Passing Of Dr. Monte Merrill

Dear UW orthodontic family,

With sadness, I wish to inform you that one of our distinguished alums, Dr. Monte Merrill, passed away last week.

Monte Merrill was a 1968 grad of UW Orthodontics, and practiced in Eastern Washington.  Many “old-timers” will have fond memories of Monte, while many younger alums know his two orthodontist sons, Rob and Tom.  He lived a full life, tirelessly and faithfully serving his family, community, country, church, and patients.  Services were held in East Wenatchee on Oct 20, and his burial will be in Utah on Oct 28.

Our sincerest condolences to the entire Merrill family.


Greg Huang, DMD, MSD, MPH
Professor and Chair – Department of Orthodontics
University of Washington, School of Dentistry

Osmond “Monte” Merrill, 86, of East Wenatchee, Washington, passed away peacefully in his sleep Thursday, October 12, 2017. He is survived by his loving wife of 66 years, Eunice Tidwell Merrill, and children: Marianne (Scott) Nash, Kristi (Mike) Anderton, Rob (Mary) Merrill, Rick (Carlynn) Merrill, Tom (Elisabeth) Merrill, 19 grandchildren and 32 great-grandchildren. They also are survived by three foster children, Patricia, Kathy and Alan Birdsbill and two foster grand-children who lived with them. He was preceded in death by his parents, Osmond Marriner and Elthura Raymond Merrill, sister Patricia Michaud and brother James Merrill.

Monte was born in Idaho Falls, ID, on December 24, 1931. Shortly after, his family moved to Richmond, UT, where he graduated from North Cache High School. He attended Utah State in Logan, UT for 18 months before being called to serve a 2-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Central Atlantic States. He left for the mission home in Salt Lake City and was there only one week when the draft board canceled all deferments in Cache Valley. Many of his friends shipped off to the Korean War, but he returned home agreeing to continue in the ROTC while attending school. At Utah State, he served as Jr. Class President, president of Pi Kappa Alpha, and in other areas of student government and honorary organizations. He married the love of his life, Eunice Tidwell, in the Logan LDS Temple on May 16, 1951. They spent 66 wonderful years together.

After graduating from Utah State and ROTC, he attended Meteorology School at the University of Washington as a member of the U.S. Air Force. He served military duty in San Bernardino, CA, and Fairbanks, AK. Afterwards, he returned to Seattle receiving degrees in Dentistry and Orthodontics from the University of Washington. While in Seattle, he served as Bishop of the Seattle 8th Ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Monte loved serving wherever and whenever he could, always being the first to volunteer. Many family members, neighbors and friends benefited from his expertise in gardening, roofing, sprinkler systems, turf placement, etc. His garden produced an abundance of fruits and vegetables and his yard was filled with roses of all varieties. He shared both with family and friends. He loved canning, and memories made around the kitchen sink and stove will be treasured by his family. Monte had a great love for the Boy Scouts of America and served for over 50 years in that organization receiving the Silver Beaver Award while serving in the Chief Seattle Council. He was an 11-year-old scout leader at the age of 81 and his scouts deemed him, “Cool.”

Monte’s faith determined the path of his life and he lived by these words, “Choose ye this day whom ye will serve…but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15). He will be greatly missed by all who love him but we know we will be together again because, “Families Are Forever.”

A funeral service will be held Friday, October 20, at 1:00 p.m. at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 667 10th Street NE, East Wenatchee, WA. A viewing where friends and family may call will precede the service at 11:30 a.m.

Burial will be in his beloved home of Cache Valley, Utah at the Smithfield City Cemetery, Smithfield, UT, 11:00 a.m. Saturday, October 28, 2017.

Memorial Service For Dr. Richard P. Ferguson

Dear UW Orthodontic Alums,
With sadness, I share with you the news that Dr. Richard P. Ferguson, one of our most respected alumni and member of the Washington orthodontic and dental community, passed away on Friday.

Dr. Ferguson practiced orthodontics in Seattle and received his Certificate in Orthodontics and MSD from UW in the early 1970s.  He was a past president of the Washington State Dental Association and the Washington State Association of Orthodontists. He was a founder and steering committee member with the Seattle Vocational Institute Dental Assistant Program and the Seattle Central College Dental Hygiene Program, as well as the South Seattle Community College Expanded-Function Dental Auxiliary Program. He also served in the U.S. Air Force, where he was a consultant to the U.S. Surgeon General.

Here at the UW SoD, he had an immense impact as a strong, clear voice for inclusion and diversity. For more than 20 years, he served on the SoD Admissions Committee, where he helped to recruit and interview students from under-represented communities. He also worked in the Partners in Diversity program and with the African American Mentoring Network.

He was a powerful force for inclusion outside the School as well, working to advance this cause at WSDA. He and his wife, Phyllis, were also key members of the campaign that led to the election of the American Dental Association’s first woman president, Dr. Geraldine Morrow, in 1991. Dr. Ferguson also founded the Washington State Black Health Care Professionals and was a member of the International College of Dentists and Seattle King County Dental Society, as well as the Sand Point Community United Methodist Church.

In 2012, he received the Volunteer Service Award at the annual UW Health Sciences Martin Luther King Jr. observances. In 2005, our Dean’s Club gave him its highest recognition, the Honorary Lifetime Member Award.

A memorial service for Dr. Ferguson will be held on Saturday, Oct. 14 at 11 a.m. at Sand Point Community United Methodist Church, 4710 NE 70th St., Seattle. All are invited to celebrate the life of this remarkable man.  He was a real gentleman, and he will be missed dearly by his family, friends, and colleagues.

Greg Huang

Chair – Department of Orthodontics
UW School of Dentistry