The following memorials are dedicated to IAO members who have profoundly contributed to the profession and to the IAO
Tribute to Merle Bean
From Dr. Jay Gerber
February 8, 2016
Dr. Merle D. Bean, 1926-2016
I am very sad to report the passing of our dear friend, instructor and fellow teacher Merle Bean. As most of you know Merle was the basis for our took his classes and everyone who has taken any of my classes has benefited from Merle. A native of Iowa, Merle had a pediatric practice in Des Moines for 41 years. He was most recently living in retirement in Albuquerque, NM with his dear Ellie. He would have been 90 in April. He was Lutheran by faith and a WWII Navy veteran.
It’s really difficult to say what his impact on my professional and personal life was and how it extended into the thousands of practices of patients who benefited from his teachings and treatment. The knowledge that he so graciously imparted to all of us and the confidence that he gave us to think out of the box as general practitioners, orthodontists and pediatric dentists was his gift to us and our patients. Merle Bean was truly a giant in our field and if you ever studied under him you were truly blessed.
It would be impossible for me to cover all of his professional accomplishments just say it was amazing, as he lectured all over the USA and in 14 other countries. He presented at some of the world’s most prestigious symposiums and association meetings. My association began with Merle in 1984 and the next year take me long to figure out that this was the instructor we needed to lead us. Merle quickly took over all the functional courses that SWOS sponsored for over 20 years. He also introduced me to Dr. Richard Beistle and informed me we needed to incorporate Sassouni Plus into our curriculum. He retired from practice and mostly from teaching but remained close by if needed.
His “Facial Seminar” was a real eye-opener for those that had little or no understanding of how the face should look after orthodontic treatment. Remember, when he started four bicuspid treatment was the norm. His ability to convey the importance of finishing with a full beautiful face and smile was something that attendees regardless of recognized, found necessary and then immediately incorporated into their practice. He was most noted for his work using and teaching the orthopedic facial mask for maxillary advancement in class III skeletal malocclusions. Merle completed over 1100 of these cases in his practice in Des Moines. It was this information along with mandibular advancement to correct class II skeletal
malocclusions and second molar replacement therapies that he so readily imparted to us and we passed along to other doctors and patients.
I shared many great times together outside of the classroom in our travels. His friendship was a life builder for me, it was not all professional as he shared times and stories about families and our families spend time together in cities, beaches and at home. Merle was more than a teacher he was a mentor to me, he was an inspiration and made us want to share with others while making them comfortable at learning.
I hope everyone takes a moment to understand and appreciate the importance of this wonderful sharing man and all that he meant to us and our patients. Once again thanks Merle Bean!
For those who wish to share a card with his family and wife:
Mrs. Elva Bean
1763 Man-O-War Street SE
Albuquerque, NM 87123
Dr. Hans Peter Bimler of Wiesbaden, Germany died on June 28, 2003. Dr. Bimler was a son of a dentist who became a physician in his country of Germany. He was known worldwide as being the creator of the “Bimler Cephalometric Analysis.” Dr. Bimler’s dedication to providing orthodontic seminars and education exemplified his passion towards better dentistry. Dr. Bimler was also an IAO Lifetime Diplomate member.
According to a statement by his family, Dr. Bimler’s “last days were peaceful, witty and composed; Dr. Bimler, as always, was a perfect gentleman until the end.”
Dr. Waldemar Brehm was born July 23, 1923 in Frankfort-Am-Main, Germany. His father passed away when he was only a year old. Six years later, he and his mother immigrated to the United States settling in Fresno, California. Being poor, his mother could not afford to buy her son a pair of pants. His mother made his pants by sewing old drapes. Eventually she re-married and had three girls, giving Dr. Brehm a new family and sisters. While attending high school, he became involved in a number of theatrical productions. He found time between school and his job as a meat cutter to raise pigeons and ride horses.
Following high school, Dr. Brehm was drafted into the armed forces. However, he lacked U.S. citizenship that prevented him from being inducted. After answering a few quick questions, he passed and was sworn in and received his U.S. citizenship. He was proud to serve his country in the U.S. Army. With his background as a butcher, he was assigned as a cook. Later he would find himself setting up Eisenhower’s headquarters in London and assisting with food preparation for the general and his staff. Dr. Brehm found himself teaching other cooks about nutrition and dietary requirements. His talent and love for teaching extended throughout his lifetime. He would recall with a great humor how he captured a German soldier one day. In truth, the soldier handed over his gun in the hopes of finding food and shelter.
Upon returning home, Dr. Brehm opened his own meat market in Fresno. He attended a local USO dance and met his future wife, Caryl Lindsay. After getting married and upon consulting with his wife, he wanted to try one semester of college. He went on to continue his education, sold the market, and graduated from Fresno State. While taking his dental aptitude tests, the Dean of Students told Dr. Brehm that his hands were too large to be a dentist and that he should go back to being a meat cutter. Luckily, he did not take his advice and ironically the Dean later became one of Dr. Brehm’s students.
Dr. Brehm was accepted to dental school at Northwestern University. He had to move his wife and two small boys, Robert and Lindsay, to Oak Park, Illinois. Caryl, a registered nurse, was able to work at a local hospital to assist Walt through dental school. Upon graduation, Dr. Brehm and his family returned to Fresno and opened a small practice on Shields Avenue.
One day he read an ad for Ordont Company in a dental journal. It highlighted the advantages of orthodontics.
He began corresponding with Ordont and sent models as requested. They returned a treatment schedule and a set of bands, brackets and wires. He placed his first set of bands and brackets on his niece, which took nearly 8 hours. He then called Ordont to inquire what he should do next!
Dr. Brehm realized he needed proper orthodontic training. It was at this time that he discovered the International Association for Orthodontics and met its founders, Dr. Leon Pinsker and Dr. Max Schleimmer. Walt began taking many orthodontic courses on diagnosis and treatment planning, Edgewise, and Begg techniques. Incorporating what he learned, his practice grew rapidly. He began to teach Edgewise courses and he eventually became president of the IAO behind its two founders, serving two terms in 1966 and 1967. He worked diligently for 10 years as IAO Executive Director. One of Dr. Brehm’s greatest contributions is that he was instrumental in the early development, direction, and success of the IAO.
Later, Dr. Brehm completed a two-year preceptorship to become an orthodontist. In 1972, Dr. Brehm took a class from Dr. Lawrence Andrews on the straight wire technique. His course had a dramatic impact on him, and he found that he had faster and better results with this technique. In 1973, Dr. Brehm started teaching straight wire technique for the IAO. When the IAO moved its headquarters to Chicago, Dr. Brehm remained in Fresno and started his own teaching facility, Straight Wire Seminars.
As an orthodontist and teacher, Dr. Brehm never stopped learning. He attended courses by Drs. Roth, Ricketts, Begg, Tweed, Kessling, Rocke and others. He dedicated himself to learn and expand his knowledge so that he could offer the best treatment for his patients and offer the best orthodontic education to all the doctors he taught. He truly believed that, “In all human affairs there are efforts, and there are results, and the strength of effort is the measure of the results.”
Dr. Brehm consulted with ‘A’ Company to assist in advancing orthodontic education to the general practitioner. Until his death, he taught thousands of doctors across the U.S. and around the world. He was known for his boundless energy and his desire to help his course participants to the end. His dream was to help every student become the best orthodontic practitioner. He was well known for his quick humor and quick puns as well as the long tedious hours bending wires late into the evening with his students. Some may have complained of bleeding fingers, but in the end they became proficient orthodontic practitioners.
Dr. Brehm treasured the work he did with Ortho Organizers. He helped to develop innovative orthodontic products such as preformed utility arch wires, the Nitanium Palatal Expander2, Twin-Force Bite Corrector and many others. It also gave him the opportunity to work and travel with his youngest son, Lindsay. They shared a common interest in orthodontic products as well as a desire to offer quality orthodontic education to general and pediatric dentists.
Following a courageous battle with cancer, Dr. Waldemar Brehm died on August 6, 2004. A eulogy for a man of his accomplishments is challenging and humbling. It is difficult, until one realizes that the word ‘eulogy’ means a good word, and good words were all that were heard as people around the world were told of his death. As in life, so it was in death, that he was surrounded by his loving family. Dr. Brehm’s family was gracious enough to share some of these kind thoughts from others:
“. . . your father was a great man and all of us in the field of GP Orthodontics owe him a great debt.”
“ . . . you have so much to be proud of with regards to your father. He was loving, generous, hard working and so very well respected in the field of orthodontics. May his character, leadership, ideals, passion for life and of course, his sense of humor live on in you and your children. Thank you for sharing your guiding light with us.”
“. . . Walt was a great guy. I always enjoyed talking to him about orthodontics, as well as cracking some really great jokes together. They don’t make them like your Dad anymore. He was admired and loved by so many around the world.”
“Dr. Brehm was a highly respected teacher and clinician, not only in America, but worldwide. I was always impressed with his passion for teaching and his dedication to advancing knowledge within our speciality.”
“Dr. Brehm was a great man, a proud father, a tremendous teacher and a natural-born leader. I feel so lucky to have known this wonderful man, who I was proud to call my friend.”
“Dr. Brehm was a lovely man, a true gentleman, whose manner was endearing to all of those who were privileged to know him.”
“Dr. Brehm was instrumental in having general dentists and pedodontists taught first hand by Dr. Andrews . . . . Without Walt many of us would not have had access to this respected orthodontic technique.”
“Dr. Brehm was truly a giant in the field of orthodontics. He was always willing to share his knowledge with others and did it in a humble and kind way. I am grateful for all that he has taught me and for the example that he has set.”
While orthodontics was Dr. Brehm’s successful career and teaching was his passion, he so enjoyed the time he spent with his family. He was always there to cheer for his grandchildren at sporting events and to listen proudly at piano recitals and band performances. He loved taking to the road with Caryl on many motor-home excursions all over the U.S. and Canada. He loved to go fishing and to be out sailing with his oldest son, Robert. He loved to read, to laugh, to eat and to just sit on the deck of their beachfront condo and watch the waves and the dolphins play.
They say that having a place to go is home. Having someone to love is family. Having something to do that you love is rare, but having all of these is truly a blessing. Dr. Brehm was a talented, dedicated and blessed man. Many will miss him, but to live in the hearts of those we leave behind is not to die.
The IAO has established the Waldemar Brehm Scholarship Fund through a generous gift by Ortho Organizers, Inc. This scholarship will offer financial aid to dentists from developing countries to attend continuing education courses at IAO annual meetings. Those wishing to contribute to this fund in memory of Dr. Brehm can make a donation to:
IAO/Waldemar Brehm Scholarship
750 N. Lincoln Memorial Drive, #422
Milwaukee, WI 53202 USA
Dr. Robert M. Ricketts of Scottsdale, Arizona USA died on June 17, 2003 at the age of 83. Dr. Ricketts was a well-known orthodontist who presented orthodontic seminars extensively around the world. One of his last lectures was at the 2003 IAO Annual Meeting.
Dr. Ricketts had been a leader in orthodontic instruction as a professor at the Loma Linda University, University of Illinois and UCLA. He had authored 19 books including “Provocations and Perceptions in Cranio-Facial Orthopedics.” Dr. Ricketts was also a noted researcher in many areas of dentistry including craniofacial growth and development, TMJ, orthodontics and esthetics.
He was a member, or honorary member, of 17 professional societies including an IAO honorary membership.
Max Schleimer, D.D.S., dentist, orthodontist, educator, World War II hero and fabulous human being, passed away at home with his family at his side February 3, 2010.
Max was born November 19, 1918 to abject poverty on the Lower East Side of New York City. His positive attitude toward life was brought to everything he had done; wonderful to so many people grateful to have known him.
Taking the Great Depression in stride, when called, he enlisted in the army. He was sent to Officer Candidate School and became an a 2nd Lieutenant. He was chosen for special force training for the amphibious attack on the Normandy coast, and was a survivor of Omaha Beach on D-Day. In 1944 he was given a battlefield promotion to 1st Lieutenant. He took part in 5 battle campaigns and received many medals (among them Silver and Bronze Stars). He was especially rewarded for his heroism at the Battle of the Bulge 1944-1945.
Coming home to the U.S. after the war he attended New York University (NYU), finishing his major in mathematics in 2 ½ years and awarded entrance into Phi Beta Kappa. He then enrolled in NYU Dental School, during which he served as class president, married his lifelong love Millie, and had the first of 2 children, Jane.
Immediately after dental school he moved to California where he established a practice. He became interested in orthodontics and was a preceptor with university trained American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) doctors. After two years he started his own orthodontic practice. He enjoyed wonderful growth, and offered Dr. Leon Pinsker, his closest friend who was a general practitioner (GP) in the area to join him. Dr. Schleimer practiced for near 40 years and with Dr. Pinsker co-founded the IAO in the early 1960s.
He was the kindest, most steadfast friend, fabulous father and all around great man. He is survived by his children, David and Jane, grandchildren, Amelia, Hannah, Sarah and Julia, and his youngest siblings, Seymour and Marcia. He will be missed more than a short obituary can convey.
This is written with great love by his greatest admirer and friend.
David Schleimer, D.M.D.
Tribute to Dr Joe Sim
By John Gordon, DMD
Dr. Joseph Max Sim, IAO certified instructor, age 78, died at 4:30 a.m. on Sunday, December 29, 2002, at Anderson Hospital in Maryville, Illinois, of complications resulting from a stroke. Joe was born May 13, 1924, in Leavenworth, Washington, the eldest son of John Grant Sim and Margaret McPerrron Sim. Joe Married Patricia Marie Vaux in Kirkland, Washington. They have celebrated 52 years of marriage. Their family includes Murray Scott Sim and his wife Nancy; Rochelle Marie Dorserrs and her husband Willie; Joseph Max Sim, Jr. and his wife Holly; and four treasured granddaughters, Erica and Rebecca Sim, and Latosha and Mariah Dorserrs.
Joe served during World War II in the U.S. Army Air Corp as a flight instructor and crew commander on B-17 and B-29 Bombers. After the war, he pursued a career in pediatric dentistry, but continued to serve his country in the National Guard in both Alabama and Illinois. As a member of Alabama National Guard, Joe was activated to serve during the Vietnam War, providing dental services to the children of the families at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. He is credited with introducing four-handed dentistry to the Army Dental Core, a significant advance in treatment at that time.
Dr. Sim maintained private practices in Twisp, Washington; Birmingham, Alabama; and Wood River, Illinois. In addition to caring for patients, Joe moved forward as an international educator, lecturer, author and computer software developer.
From 1966 to 1971, Dr. Sim taught at the University of Alabama School of Dentistry, in the Department of Pedodontics and as Dental Clinic Director of The Children’s Hospital, Birmingham, Alabama. He was hired as Chair of the combined departments of Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics at the new School of Dental Medicine at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE), from 1971 until 1987. For 17 years he organized and taught undergraduate Orthodontics and supervised the undergraduate program in Pediatric Dentistry. He also taught clinical orthodontics to the General Practice Residents one day each week in the SIU East St. Louis Dental Clinic.
Dr. Sim’s widely used text, Minor Tooth Movement in Children was brought out in two editions, 1971 and 1977. This book has been used as a text in a number of U.S. and foreign dental schools in eight countries, dealing with computerized Orthodontic diagnosis, two-stage Orthodontic treatment for growing children, and Orthodontic treatment for young adults. He also published numerous articles in pediatric dentistry journals as well as Orthodontic journals. His computer programs include SimGordon Analysis and Bonacord Analysis, both of which aid dentists worldwide with developing diagnoses and treatment plans for children and adults with orthodontic needs.
Dr. Sim also served on the ADA Written Examination Committee (writing examinations in Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics), and on the Northeast Regional Dental Board Education Committee (Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic examinations).
In addition to teaching orthodontic seminars in 44 states in the U.S., he also taught seminars in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Columbia, Germany, Mexico, Puerto Rico, the Philippines, and Spain. He was appointed Visiting Professor in universities in Brazil and in Mexico. He brought his enthusiasm, expertise, and caring to all of these countries. Joe left his students and fellow doctors with good feelings, camaraderie and a great deal of dental knowledge. He was a welcome visitor and lecturer worldwide.
Numerous professional organizations included Joe as a member, including the American Dental Association, the Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the International Association for Orthodontics, the American College of Dentistry, the American Society of Dentistry for Children, and the Australian Association of Orofacial Orthodontics. He was a board member of both the SIUE Foundation and Catch a Falling Star.
Joe continued to derive personal and professional pride by volunteering to treat the special patients of the SIUE School of Dental Medicine Implant Clinic who suffer from ectodermal dysplasia.
Joe was a passionate fisherman, fly rod craftsman, and fly tier. He shared his enthusiasm with others by teaching numerous classes in fly tying over the years. Joe taught this unfortunately very addicting sport of fly-fishing to many dentists who you will find flipping their rod tirelessly in hopes of landing that ever elusive trout. Joe was a talented photographer and writer of novels, short stories and poetry. A tireless advocate of children’s health, Joe’s Dental Magic Show featuring Lucille the Magic Tooth entertained children around the United States.
Like his father before him, Joe was also a very skilled pomologist, with a 2.5-acre commercial orchard with over 50 varieties of apples at his Edwardsville home. This orchard was a site for many rewarding hours for Joe, agricultural students from the local university and many kindergarten classes who toured the orchard with Joe.
As a dental school instructor, Joe took many dental students under his wing. The undying optimist, he would always find the good qualities in students and help them cultivate those qualities to become successful dentists. Many of today’s practicing dentists owe their success to Joe. He was always the instructor who cared, encouraged and taught the skills necessary to succeed in school, practice and life.
As a member and Past-President of the International Association for Orthodontics, Dr. Sim collaborated on developing the Tier Advancement system that has helped to set this organization apart from many others. He served as an examiner for the International Board of Orthodontics and Senior Instructor in the Association. He organized the first Instructor Institute in 1987, followed with a very successful Instructor Institute II in 1992, and finally organized the Millennium Instructor Institute in 2000. These programs helped to develop doctors’ skills in teaching as well as treating orthodontics. Many of the International Association for Orthodontics instructors have been participants in one or more of these Institutes.
When Joe moved to his home on Romann Hills Road, also known as Bonacord, (good feeling), he placed his hands into the earth to prepare it for the seedlings he planted which eventually grew into his orchard. He lovingly cared for the seedlings insuring their successful growth into productive fruit bearing trees. In much the same way, he placed his hands on our hearts, helping to guide us to become all we are today, to teach other professionals to succeed in life, to give back some of the rewards we have reaped, and continue his legacy freely giving of ourselves to the betterment of our personal lives, our profession, our community, our world. Joe told his daughter many times, “Finish Strong.” Joe finished strong!
Remembering Dr. Billie Wilson
Dr. Billie Boyd Wilson, D.D.S. (Prescott, Arizona USA) passed away on July 19, 2015 at the age of 82. Dr. Wilson was a graduate of Marquette School of Dentistry, a veteran of the United States Air Force, and a practicing dentist for over thirty years.
Involved in IAO from early on, Dr. Wilson was an IAO Past President (2005-2006), an IBO Diplomate, and an IAO Senior Instructor (graduate of the IAO Instructors Institute). A lifelong educator, Dr. Wilson lectured in various venues nationally, and ran the LaCosta Advanced Orthodontic Study Club (San Diego/Carlsbad) and hands-on training from his office in Carlsbad.
Helping to advance the field of orthodontic care, Dr. Wilson was a published author in the Journal of General Orthodontics, and provided guidance and mentor-ship on orthodontic diagnosis and treatment to hundreds of colleagues over the course of his career.
Always, one to put the patient first, Dr. Wilson ran his practice with the philosophy “without the patient there would be no practice.” He is survived by his wife Carol, four children, 10 grandchildren, and 11 great-grandchildren.
In his first report as IAO President, Dr. Wilson encouraged his fellow members to “never stop learning” and that he was excited to lead “one of the most outstanding educational organizations in orthodontic and related TMJ therapy worldwide.”
IAO thanks Dr. Wilson for his many years of service to IAO and for his important contribution to orthodontic education. Dr. Wilson, you will be missed.
A Tribute to My Dad, Dr. John Witzig
by Jeanne Witzig (Daughter)
What makes an individual a great leader? Followed by the question, what made my dad such a great leader? Over the past several months, since my dad’s death, I have contemplated these two questions in effort to better understand what made my dad so exceptional, why he had such a presence, and why he inspired so many, including myself.
To understand and embrace my dad’s genuine gifts, I first developed a list of core values that I felt reflected my dad in every way —- in essence, characteristics of a leader — in all aspects of life, including family, work, friends and faith. I would like to share these with you.
- Honesty and Integrity – My dad absolutely took responsibility for his actions — ALWAYS.
- Spirit – My dad had an immense internal strength, ability and desire to take on challenges.
- Courage – My dad stood behind his beliefs and teachings with action and risk taking. He was never complacent about his beliefs. Just the opposite.
- Work Ethic – My dad had an uncanny ability to focus on the task at hand. He embraced work with integrity and dedication.
- Respect – My dad interacted with people in such a way that they felt special, important and empowered to succeed. My friends would often comment that whenever they spoke with my dad — at a dinner or a party –that they always felt as though they were the center of universe. He had an exceptional gift at making people feel special.
- Presence – Through my dad’s sheer presence, he inspired confidence and trust. We inherently wanted to please him.
- Visionary – My dad was never satisfied with the norm – quite the contrary. He held to the promise of giving life to his vision.
- Standard of Excellence – What more can I say than he absolutely set the mark for us all.
After considering the leadership qualities my dad so reflected and embraced, I came to the conclusion that was simple, not complex, as my dad was really quite simple. He was able to “package up” these leadership qualities into simple, pure and strong messages and actions that he always delivered with great conviction. He delivered messages that people could believe in and feel good about. My dad taught and led through these simple, yet strong messages. This very essence of his being served as a magnet for people around him.
Through his style, beliefs and sheer presence, we felt empowered, successful, happy, energized, faithful and above all sincerely and genuinely loved.
My dad first and foremost believed in himself and his messages. Through his strong beliefs he was able to get others to believe in their abilities and strengths. He really had an exceptional gift.
So, what does the future hold for my dad’s vision – the vision and messages he developed and shared with each of you?
First, his vision and teachings will live on through the books he co-authored with Dr. Terry Spahl. What a great living legacy these books are for us all. Additionally, part of my dad’s vision continues on through the IAO’s Tier Advancement System and through the dedication and hard work of Dr. Derek Mahony and Dr. Steve Galella. Many of the leadership qualities I talked about with my dad live on through both of these individuals. Over the past several months, Dr. Galella has made countless personal sacrifices to continue the forward momentum of my dad’s teachings. My dad’s teachings were strong and concrete — and his vision powerful in its own way. I know my dad is amazed and humbled by the commitment shown by Dr. Galella and others to continue on with his teachings and embrace the leadership qualities and sacrifices such a high level of commitment requires. I know that my dad is sending his blessings in celebration of all your accomplishments here today.
A leader really never dies; they just blossom through others. I therefore, sincerely believe that my dad’s vision, teachings, sincere passion for helping others learn and help their patients will carry on through the great leaders my dad surrounded himself with during his life.
It is a great honor for me, on behalf of my family to again everyone here today for your love, prayers, support and passion to carry on the vision of my dad.