CAMDEN — Dr. Bernard “Bernie” Diamond, 89, died peacefully on his birthday, Dec. 19, 2015, holding the hand of his beloved wife of 30 years, at the Sussman House in Rockport.
Born in New York, N.Y., on Dec. 19, 1926, Bernie was the son of Aaron and Blanche Pincus Diamond. He grew up in Newark, N.J., where he graduated from high school. Following high school he served in the U.S. Army in the Pacific Theater during World War II. He was honorably discharged on Christmas Eve, 1946. He majored in pre-med and earned his undergraduate degree at Seaton Hall University in South Orange, N.J. In 1956 he earned his Doctorate in Dental Science from Georgetown University School of Dentistry in Washington, D.C.
Bernie took a commission with the United States Public Health Service. Following his internship in Baltimore, Md., he was first assigned to the Federal Correctional Institution in Texarkana, Texas, then the Federal Reformatory in Chillicothe, Ohio, serving as chief of dental services in both facilities.
Leaving the public health service in 1958, he joined the private practice of Dr. Emil Blaukoff in South River, N.J., where he served for several years. Bernie opened his own practice in 1962 in a small office in a new local mall, while planning and overseeing the construction of a dental/medical arts building in Edison, N.J. He operated his own practice there, 1966-1990, devoting himself to continuing education with an emphasis on preventative, restorative and cosmetic dentistry until 1990. He earned numerous certificates in all branches of the field. He co-founded one of the first dental arts study groups of approximately eight to 10 colleagues who shared their cases, experience and knowledge. He served time as their president. Bernie supported and guided young student dentists in residency at John F. Kennedy Medical Center in Edison, N.J., where he was a staff member from 1962 to 1990.
While in the P.H.S. as chief dental officer, Bernie trained prison inmates in dental laboratory procedures for rehabilitation and civilian re-entry. He developed and taught instructional courses in equipment maintenance to dental assistants in a formal training program. He was a staff member and instructor of dental residents at Cabrini Medical Center Dental Facility, in New York City. He was assistant clinical professor at Columbia University Dental School in New York City.
Bernie and his beloved wife, Joyce, semi-retired to Maine, settling on Vinalhaven. He served as the dental provider for the Island Community Medical Center until a heart attack forced him to cease practicing dentistry for a few months to concentrate on his recovery. He returned to his career with the Center for Community Dental Health at AMHI, then for 10 years at the Lewiston/Auburn branch. Bernie fully retired from practice on Oct. 31, 2006, just before his 80th birthday, having completed a 50+ year career.
After retirement, Bernie continued to stay busy. He took great joy in music and it was always a big part of his life. He composed music and he was an accomplished piano player. He enjoyed writing of all kinds, and even published two poems. He dabbled in the arts, constantly sketching, as well as building model train layouts. He continued his studies to remain up-to-date in dentistry by reading dental journals, expanding his knowledge and improving his craft.
He will be remembered as a character with a special personality and will be sadly missed by all who loved him. Bernie is survived by his wife, Joyce Gandy Diamond of Camden; his sons, from a first marriage, Mark Diamond and his wife, Karen, of Boulder, Colo., Victor Diamond and his wife, Trisha, of Cape Cod, Mass., and Randy Diamond and his wife, Katajun, of Stuttgart, Germany; his brother, Stanley Diamond and his wife, Yvette, of Roseland, N.J.; four grandchildren, Dean, Sonja, Torrie and Matthew; as well as one great-grandson, Miles Adam Diamond.
A committal service, by William C. Moody and with military honors, will be held Thursday, Dec. 31 at noon at Maine Veterans Memorial Cemetery Chapel on Mt. Vernon Road in Augusta.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his name to the Alzheimer’s Association, 383 U.S. Route One, Suite 2C, Scarborough, ME 04074; American Heart Association, 51 U.S. Route One, Suite M, Scarborough, ME 04074; or Sussman House, c/o Pen Bay Healthcare, 22 White Street, Rockland, ME, 04841.
Arrangements are in the care of Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home.