In Memoriam–William Pierce 10/15/42-08/29/16


Born October 15, 1942 in Van Nuys, California, Bill grew up in Miami, Florida. He attended Emory University undergraduate and Dental School, graduating with his Doctorate in Dental Surgery in 1969. He subsequently served in the Army Dental Corps before opening his dental practice in Charlotte, NC in 1971, where he practiced general dentistry until 2010.

His family included his wife of 26 years, (Karen), his three daughters (Michelle Pierce of Spartanburg, SC, Laura Pierce of Charlotte, NC, and Kim Seabrook of San Francisco, CA), and two grandchildren (Hank and Will Lovelace of Spartanburg, SC).
Most important to Bill was finding beauty and meaning in everyday life. Woodworking and gem stone cutting were two ways he expressed this love. ┬áRestoring a person’s mouth back to health, and creating beautiful gardens wherever he lived were other ways he expressed his appreciation for the beauty of life. Once he created whole areas of his garden by taking in the throw away plants from a local nursery, believing in their ability to flourish with the right attention and nourishment.

Bill had a large generosity of spirit that was given out to those around him. His family, the men he mentored, and his patients all enjoyed this kind of attention. It wasn’t unusual throughout Bill’s dental career to receive calls from his patients when in an emotional crisis because they knew he would direct them and care for them when they knew no one else to turn to for direction. They also knew he would lighten their spirit with his ever present sense of humor. One could always count on Bill to have a different perspective on things and, at least try, to make you laugh.

In 2004, before he ended his dental career, Bill completed a spiritual direction course through the Episcopal Church, and was Spiritual Director to many prior to becoming ill. He especially enjoyed blending his spiritual direction training with his church ministries at Christ Episcopal Church. He enjoyed helping people committed to personal and spiritual development, as well as those who wanted to grow their service-oriented business. Having had a successful 40 year career in dentistry, Bill consulted with service-oriented business owners who wanted to take their business to the next level.

Having successfully navigated a 26 year marriage to Karen, that he described to his friends as a “soul mate” relationship, Bill enjoyed consulting with couples and presenting classes on creating better relationships with Karen at Integrative Healing Center after his retirement from dentistry.

Bill loved his wife, his family, golf, being a spiritual seeker, the outdoors, adventure, expanding his education, and his multitude of friends. Early in his adult life Bill sought help with becoming a man of integrity through his church, and a family tradition of Freemasonry-mastering the 32nd degree. He attributed the Church and Freemasonry to helping him learn how to discern and apply ethics in daily living, and to appreciate the value of striving for quality in all that one does.

Bill was passionate about philanthropy for his profession and his community. During his career Bill served as President of the Charlotte Dental Society, was a founding member of the Holiday Dental Conference in Charlotte, anonymously provided pro-bono dentistry to children of Alexander Children’s Center, served on the Board of the Charlotte Opera, served Cities-in-Schools, the Rotary Club, and served enthusiastically in his church.

Described by many as a “good man”, “great dentist”, “deep thinker”, “spiritually alive”, “wonderful mentor”, and having a “great sense of humor”–the affect Bill had in the world, and his presence will be missed by many for a long time to come.