January 9, 2008 Edition

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Walnut Ridge Mayor Michelle Rogers (right) presented Dr. Harold Willmuth with this plaque, recognizing his 45 years of dental service.

Willmuth honored on retirement

Business partners of Dr. Harold Willmuth (right), who helped host a retirement reception in his honor, are (from left) Danny Gibson and Jack Allison. Among their business ventures are the development of the NorthRidge Subdivision in Walnut Ridge and mini-storage buildings.

Dr. Dennis Pulliam (left) will assume responsibility for many of Dr. Willmuth's dental patients

Dr. Billy Spades (left) a Jonesboro dentist and Walnut Ridge native, made remarks in honor of Dr. Willmuth at the retirement reception.
John Bland

Friends, colleagues and patients of Walnut Ridge dentist Dr. Harold N. Willmuth attended a retirement reception in his honor. The event was held Friday, Jan. 4, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the fellowship hall of First Baptist Church.

Several area dentists, who are friends of Willmuth, were special guests. Among them were: Dr. Billy Spades of Jonesboro, Dr. Joe Jones of Pocahontas, Dr. Fred Wagner of Blytheville and Dr. Dennis Pulliam of Walnut Ridge. Pulliam will assume responsibility for Dr. Willmuth's dental patients.

In a special presentation, Walnut Ridge Mayor Michelle Rogers gave Willmuth a plaque that states, "Presented to Dr. Harold N. Willmuth, D.D.S., in recognition of 45 years of excellence and devoted care in the practice of general dentistry, 1962-2007."

Danny Gibson, one of Willmuth's business partners, served as master of ceremonies for a brief program that included tributes by a few of Willmuth's dental colleagues. Gibson, along with Jack Allison, have been business partners with Willmuth since 1975. "I always respected his input," Gibson said.

Dr. Joe Jones, a Pocahontas dentist, described Willmuth as a "mentor." Jones had completed dental school and spent two years in the Army, with the last year being in Vietnam, when Willmuth advised him to go to Pocahontas. A dentist there, Dr. Ben Spikes, had retired from his practice due to ill health.

"Harold is a very good businessman, as well as a good dentist," Jones added.

Dr. Billy Spades, a Walnut Ridge native and Jonesboro dentist, also referred to Willmuth as a mentor. "He taught me things you can't learn in dental school. He is a friend and colleague. I am thankful for his friendship and leadership, and I salute his life today."

Dr. Fred Wagner of Blytheville paralleled Willmuth in both their higher education and career paths. They were in school together at Arkansas State University and then were in dental school together. They both worked together in Georgia from 1962-65. Willmuth would return to Lawrence County, and Wagner to Blytheville, and both got involved in cattle farming as a sideline to their dental practices.

Willmuth also spoke to those assembled in his honor. "Thanks to all of you for being good friends and good patients." He said he and his wife, Margrhea, have been very pleased with the people and their years in Walnut Ridge. "Places like this are hard to find."

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