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Dental historian, researcher Dr. Hannelore Loevy dies at 81

April 08, 2013

By Jean Williams

Dr. Hannelore Loevy, left, in 1965 presents an honorary certificate of membership to the Associacao Brasileria de Odontologia to Dr. Harold Hillenbrand, ADA executive director from 1946-69.
Dr. Hannelore Loevy, a world-renowned dental historian, researcher and a longtime professor at the University of Illinois College of Dentistry, died March 24 in Chicago. She was 81.

“Dr. Loevy was a loyal faculty member and served as an effective representative of the College of Dentistry to the UIC Senate for many years,” said Bruce Graham, UIC College of Dentistry dean. “She was a wise and knowledgeable parliamentarian for the college faculty meetings. She is a nationally recognized historian of the dental profession who has preserved the history of women in our profession for posterity. We shall miss her.”

Dr. Loevy was born in Berlin, Germany. Her family immigrated to Sao Paulo, Brazil, and she earned her degree in dentistry from the University of Sao Paulo in 1952.

In 1959, Dr. Loevy earned a master's degree in pediatric dentistry from UIC College of Dentistry and in 1961 earned a Ph.D. in anatomy from the university's College of Medicine.

Prior to retiring in 2006, Dr. Loevy served as faculty in three departments at UIC: Department of Anatomy in the College of Medicine, 1963-65; Department of Pharmacognosy and Pharmacology in the College of Pharmacy, 1968-72; and Department of Pediatric Dentistry in the College of Dentistry, 1972 until retirement.

Dr. Indru Punwani, former head of the pediatric dentistry department at UIC, worked with Dr. Loevy's during her entire career at UIC.

“In 1972, she and I started as colleagues together,” Dr. Punwani said. “I was the graduate program director, and she was on the faculty until she retired. I was a sitting department head for most of the period, so we knew each other quite well. She was a very committed and passionate worker. She was quite a productive person in terms of editing and writing and involvement in different dental honor societies. She was a very active individual with organized dentistry as well as academic dentistry. She was regarded very well as a teacher.”

Dr. Loevy also served on the faculty of the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil; the Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine; and the Northwestern University colleges of dentistry and medicine.

Her career highlights include achievements as a pediatric dentist; researcher; histology, pharmacology and pediatric dentistry professor; dental historian; and author/editor. She was prominent in local and national organized dentistry and held such leadership positions over the years as president of the Chicago Section of the American Association for Dental Research/International Association for Dental Research; president of the Illinois Society of Pediatric Dentists; former chair of the College of Dentistry Elections and Credentials Committee.

She also was the first woman to serve as regent in the International College of Dentists and the first woman chair of the Board of Governors of the Odontographic Society of Chicago.

She was editor of the Journal of the History of Dentistry from 1988-2005 and a past editor of the Journal of Dentistry for Children. She authored “Dental Management of the Child Patient,” a book published in 1981, and translated “Differential Diagnosis of Diseases of the Oral Mucosa” (1989) and “Diseases of the Oral Mucosa” (1994) into English from German.

In 2005, Dr. Loevy won the Lindsay Medal from the Lindsay Society for the Study of the History of Dentistry, of Great Britain, in recognition of her work in dental history and as editor of the Journal of the History of Dentistry. The medal commemorates the accomplishments of Dr. Lindsay, who was the first woman president of the British Dental Association and her husband, Dr. Robert Lindsay.

She won other awards and honors for her accomplishments, including the Merle C. Hunter Leadership Award of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry; Distinguished Service Award from the Craniofacial Biology Group of the IADR; and the Award of Merit from the Odontographic Society of Chicago; and UIC's F. William Towner Award in 2004.

A daughter, Luciana Taschini, survives her. Husband, Dr. Pierangelo Taschini, and daughter Thea Clara Taschini preceded her in death.

Services were held March 28 in Chicago.