Howard E. Kubler, D.M.D.
Howard E. Kubler, D.M.D., died Oct. 10, 2009 (missing his 84th birthday by 20 days) at the Oregon Veterans Home Nursing home in The Dalles.
Dr. Kubler was born in Ogden, Utah, on Nov. 1, 1925, to Frederick Wm. Kubler and Tressie Lou Gates Kubler, the last of five children.
Doc lived in many places growing up as his father was a master mechanic with the Southern Pacific Railroad. In high school Doc was on the football team and, in his senior year, was chosen "All League Center" from Hoover High School in Glendale, Calif. Doc served in the United States Army in 1944 and 1945. He was trained in tanks and then radio as the war wound down. He was waiting in Manila, Philippines to go into the invasion of Japan. The atomic bombs were dropped and then Japan surrendered so he served in Japan as part of the occupation forces.
By the time he got home his father was once again transferred, this time from Glendale, to Chula Vista, Calif. He helped move them and then entered college at San Diego State using his GI bill. He majored in science with the idea of applying for medicine or dentistry. The college was a number of miles from Chula Vista, and since his father had sold him his old 1939 Mercury he was a taxi service for many students who wanted a ride to college, charging 15 cents a ride.
This is how he met Elaine McClure in 1948. She needed a ride and also paid the 15 cents each way. The romance started and soon Howard proposed. After the wedding in 1950, the couple moved to the Northwest where Doc was already enrolled at the University of Oregon. After finishing his Master's Degree in Genetics, and having their first baby, Kathleen, Doc entered dental school while Elaine worked.
In 1956 Doc graduated, they had their second baby, Bruce, and then they moved to Salem to work at Fairview Home, the Oregon home for the retarded. After five and a half years there, and the births of Jeffrey and Mary Ellen, they spent nine and a half years in Springfield, Ore., in private practice.
On a visit with Dr. Ken Sipe and his wife Elaine, in Goldendale, Sipe invited them to move to Goldendale to practice dentistry next door to him, and Doc came here in January of 1971.
Doc was always interested in whatever his children were doing. As a working dentist, Doc loved to sing the old "pop" songs of the 1940's and 1950's to his patients. He was known as "the singing dentist". He practiced dentistry in Goldendale for 26 years, and counting Salem and Springfield, a total of 42 years.
Doc was very interested in the happenings in Goldendale. He was a member of the committee that got the Observatory into the State Park System, and was the chairman of the Goldendale Observatory Committee for a few years. He also was interested and active in the Chamber of Commerce.
Doc retired in 1997, selling the practice to David and Brenda Reimche-Vu.
Doc had many medical problems before he retired which culminated in 2003 with a massive stroke. He lingered for six and a half years, mostly at the Oregon Veterans Home in The Dalles.
He had many more strokes but the final one in October of 2009, after seven days took his life.
Doc and Elaine have four grown children. Kathleen Berg and her husband Duane live in Goldendale. Bruce Kubler, his wife Janine, and their son in Poway, Calif., Jeffrey Kubler, his wife Margaret and their four children in Corvallis, Ore., Mary Ellen Picha, her husband Russ and their three children in Puyallup.
Doc was a member of the Goldendale United Methodist Church for some years, of which he served as lay leader for several years and in 2005 was baptized in a wheelchair, in a spa, into the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
The memorial service will be at the Seventh-day Adventist Church on Nov. 13 at 1 p.m.