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Charles Loeck Bolender, DDS, MS

Charles Loeck Bolender, DDS, MS passed away after a brief illness on April 30, 2024. He was 91 years old.

Chuck was born in Primghar, Iowa on June 2, 1932, to Wilbur “Doc” and Louise Bolender. He graduated from Primghar High School and enrolled at the University of Iowa in September 1950. It was there that he met Mamie Jane Warnock at a church mixer during orientation week. They were married on September 4, 1955, just before Chuck began his senior year in dental school. Together they had three children: John Charles (1957), Susan Louise (1959), and Jane Marie (1961).

Chuck was elected to OKU (National Dental Honor Society) and graduated at the top of his class in June 1956. He remained at the University of Iowa for two years to complete his graduate training in prosthodontics. Following completion of his graduate program, Chuck served for two years as a prosthodontist in the U.S. Army stationed at Fort Dix, NJ. In September 1959, he joined the faculty of the Department of Prosthodontics at the University of Washington, and in 1963 was selected to chair the department. He was able to create a thriving teaching program and assemble a quality faculty who all became the best of friends in and out of the dental school. For 17 years, he shared a part-time private prosthodontic practice with Dr. Dale Smith and Dr. Jim Lord.

In 1983, Chuck was instrumental in establishing five regional training centers in the US for the Nobelpharma Implant System. With the help of Swedish colleagues and others, he trained many prosthodontists and oral surgeons in the early years of dental implants. 

His academic career included over 200 presentations outside of regular dental school curriculum in over 26 states and 10 countries. His work is widely published in journals and textbooks.

Chuck served as president of the Academy of Prosthodontics in 1983, followed by three years as Secretary-Treasurer. He was elected to the Pacific Coast Society for Prosthodontics in 1965 and served as President in 1979. His many honors include the “Fred E. Gulick Distinguished Life Member Award” from the PCSP in 2006 and the “Distinguished Service Award” from the AP in 2015. He was always grateful for his mentors and benefactors, and in turn he was a mentor and life-long teacher to many. He continued to be a positive influence in his profession long after retiring in 2000. Chuck led two Prosthodontic Study Clubs, one in Seattle and the other in Yakima; both remained active for well over 50 years. He remained active in the Seattle Study Club until his death.

Chuck enjoyed spending time with family, especially at their beach property on Camano Island. He would define a great day as one that included a family feast of freshly caught Dungeness crab, sweet corn and other produce grown in his garden. His hobbies of gardening, photography and fishing kept him very busy. He had a large vegetable garden that supplied most of the family’s produce during the summer months, an interest that began during the second world war with a Victory Garden. He started taking photographs about the same time. His father introduced him to fishing at the age of 5, which he then later introduced to his children and grandchildren. His passion was to catch Coho Salmon on a fly rod in Alaska and he looked forward to annual trips to Tsiu River with friends and family. 

Chuck leaves behind his wife, Mamie and his children John (Theresa), Susan Chari (Ravi), and Jane Blaisdell (Mark), as well as six grandchildren: Daniel and Keith (Kylie) Bolender, Elijah (Alexa) and Joshua (Nan) Blaisdell, and Sara and Jason (Lauren) Chari. He also leaves four great grandchildren: Theodore, Phoebe and Eleanora Blaisdell, and Parker Bolender.

A celebration of life will be held on Thursday, July 18, 2024, at 2:00 pm at the Lake Forest Park Civic Club, 17301 Beach Dr NE, Lake Forest Park, WA  98155.


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