Join ADAMember Log In

Remembering former ADA Trustee Joel F. Glover

Reno, Nev.—Former ADA Trustee Joel F. Glover, known for his work in dental education and always having a smile on his face, died Dec. 17 at his home in Reno. He was 66.

According to his hometown newspaper, the Reno Gazette-Journal, Dr. Glover passed away surrounded by family. He had been battling small-cell cancer.

A 1968 graduate of Northwestern University Dental School, Dr. Glover was a general dentist who served the ADA as 14th District trustee from 2003-07.

Dr. Glover was a former lieutenant in the U.S. Navy who thrived in organized dentistry and practiced in Reno for 40 years before retiring in 2007. He was a past president of the Nevada Dental Association and American Association of Dental Examiners and also served on the ADA Council on Dental Education and Licensure and Commission on Dental Accreditation.

His son, Dr. Joel T. Glover, followed in his footsteps in dentistry. "He was an amazing human being outside of dentistry. He was a true blessing."

Dr. Glover said his father was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies, but that his grandfather guided him to dentistry because he valued education. The younger Dr. Glover took a circuitous route to becoming a general dentist himself. It wasn't until he was 20 that he even thought about it, when he witnessed the power his father had to help people.

"I saw that it was a neat profession. He challenged me to get into dental school and I proved him wrong," he continued.

Commented ADA President Ron Tankersley, "Because of his vast experience, Joel was an incredible resource for the ADA Board. He always put his best foot forward, even during difficult times. He also freely encouraged and empowered others. His legacy in the ADA will be carried forward by those who he inspired to be the best they could."

In Nevada, Dr. Glover was known for his great storytelling ability and being the Nevada Dental Association's "go-to guy."

"He gave his time and never said 'No,' " said close friend Dr. Robert Talley, NDA executive director, and Dr. Glover's campaign manager when he ran for ADA president-elect in 2007. "I was always impressed by how many people he knew and how he always created relationships that made others feel good about themselves. It's a great loss for Nevada."

"Joel was the type of guy who when he walked in the room the whole room lit up," agreed former ADA vice president and trustee Dr. Zack Studstill. "He was very engaging and always had a smile on his face. People were drawn to him.

"He was a unique guy who brought people together. That's the great thing about the ADA, it brings people together who you would never have a chance to know otherwise, and you become friends for life."

Said former trustee Dr. Kirk Gleason: "He was always one of the best-prepared and the nicest man to work with. He could work with everyone. He was a wonderful person and he will be missed."

The Gazette-Journal credited Dr. Glover with being "instrumental in establishing the dental hygiene program at Truckee Meadows Community College."

Earlier this year, Dr. Glover was inducted in his former high school's hall of fame. In both high school and college at the University of Nevada, Reno, he excelled not only academically but also juggled playing both football and baseball.

In 2007, Dr. Glover expressed his gratitude to the ADA News about being involved with the ADA.

"The dental profession and ADA have given me so much," he said. "I have made wonderful lifelong friends and had so many great experiences."

Dr. Glover is survived by his wife, Mary; son, Dr. Joel Torrance Glover, (Tracy); daughter Jennifer (Jeffie) Glover DiGrazia (John, D.D.S.); grandchildren Claire Estelle Glover, Catherine Marlene Glover, Torrance John DiGrazia and Julia Mary DiGrazia; and brother-in-law Charles Lightner Haines. A celebration of Dr. Glover's life will be held Jan. 8 at 11:30 a.m. at Reno South Baptist Church, 6780 S. McCarran Blvd, Reno. Arrangements are by Walton Funeral Home.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Joel F. Glover D.D.S. Memorial Scholarship Fund, 525 Hammill Lane, Reno, NV 89511. The fund will be open to graduates of Sparks High School who play football or baseball and want to enroll in the pre-dental program at UNR and existing UNR pre-dental athletes.