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Dr. John E. "Jack" Gilster


1922 - 2014 | Obituary Condolences Gallery
Dr.  John E. "Jack" Gilster Obituary
Gilster DDS, Dr. John E. Jack Professor Emeritus of Pediatric Dentistry at the Washington University School of Dentistry and one of three principal scientific investigators of the St. Louis Baby Tooth Survey (1959-1970), died peacefully, surrounded by loved ones, Wednesday, August 6, 2014, in Albuquerque, NM. He was 92. The Baby Tooth Survey Scientific advisory group, through the research directed by its principal investigators, quantitatively determined that above ground nuclear testing was poisoning the children of the world. With this evidence, the USSR, UK and US governments agreed to stop above ground nuclear weapons testing with the ratification of the Limited (Atmospheric) Test Ban Treaty in the fall of 1963. President Kennedy, in the conclusion of his address to the nation on July 26, 1963 said in support of the treaty: Let us, if we can, step back from the shadows of war and seek out the way of peace. And if that journey is a thousand miles, or even more, let history record that we, in this land, at this time, took the first step. Born May 6, 1922, in Chester, IL, Jack graduated from the University of Illinois in 1940 and from Washington University School of Dentistry in 1944. After two years in the army, and three years in general practice with his father (WUSL DDS '18) in Chester IL, he established a private practice in Pediatric Dentistry in St. Louis and joined the faculty of the Washington University dental school in 1950. He taught Pediatric Dentistry, rising through the ranks to Professor of Pediatric Dentistry and Professor Emeritus upon his retirement in 1987. He served as President of the Dental Alumni Association in 1969 and was named a Distinguished Alumnus by the Association in 1977. He was on the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry for seven years (1959-1966) and served as Chairman of that Board in 1966. He was a Fellow of the American College of Dentists, of the International College of Dentists, and of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. Jack served as President of the North District of the St. Louis Dental Society as well as President of the Missouri Society of Dentistry for Children. He was Editor of the St. Louis Dental Society Bulletin (19531963), editor of the Journal of the Missouri Dental Association (1963- 1973) and editor of the Alumni Newsletter (1973-2002). For six years (1963-1969) he served on the ADA Council on Journalism and was President of the American Association of Dental Editors in 1971. He was named a Distinguished Alumnus of Washington University in 1987. Since retirement in 1987, he served as President of the Dental Coalition for Public Awareness and served a board member for the National Federation for Ectodermal Dysplasia. After moving from the St. Louis Area to Albuquerque in 2003, Jack enjoyed the company of many dear friends at Brookdale Place Valencia and delighted in the company of his adoring children and grandchildren. He is the father of three children, John E. Gilster II of Madison, WI, Norman T. Gilster (and wife Sharon), of Albuquerque, NM and Elisabeth C. Gilster Velazquez (and husband Gregorio Velazquez) of Roanoke, VA and the grandfather of six brilliant grandchildren, Lucy C. Gilster, Taylor S. Gilster, John E. (Jack) Gilster III, Madalene K. Gilster, Benjamin N. Gilster and Jacqueline C. Gilster. Services: A graveside service will be conducted in Chester, Ill at a later date. Memorial contributions may be made to: National Foundation for Ectodermal Dysplasias, 6 Executive Dr., Ste. 2, Fairview Heights, IL 62208 www.nfed.org.
Published in St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Aug. 17, 2014
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