Dr. Ralph Algerdas Yuodelis|
July 17, 1932-Aug 19, 2013
Born in St Albert Trail, Alberta, Canada, Ralph was the 3rd child of Vincas and Teresa (Sapokas) Yuodelis who had emigrated from Lithuania. He graduated with his D.D.S. from the Univ of Alberta School of Dentistry in 1955, began a practice in Edmonton and soon met Elizabeth Anne Lysne "Nan" to whom he was married for 57 years. Ralph and Nan have 5 children (Christine, Robert, Terri, Joan and Gayle), 14 grandchildren, and 1 great grandchild.
The family moved to Seattle when Ralph started postgraduate training at the Univ of Washington. On completion of the specialty programs in Periodontics and Prosthodontics, he was recruited to a faculty position. Dr. Yuodelis directed the UW Dental School graduate program in Fixed Prosthodontics and combined Graduate Prosthodontics program for more than a quarter-century. He was Professor Emeritus of Restorative Dentistry and Adjunct Professor of Periodontics at the UW.
During his career, he received many accolades for his achievements - President of the American Academy of Fixed Prosthodontics, Fellow of the American College of Dentists and Fellow of the International College of Dentists, among others. In 2001, the American Academy of Fixed Prosthodontics bestowed on him the George H. Moulton Achievement Award in 2001 for his distinguished lifetime contributions. He gave hundreds of postgraduate presentations around the world, co-authored two major dental textbooks, and was chosen as UW School of Dentistry's Distinguished Alumnus in 2002. The University of Alberta, where he earned his DDS, honored him with its Dental Alumni Association's Outstanding Achievement Award in 1998.
The legacy of this great teacher is felt by thousands of clinicians throughout professional dentistry. Over the past 50 years his program attracted many graduate students from all corners of the world. His students continue demonstrating the quality of education at the UW and carrying on his teachings to others. The UW School of Dentistry gained international acclaim for its melding of the graduate programs in Periodontics and Prosthodontics and is in large part a tribute to his training in and mastery of the 2 disciplines. Dr. Yuodelis left a strong positive mark on advancing the quality of dental care world-wide. After retiring in 2005, he continued on as Professor Emeritus, dedicating time to training new generations of grad students (the other "Yuodelis kids"). Ralph also enjoyed his retirement with Nan by spending the winters in Florida, fishing in Alaska with friends, golfing at Inglewood and enjoying Opera.
Dr. Yuodelis is survived by his wife Nan, children and grandchildren, brother Bill Youdelis, sister Donna Kadis and many loving nieces and nephews. A funeral mass will be held at St John Vianney Church in Kirkland, WA on Friday Aug 23rd at 11 am. A legacy website through Acacia Memorial Park is available for messages and tribute to his memory. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the University of Washington Dental School student clinic.
Published in The Seattle Times on Aug. 22, 2013