Dr. Leonard George Filppula passed away peacefully in his sleep on Nov. 22, 2019 in Palm Desert, California, with his wife by his side, he was 92 years old.
Doc, as he was known by many, is survived by his wife Gisela, stepchildren Michaela Rosenthal, Renate Arneson, John Mercer and Justin Mercer. Doc had the love of 11 grandchildren and four great grandchildren as well.
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Doc enjoyed a lifetime of fishing and hunting adventures, as well as traveling the world with his wife. He enjoyed all sports and it was impressive to see how knowledgeable he was. One of his greatest joys was seeing his home full of family during the holidays.
Doc’s career was truly rags to riches. He was born into poverty and raised by his grandmothers in a Finn boarding house in Red Lodge. After high school he joined the Army and spent 2 years in Japan serving his country. After his service in the Army, he received a BS from Montana State University, Bozeman, where his academic skills earned him a scholarship to study Dentistry at Northwestern University in Chicago. Doc started the first Orthodontic practice in Billings in 1960. He was a mentor to many young dentists in the years to come. His career spanned over 40 years, that’s a lot of beautiful smiles. He will be missed by many, we love you Doc, rest in peace.