Smiles we remember
Dr. Franklin K. Eggleston of Houston was a devoted and impactful leader who positively influenced both his profession and Texas A&M University College of Dentistry.
Eggleston, who earned his dental degree in 1970 from what was then known as Baylor College of Dentistry, served on the then-private school’s board of trustees from 1990 to 1996 and helped transition the college into The Texas A&M University System. He is a past president of the college’s alumni association in addition to multiple dental organizations and received the Distinguished Alumni Award in 1996. Eggleston, 78, died July 25.
From 2009 to 2018, he served on the Baylor Oral Health Foundation’s board of directors, providing valuable insight and counsel regarding BOHF’s financial support to the dental college.
“Dr. Eggleston was a fine gentleman who was first-class, humble and loyal to the College of Dentistry,” says Robert J. Bigham, Baylor Oral Health Foundation president and treasurer. “He will truly be missed.”
Eggleston served as president of the Texas Dental Association, American Academy of Restorative Dentistry, Greater Houston Dental Society, Academy of Operative Dentistry, Southwestern Society of Oral Medicine, Southwest Academy of Restorative Dentistry and the International College of Dentists – Texas Section. He served on the board of trustees of the American Dental Association representing Texas from 1999 to 2003.
In 1996, the Texas Dental Association awarded Eggleston the Distinguished Service Award, the highest award given at that time in Texas dentistry. The Texas Academy of General Dentistry named him Texas Dentist of the Year in 1995. He also was the recipient of the Texas Dental Association’s Gold Medal of Distinguished Service in 2004.
More recently at the College of Dentistry, Eggleston participated in fundraising efforts for the James S. Cole Endowed Professorship, which was completed in 2015. He played a role in helping forge the bequest of a charitable trust created by his mentor, Houston dentist Dr. Ralph Boelsche, which benefited research activities at the College of Dentistry for over 20 years beginning in the 1990s before helping spark the $1 million Bernhard Gottlieb Endowed Chair in Craniofacial Research.
A frequent teacher in restorative dentistry and speaker at the University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston, Eggleston was named an honorary member of their alumni association. Throughout his career, he studied nutrition and spoke to dentists around the world regarding the importance of treating the whole patient, not just the mouth. In March 2007, he became chairman of the board of the Retina Research Foundation, a foundation that researches causes and prevention of blindness.
“His was a life of service to his community, his church, and his family,” Bigham says.
A memorial service at 10 a.m. on Aug. 10 will celebrate his life and contributions. Services will be held at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church located at 3471 Westheimer Rd. in Houston, Texas.