Shillingburg, Herbert T. Jr., D.D.S.
Dr. Herbert T. Shillingburg, a long time resident of Edmond and Oklahoma City, died of cancer on Sunday, July 12 at the age of 77. He is survived by his three daughters, Lisa Shillingburg, Leslie Jones, and Lara Smith, all of Edmond. He also leaves three grandsons, Griffin Jones, Elijah Smith, and Caden Smith, and a granddaughter, Sophie Smith.
He was predeceased by his beloved wife of 48 years, Constance J. Shillingburg, in 2008.
When the University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry was founded in 1972, Dr. Shillingburg was recruited as the chair of the Department of Fixed Prosthodontics, and served in that position until retirement in 2003. He was named David Ross Boyd Professor in 1983 by OU, the title "Emeritus" was added following his retirement. During his time at the College of Dentistry, Dr. Shillingburg served on multiple committees, including acting as the elected chair of the first Curriculum Committee. He designed the college's logo.
He was born on March 21, 1938, to Herbert Shillingburg Sr. and the former Stefi Schuster at Ganado, Arizona on the Navajo Reservation. He attended the University of New Mexico as an undergraduate and received his D.D.S. degree from the University of Southern California in 1962. After serving in the U.S. Army Dental Corps at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, he returned to practice in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He began his teaching career at the UCLA School of Dentistry in 1967, and became chair of the Fixed Prosthodontics section there in 1970.
In addition to the David Ross Boyd Professorship, Dr. Shillingburg received Outstanding Teaching awards from ten dental classes, the O.U. Associates Distinguished Lecturer in 1988, and Outstanding Professorial Award from the College of Dentistry in 2003. Upon his retirement, the OU Regents established the Herbert Shillingburg Endowed Professorship in Fixed Prosthodontics.
Dr. Shillingburg conducted research and contributed over 80 articles to the dental literature. He served as co-editor and second editor for two different dental journals. He authored five text-books. Fundamentals of Fixed Prosthodontics, first published in 1976. It was a required text in 70% of the dental schools in North America, sold over 80,000 copies, and was translated in seven languages for international distribution. A fourth and final edition was released in 2012. In 1988, Fundamentals of Tooth Preparations was awarded first prize in the Allied Health Category by the American Medical Writers Association.
He presented over 280 lectures in 36 states and 28 countries including invited presentations in 29 dental schools in the United States and abroad. He addressed the annual meetings of six national dental associations. In 1990, he was the recipient of La Medaille de la Ville de Paris (Echelon Argent) when he was the featured speaker at the annual scientific session of the Congres National de L'Association Dentaire Francaise in Paris.
His professional memberships included the Oklahoma State Dental Association, the American Dental Association, the American Academy of Fixed Prosthodontics, the Academy of Operative Dentistry, the American Academy of Restorative Dentistry, the American College of Prosthodontists (honorary), the International Association for Dental Research, Omicron Kappa Upsilon, Phi Kappa Phi, and fellowship in the American College of Dentists.
In 1998 he was the recipient of the George F. Moulton Award of the American Academy of Fixed Prosthodontics. In 2000 he received the Stephen H. Leeper Award for teaching excellence from the Supreme Chapter of Omicron Kappa Upsilon national dental honorary fraternity. He was also listed in six editions of the Who's Who biographical editions. A bronze bust of Dr. Shillingburg was unveiled and placed within the college upon his retirement.
Herbert Shillingburg was an incredibly intelligent individual, himself an eternal student. He was a talented photographer, writer, and proud of his family's unique heritage. He and his wife traveled extensively together, and with their children and grandchildren. He loved movies, dogs, the Southwest, and could have taught a class on WWII military history. He possessed a sharp sarcastic wit, an incredibly dry sense of humor, and a formidable work ethic and drive for perfection. His family will miss him very much, and will be forever proud of his contributions to his field, and to the lasting impact he had on his students and colleagues.
A memorial service is planned for September 1st at All Souls' Episcopal Church in Oklahoma City at 2 pm.
The family has requested that in lieu of flowers, contributions be made to Free to Live Animal Sanctuary in Edmond, Oklahoma.
Published in Albuquerque Journal on Jul. 26, 2015.