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Dr. Ira S. Colby

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PITTSFIELD -- Dr. Ira S. Colby, 87, of Ann Drive died Sunday at Mount Greylock Extended Care Facility.

Born in New York City on Dec. 31, 1916, son of Philip and Sadie Sherman Colby, he graduated from high school there in 1933, from City College in New York City in 1937 and from New York University College of Dentistry in 1941. He received his license to practice dentistry in 1942 in New York and in 1947 in Massachusetts, and completed his residence in general dentistry at Mount Sinai Medical Center in 1943.

An Army veteran of World War II, he served as a captain from 1943 to 1946 and was the chief of three dental clinics.

Dr. Colby maintained a general dentistry practice on South Street for 43 years. He sold the practice to Dr. Alan Gold and retired in 1990. He was on the medical staff of the former St. Luke's Hospital and of Berkshire Medical Center. He was appointed as a lecturer at Harvard University in 1974. He had practiced dentistry in Manhattan for a year before moving to Pittsfield.

He was elected a fellow to the American College of Dentists in 1965 and to the International College of Dentists in 1969. He was past president of the Berkshire District Dental Society and the Massachusetts Dental Society. He was recognized in 1969 by the state Senate for his leadership in strengthening the Medicaid Dental Program, primarily working with the Head Start program in increasing access for pediatric dentistry. He also helped establish a retirement program for dentists throughout the state.

Dr. Colby was a member of the Country Club of Pittsfield for more than 35 years and an avid tennis player. He also enjoyed painting at the Berkshire Museum and organizing traveling for MDS members to Italy, Ireland, South America and Hawaii. He also had been president of the board of directors of Jacob's Pillow for 15 years and a member of the New York University Century Club.

He and his wife, the former Mary L. Flynn, were married Oct. 12, 1943, in St. Mark's rectory in Pittsfield.

Besides his wife, he leaves two sons, Dr. Ira C. Colby of Houston and Peter E. Colby of Acton; two brothers, Dr. Raymond Colby of Pittsfield and Dr. Robert Colby of Del Ray Beach, Fla.; a sister, Doris Meenes of Boca Raton, Fla.; four grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.

FUNERAL NOTICE -- Dr. Ira S. Colby, 87, died Sunday, Oct. 3, 2004. The funeral service and celebration of his life will be private, with Barbara Cohen, spiritual leader of Temple Anshe Amunim, and Rabbi Harold Salzmann, rabbi emeritus, officiating. Inurnment will take place in St. Michael the Archangel Mausoleum in St. Joseph's Cemetery. The family extends an invitation to friends and colleagues to attend a meal of consolation at the Country Club of Pittsfield on Friday, Oct. 8, beginning at noon. Memorial donations may be made to the Parkinson's Disease Research Fund in care of DEVANNY-CONDRON FUNERAL HOME, 40 Maplewood Ave., Pittsfield 01201. He is also survived by his grandchildren, Stephen, Matthew, Elizabeth and Lisa Colby, and his great-grandchildren, Taylor, Megan, Tristan and Reese Colby.

Published in The Berkshire Eagle on Oct. 5, 2004
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