the tumor won out, and Stanley died peacefully at his home yesterday.


Stanley was a pillar in the Charleston community, and he will be sorely missed.


Rest in peace my friend.


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