Dr. Ralph Algerdas Yuodelis, D.D.S., M.S.D., Professor Emeritus.
Born in St Albert Trail, Alberta, Canada, Ralph was the 3rd child of Vincas and Teresa (Sapokas) Yuodelis who had emigrated from Lithuania a few years earlier. Life during the great depression was hard but Ralph and his siblings Aldona and Bill thrived due to the strong work ethic and loving attention of their parents. Ralph later graduated with his D.D.S. from the University of Alberta School of Dentistry in 1955, began a practice in Edmonton and soon met Elizabeth Anne Lysne "Nan" to whom he was married for 57 years. Ralph and Nan have 5 children (Christine, Robert, Terri, Joan and Gayle), 14 grandchildren, and 1 great grandchild.
The family moved to Seattle so that Ralph could begin dental postgraduate training at the University of Washington. On completion of the specialty programs in Periodontics and Prosthodontics, he was recruited to a faculty position. Progressing through the academic ranks to a full professorship, he created a very well respected specialty program in Fixed Prosthodontics. Dr. Ralph A. Yuodelis directed the UW dental school graduate program in Fixed Prosthodontics and combined Graduate Prosthodontics program for more than a quarter-century. He was Professor Emeritus of Restorative Dentistry and Adjunct Professor of Periodontics at the UW, where he received his M.S.D.. and Certificate in Fixed Prosthodontics in 1964 and Certificate in Periodontics in 1965.
During his career, he received many accolades for his achievements - President of the American Academy of Fixed Prosthodontics, Fellow of the American College of Dentists and Fellow of the International College of Dentists, among others. In 2001, the American Academy of Fixed Prosthodontics bestowed on him the George H. Moulton Achievement Award in 2001 for his distinguished lifetime contributions. He gave hundreds of graduate presentations around the world, co-authored two major dental textbooks, and was chosen as UW School of Dentistry's Distinguished Alumnus in 2002. The University of Alberta, where he earned his DDS, honored him with its Dental Alumni Association's Outstanding Achievement Award in 1998.
The legacy of this great teacher is felt by thousands of clinicians throughout professional dentistry. Over the past 50 years his program attracted many prestigious graduate students from all corners of the world. His students continue demonstrating the quality of education at the UW and carrying on his teachings to others. The UW School of Dentistry gained international acclaim for its "marriage" of the graduate programs in Periodontics and Prosthodontics and is in large part a tribute to his training in and mastery of the 2 disciplines. Ralph has definitely left a strong positive mark on advancing the quality of dental care world-wide.
After retiring in 2005, Ralph continued on as Professor Emeritus, dedicating some of his time to training new generations of grad students (the other "Yuodelis kids"). Ralph also enjoyed his retirement with fishing, golf, and opera.
Ralph is survived by his wife Nan, children and grandchildren, brother Bill, sister Donna and many loving nieces and nephews. A funeral mass will be held at St John Vianney Church in Kirkland on Friday Aug 23rd at 11 am. A web site at Acacia Memorial Gardens is available for tribute to his memory. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the University of Washington School of Dentistry student clinic so that all people may benefit from dental care.