Dr. John B. Spaulding

Dr. John B. Spaulding, 98, of Decatur, died on Sunday, May 20, 2018 at his residence. He was born on March 17, 1920 in Gary to Everett A. and Estella (Best) Spaulding. He was married on June 15, 1946 to Winifred L. Black.

He was a long-time Decatur dentist practicing for over 40 years and was involved in many local community activities. Following his graduation from Indiana University where he majored in chemistry, he was accepted into both medical and dental school as his initial lifelong desire was to become a surgeon. He was called into service in the Pacific Theatre for World War II before he started that training, however, and when he came home after the war, he changed his mind and entered the Indiana University School of Dentistry.

He was involved in many testing programs at the IU Dental School and with his background in chemistry was involved in research that led to the development of Crest toothpaste. That process, led by IU dental professors, came up with a formula for the first time to put stannous fluoride in toothpaste, an effort that was lauded by the American Dental Association for being effective in preventing cavities and tooth decay.

After graduating from the IU School of Dentistry, he relocated to Decatur and assumed the practice of the late Dr. Fred Patterson. Several years later, he and Dr. Harold F. Zwick, a local physician-surgeon, joined forces to build the Med-Dent Building at 227 S. Second Street.

He was the 2000 winner of the Stephen Decatur Award at the Decatur Chamber of Commerce Dinner. He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Decatur where he served in various leadership capacities, American Legion Post 43, and he was proud of being a long-time member of the Decatur Library Board, for which he served as president during the time the current Adams Public Library in Decatur was constructed. He was also a former member of the Adams County Board of Health, was a past president of the Decatur Rotary Club, and belonged to the Fort Wayne Stamp Club. When practicing as a dentist, he belonged to the Isaac Knapp Dental Society and the Indiana Dental Association and was a mentor to several students in dental school who later became extremely successful dentists in their own right. He was also a former member of the professional staff of the Adams Memorial Hospital.

He was happiest when he was at home. He personally cleared a four-acre lot behind his Mercer Avenue home near the St. Mary’s River to develop a large garden and an orchard of numerous fruit trees. He was an accomplished woodworker, enjoyed completing winter projects that still remain in use today and possessed one of the largest commemorative stamp collections in the area.

He is survived by two sons, Dr. Doug (Diane) Spaulding of Indianapolis; and Joe (Marsha) Spaulding of Decatur; three grandchildren, John Davis of Colorado; Sara Christlieb of Decatur; and Keoni (Mikayla) Spaulding of Lynn; five great-grandchildren, Caydyn I. Spaulding; Rylan J. R. Christlieb; Leland E. A. Christlieb; and Lincoln Richards, all of Decatur, and Bella M. Spaulding of Lynn.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife on March 7, 2011; daughter, Rachel Davis of Salem; and two grandchildren, Hannah and Miles Davis.

The administrative council of the Presbyterian Church has authorized the recently-closed Presbyterian Church in Decatur to be used as the site of a memorial service for him at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 26. Officiating will be Pastor Marcia Cline. Per his wishes, his body was cremated and his ashes will be spread on his family farm in Newton County, which had been recognized by the state of Indiana with a Hoosier Homestead Award nearly 20 years ago. Calling at the church will be 30 minutes prior to services and following the service.

Military rites will be provided by the American Legion Post 43 Color Guard.

Memorials may be made to the Adams Public Library System, the Salvation Army, Family Life Care, or to the donor’s choice.

Arrangements provided by Haggard-Sefton-Hirschy & Zelt Funeral Home in Decatur. To sign the guestbook, click on www.hshfuneralhome.com.