Longtime UCSF Dentistry Leader Dies

UCSF Remembers William Bird

July 19, 2012

William Bird, DDS, DPH, who retired last year after 22 years at the UCSF School of Dentistry, died on July 18, 2012. He was 78.

Doni and Bill Bird at their ranch in Glen Ellen, CA - February, 2012.

Doni and Bill Bird at their ranch in Glen Ellen, CA - February, 2012.

"It is with a heavy heart that I make this announcement to the UCSF family," said John Featherstone, dean of the UCSF School of Dentistry. "Bill devoted 22 years of his life to UCSF in many ways. He touched many people and made major contributions to the School of Dentistry. He and I worked together for almost 17 years in several ways and I grew to appreciate his knowledge, skills and incredible humanitarian ethics. He was a wonderful friend. Please join with me in celebrating his life and remembering all of the amazing things he did and the contributions that he made to dentistry and to society."

On a blog tracking Bird's illness, this morning his wife, Doni, posted: "Last night at 11:42 p.m., Bill quietly passed away. His daughter Jennifer and I were by his side and holding hands with him."

Bird was a graduate of Loyola University’s Stritch School of Dentistry. During his 22-year career at UCSF, he served serveral years as interim chair of the Department of Preventive and Restorative Dental Sciences. He was an innovator and champion in a range of disciplines within dentistry and well beyond, including flying and natural horsemanship.

In recent years, he was a prime mover behind the creation of the Master of Science in Dental Hygiene Program at the UCSF School of Dentistry, which just graduated its first class in June 2012.

"My passion is helping people with potential to develop themselves," said Bird in the most recent UCSF Dentistry Magazine.

Details regarding memorial services will be announced shortly.

Photo by Elisabeth Fall, fallfoto.com