April 2016 was a sad month for the dental technology industry. Within a 2-week time span, we lost two beloved leaders in our profession—Russell DeVreugd, CDT, on April 16 and Mark Jackson, RDT, on April 29. A contrast in personalities, they nevertheless were both passionate about this industry, about helping others in the profession, and about sharing their knowledge and their experiences. And both will always be remembered for greeting everyone they met with large warm-hearted smiles and a genuineness that they, too, were glad to see you.
Russ loved creating beautiful restorations. However, a restoration wasn’t beautiful unless it replicated the function and fit of a natural tooth. The occlusal concept had to be spot-on and the contour, color, and esthetics of the restoration a perfect match to those adjacent. His work demonstrated his mastery of anatomy, occlusion, and morphology and reflected his wisdom borne out of his lifelong passion for learning that he tirelessly shared in his seminars with clinical and technical professionals alike as consultant and lecturer both here and abroad. Teaching others was his calling, whether in the classroom or through the written word. He was a gentle man whose kindness, passion, and encouragement touched many and will be sorely missed. Jim Emmons CDT, FNBC, who knew Russ for more than 40 years, noted: “He was a natural teacher who dedicated his life to the profession and was an inspiration to the hundreds of technicians trying to better and perfect their craft.”
For laboratory owners needing business advice and technical stewardship on complex cases, many turned to Mark. Mark was larger than life and lived life as if there were no tomorrow. He was a free spirit who embraced risk, loved the competitive nature of the laboratory business, and eagerly sought new ventures and adventures. His voice was prevalent on many online forums, on the lecture podium, and in roundtable discussions as he selflessly shared his vision, knowledge, and business acumen with colleagues and friends. Mark cared deeply about the dental technology industry and community and wore his passion on his sleeve. He was a mentor to many and inspired the best in everyone. “He was a visionary ahead of his time who had a genuine zest to share, teach, mentor, learn, and elevate the dental community,” said Daniel Alter, MSc, MDT, CDT, upon learning of Mark’s passing.
Russ and Mark served on IDT’s Editorial Advisory Board and were both great resources in shaping the editorial quality and content of this publication. They left behind their indelible mark on the industry and an immeasurable void perhaps too big to fill.