|Birth: ||Jul. 16, 1936|
|Death: ||May 7, 2003|
Boston Globe, The (MA) - May 10, 2003
Deceased Name: THOMAS SQUIRES, ROCKPORT DENTIST
A visit to Dr. Thomas E. Squires's dental office might not have been painless but it was usually good for a laugh.
An unrepentant punster and Santa Claus look-alike, the longtime Rockport dentist was known as much for his sense of humor as his deftness with a drill. Dr. Squires, 66, who died Wednesday of a brain tumor at his Rockport home, never met a bad joke he didn't like.
There was a method to the madness of Dr. Squires: He said he'd rather his patients wince at his jokes than grimace in pain or discomfort.
"He was such a wag," his wife, Jane (Buchanan), said yesterday.
Every Christmas Dr. Squires played the role of Santa Claus to the hilt. For the month of December, he wore a red sweater to play up the resemblance.
His wife recalled one Christmas Eve when they were dining at a local restaurant and the doctor ordered a martini, but a brownie and ice cream were delivered to their table. When questioned, their server reported that two young girls at an adjoining table thought he was Santa Claus and arranged for the treat.
"He canceled the martini order," said his wife.
Dr. Squires dyed his hair green on St. Patrick's Day. "The first time he did it he used the wrong kind of dye," his son, Chase, of Zephyrhills, Fla., said yesterday. "It didn't wash out. It just sort of faded into this weird pale green." And it remained that way for about a month.
"It didn't seem to bother him," said his son.
But it did bother at least one patient. "I'm not going to be worked on by a dentist with a green beard," said one disgruntled gentleman as he stalked out of Dr. Squires's office.
When he wasn't entertaining his patients, Dr. Squires loved to fly small planes out of Beverly Airport, "getting the big picture," as he was fond of saying.
Born in New Britain, Conn., Dr. Squires graduated from Fairfield University and Tufts Dental School.
A veteran of the Army, he taught diagnostic dentistry at Harvard Dental School.
He began his practice in Rockport in 1964 on Summit Avenue, where he continued to practice until he retired due to illness in January.
Early in his career, he would take whatever payment his patients could afford. "Here's a picture of me as a baby riding a giant lobster; it must have weighed 18 or 20 pounds," said his son. "A patient had paid his bill in lobsters, including that monster."
Most people in Rockport knew Dr. Squires, who tooled around town in a 1927 Mercedes. For 30 years, he played the innkeeper in the town's Christmas pageant.
He was a regular at Ellen's Harborside Restaurant, which featured him as "Painless the Dentist" on one of its Fourth of July Floats.
Once, he received a thank-you letter addressed simply to "Dr. Golden Hands, Rockport."
"The mailman knew it had to be him," said his wife.
Dr. Squires recently asked how his patients were doing in his absence and feigned shock when the answer was "fine."
"How can that be when I'm not there for them?" he asked.
Besides his wife and son, he leaves a daughter, Gia, of New Orleans; and two brothers, Ted and John, both of California.
A memorial Mass will be said today at 10 a.m. in St. Joachim's Church in Rockport.
Copyright (c) 2003 Globe Newspaper Company
Created by: Bud
Record added: Mar 08, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 34578030
Angel Day Blessings to you dear Sir; I wish you had been my dentist! I know you are lovingly missed by all; may you rest peacefully in the loving arms of Jesus.|
Added: May. 7, 2010
Added: Mar. 8, 2009