On May 17, 2005, we lost one of our heroes, Dr Roy L. Bodine, Jr. He was a pioneer implantologist, a courageous veteran of the infamous Bataan Death March and the Hell Ships to Japan, a Silver Star recipient, and a Founding Member of the American Academy of Implant Dentistry. Dr Bodine died at his home in San Antonio at the age of 94.
The son of a US Army dental officer, he was born in Indianapolis and graduated from the University of Iowa College of Dentistry in 1933. Following his father's footsteps, he joined the Army, and in 1939 was stationed in the Philippines. After the Japanese invasion, he was taken prisoner and subjected to indignities suffered by so many members of the military at that time. During his 41-month imprisonment, Roy kept a diary that was used effectively in postwar crimes trials. He received his decorations for leadership under fire during the Corregidor evacuation. He chose to serve in San Antonio after gaining his freedom as a POW, and while there, established many basic tenets of understanding on the subject of subperiosteal implants. He retired from the army in 1961 as Dental Surgeon for US Army Hawaii and Pacific and continued his innovative studies as a professor of prosthodontics for 10 years at the University of Puerto Rico. This was followed by 10 more fruitful years at the University of Southern California.
While in San Juan and working with his colleague Dr Clive Mohammed, an associate professor of oral pathology, he published landmark articles on the histopathology of a 12-year old implant that was retrieved from the mandible of a deceased army sergeant from a Virginia army base. In addition, Dr Bodine was the author of dozens of papers and book chapters on impression-making, occlusal principles, and other technical details. These helped define and delineate the significant roles prosthodontists and restorative dentists play in the design, fabrication, insertion, and care of this important prosthesis. To this day, they serve as viable guidelines for all who practice their use. In the 1980s, he went on to summarize a lifetime of experience with mandibular subperiosteal implants by presenting his extremely high success rate for implants that remained in function for periods of 10 years or more.
After rising through the positions of office that began as Treasurer in 1951, Dr Bodine served as the 6th President of the American Academy of Implant Dentistry in 1958. He was a frequent contributor to the Academy's first publication, the Journal of Implant Dentistry, and continued to write for it as an editorialist, scientist, and clinician throughout its history. It was he who was responsible for the name change of our organization from the American Academy of Implant Dentures to its present name. The current edition of the AAID Directory lists him as both a Life Member and a Fellow.
In recent years, Dr Bodine remained active and became well known for his enthusiastic skills in square dancing and swimming. He is survived by his wife of 4 years, Regina, as well as 2 daughters, 7 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren with one more on the way. On May 27, memorial services were conducted at the Air Force Village 1, and interment with full military honors took place on May 28 at Mission Memorial Park in San Antonio.
To those of us who were fortunate enough to have known him personally, and for thousands of others worldwide who were acquainted with him through his lectures and scientific papers, this loss carries with it more than the death of a famous man. Gone forever are Colonel Bodine's wisdom, wit, collegiality, empathy, and joi de vivre. Good-bye, Roy. You will always be remembered in our hearts and minds.