Dr. Gustav Kruger, educator and author, dies at 93
Bethesda, Md.—Dr. Gustav O. Kruger, author of the Textbook of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, died July 5. He was 93.
A graduate of the Georgetown University School of Dentistry and veteran of World War II, Dr. Kruger served in Fiji, New Zealand, and the China-Burma-India Theatre along the Burma Road.
After the war, Dr. Kruger completed his residency in oral surgery at the Mayo Clinic and returned to his native Washington, D.C., to chair the oral surgery department at Georgetown University, where he would go on to teach for nearly 40 years. He was eventually named associate dean of the school and the Textbook of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery was used for years in dental schools across the country and translated into several languages.
"My father instilled absolute reverence in nearly everyone who met him or was taught by him," said his son, Dr. Tristram Kruger, a general dentist in Potomac, Md. "He was famous for telling stories of his wartime experiences with the Johns Hopkins-based medical field hospital that he joined as a reservist just before the war, when he was an intern there. Father's humility, and his hands-on approach to teaching was inspiring, his lectures fascinating. The pictures he drew with colored chalk on a blackboard would stay up in the lecture hall for days."
Dr. Kruger was a past president of the District of Columbia Dental Society, American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons and American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. Under President Lyndon Johnson, he was appointed oral surgeon to the president, and he was a past chair of the U.S. Public Health Service Clinical Cancer Training Committee. According to his son, he loved hiking, the beach and his nightly classical music during study time.
"His profession was important, education was important and his family was important," concluded Dr. Tristram Kruger in his eulogy. "He was an inspiration for us all."
Contributions may be sent to the Bradley Mills Presbyterian Church Music Fund, 6601 Bradley Blvd., Bethesda, MD 20817 or to the Washington Kiwanis Club in care of the Washington D.C. Kiwanis Foundation, P.O. Box 151561, Chevy Chase, MD 20825.