Harold Andrew Pressman died on Feb. 8, 2011, after a long illness, at St. John's Nursing Home in Billings.
"Doc" Pressman was born on July 8, 1920, in Glendive, the second son of Andrew and Ruby (Harpster) Pressman. He spent his youth on the family dairy farm, graduating from Dawson County High School in 1938. He was active in student government, serving as President of Student Council, and was a member of the National Honor Society. He was also active in the school bands and orchestra. He worked for Montgomery Ward in Glendive until the fall of 1939, when he enrolled at the University of Minnesota. The following year, he attended Dawson Junior College, graduating in its first class after acquiring the requisite credits in science to enroll in dental school. In 1944, he graduated from the School of Dentistry at the University of Minnesota.
In June of 1944, Harold married Audre Negus of Glendive and they moved to San Diego, where he was assigned to the Naval Dental Corps as Lieutenant jg. Upon completion of active duty, they moved to Billings, where he began private practice of dentistry in 1946.
In 1958, he took a sabbatical and enrolled in the Master's degree program in Prosthodontics at the University of Iowa before returning to practice in Billings. Upon his return to Billings, he helped develop the athletic mouth guard program for the Billings Public Schools. In 1968, he was invited to join the faculty of the dental school at the University of Minnesota. He taught there for three years and each year received an award given by the students for Outstanding Clinical Instructor. He said it was an opportunity to give back to the school he owed so much. In 1971, he returned to Billings, where he practiced dentistry until he retired 26 years later. Upon retirement, at age 77, he and Audre spent 10 winters in Sun City West, Ariz., where he played trumpet with two concert bands, returning to Billings for the summers, rejoining his "buddies" in the Shrine Band. He was very proud of his Dutch ancestry, and he and Audre enjoyed visiting his cousins in the Netherlands. They also traveled to Thailand and other countries in Europe.
Harold was a member of many community and professional organizations, including Psi Omega Dental Fraternity, the Montana Dental Association and Ninth District Dental Society, the Minnesota Prosthodontic Society, a Fellow of the American College of Dentists and a life member of the Minnesota and Iowa Alumni Associations. In 1990, he received the Clinical Excellence Dental Award from the Montana Dental Society. He served for 15 years on the Board of Directors of the Billings Family YMCA and was a member of First Congregational United Church of Christ, where he served on the Board of Deacons and Trustees. He was a current member of Mayflower United Church of Christ. Harold was a member of Ashlar Lodge #29, Scottish Rite Bodies and the Al Bedoo Shrine.
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Harold was preceded in death by his father, mother and only brother, Elmer. He is survived by his beloved wife, Audre; sons Thane (Carol) of Elk Rapids, Mich., Douglas of Prague, Czech Republic; and daughter Ann Walters (Darrell) of Billings. He is also survived by four grandchildren: Sean Pressman, Steve Pressman, Sarah Nicolai and Suzanne Cummings. Harold is also survived by four great-grandchildren: Madalyn, Hannah, Payton and Drew.
Harold's generosity of spirit, selfless dedication to serving others, along with his optimism and unflagging wit made an indelible imprint on the lives of the many who have cherished his friendship. He was an inspiration to his family, friends and professional colleagues to the very end. The family wishes to thank the staff of the Billings Clinic and St. John's Nursing Home for the loving care he received.
Funeral services are pending. Memorials may be sent to the Shrine Transportation Fund or the charity of your choice.
Smith's West Chapel is in charge of arrangements.