Dentist retiring after four decades of service

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 7, 2004

Suffolk News-Herald

Bonnie Ellis’ two children don’t remember a time when they didn’t see Dr. William C. March for their dental needs. Now, however, they are faced with the prospect, and not a welcomed one, of finding someone who is just as painless and kind as the man who gave them such beautiful smiles.

&uot;I’m just not gonna’ find anyone else!&uot; said nine year old Kellie Connolly. &uot;I’ve been coming to Dr. March since I can remember and I love him. I don’t really want to go to a new doctor.&uot;

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Because he’s a year older than his sister, Michael Connolly is a little more broad minded than his sibling.

&uot;I’ll see,&uot; he said with a nod of the head. &uot;He’s got some big shoes to fill, but he won’t have any teeth to fill ’cause Dr. March has taken such good care of them.&uot;

Kellie and her brother are not just whistling Dixie when they claim to love Dr. March. Both children wrote a poem and had their mom help create a keepsake for Dr. March. They mounted their school photos on each side of a paper, and encased in a plastic sleeve beneath each picture is the first tooth each lost as a baby. In the center of the page is the poem.

As for mom, the 41-year old mother is just plain upset. She doesn’t even recall coming to Dr. March the first time.

&uot;I may have been three,&uot; she said. &uot;That’s a lot of years with the same dentist and my parents say the same thing – he’s just wonderful. My parents, Thomas and Betty Carr, first came to him as patients and they brought me, too.&uot;

Dr. March began his dental practice with the Navy 44 years ago. Since leaving the military, he, like his relatives and Ellis and her children, is a resident of the Holland Community. He began his Suffolk practice, however, with only two patients and that day taught him true patience.

&uot;I had one, Ms. Rogers, who came in at 8 a.m. and I didn’t get another until Ms. Gardener came in at 5,&uot; said the dentist. &uot;It was a long day, but I don’t have those waits now days.&uot;

In fact, as he retires, Dr. March closes his Holland Road office, leaving a practice of 3,500 patients, or about 40 per day, behind.

&uot;I truly love my patients and I will still see many of them since they live in my neighborhood,&uot; said the dentist. &uot;Those who don’t live near me – I will definitely miss every one of them.&uot;

Friends and neighbors… that’s what his patients are to him and Dr. March now looks forward to a rather unique retirement status.

&uot;I’m going to be the substitute dentist for everyone,&uot; he said with a big laugh. &uot;I’m going to be there for the dentist if he has to be out of the office for his family or an emergency…whatever they need of me.&uot;

Dr. March also plans to continue his lifelong dedication to Holy Neck United Church of Christ, where his family has been members for generations.


A poem written by Kellie

and Michael Connolly Jr.,

to Dr. William C. March, who retired Friday

What held our teeth in tight at once

Is gone, it is no more

When at first they left us

Our mouths were rather sore

But the roots had serve their purpose

They made way for other teeth

Change is never easy

Sometimes it brings a little grief.

In time, the space was filled

And we found our smiles again

But we never did forget…

Our little long lost friends

The fairy took them from our pillows

And gave us each a prize

I wish you could have seen us

When we opened up our eyes!

Our Mother saved them dearly

Tis special memories to the past

And today we’d like to share them

We understand this is your last

For all the smiles you’ve given us

The good times that we’ve had

You’ll always be our Dentist

You were even Granddad’s!