Dec. 20, 1926 – June 28, 2015
Online tributes following Dr. Howard L. Wolfsohn’s death called the longtime Buffalo dentist a “kind and gentle man,” always upbeat and smiling, a sweet guy and a “perfect gentleman.”
He also was known for patiently mentoring young dentists – and performing pain-free root canals.
Dr. Wolfsohn, who worked as a Buffalo dentist for almost 60 years and taught students at the University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine for three decades, died June 28 after he became ill in his family’s summer home in Waverly Beach, Ont. He was 88.
Spending summers at that home, not far from the Peace Bridge, became an annual ritual for his family.
“This house is 91 or 92 years old, and he came here from the time he was born,” said his wife, Ydawn. “He spent every summer of his life here.”
Dr. Wolfsohn carved out a reputation as a self-effacing man, whether he was treating patients, working with young dentists or hosting friends at his summer home.
“He always made you feel like you were the only person in his presence,” former Temple Beth Zion Rabbi Harry Rosenfeld said at Dr. Wolfsohn’s memorial service.
A lifelong Buffalo resident, Dr. Wolfsohn attended School 22, Bennett High School and the University at Buffalo, before earning his dental degree from the University of Michigan in 1948. At age 21, he started his career, working with his father, Dr. Myer Wolfsohn, and his brother, Robert, in the family’s dental office at 175 Linwood Ave. He later moved to an office at 191 North St., before retiring eight years ago, at age 80.
Family members believe Dr. Wolfsohn was the first endodontic specialist in Buffalo. He also served as an associate professor at UB Dental School, teaching young dentists the trade for 32 years.
He is survived by his wife of 64 years, the former Ydawn Freed; a daughter, Patty; and a brother, Dr. Robert S. Wolfsohn.
A memorial service was held Sunday in Temple Beth Zion.