The University Record, June 5, 1995
David F. Striffler, professor emeritus of dental public health and of dentistry, died here May 29. Striffler, 72, was a national leader in the field of dental public health.
"Students always came first with Dr. Striffler," said Brian A. Burt, chair of the Department of Community Health Programs at the School of Public Health. "He contributed substantially to the development of his discipline, but his greatest satisfaction was always the achievements of his graduates. In his active career and in retirement, he loved to keep in contact with as many of them as possible. He even learned to use e-mail after his retirement to help him do this. He will be sadly missed by all of us."
Born in Pontiac, Striffler received his D.D.S. in 1947 and his master's degree in public health in 1951 from the U-M. He served as director of school health in the Dearborn public schools in 1951-53 and director of the Division of Dental Health of the New Mexico Department of Public Health in 1953-61.
In 1961, Striffler returned to Ann Arbor as an associate professor of dental public health and of dentistry. In 1962, he became director of the Program in Dental Public Health and the first chair of the Department of Community Dentistry, a dual appointment he held, along with his teaching responsibilities, until 1967. He was appointed professor in both schools in 1965.
Striffler also was acting chair of the Department of Health Development in the School of Public Health in 1968-69 and acting chair of community dentistry in 1969-71. He became chair of the Department of Community Health Programs in 1980.
The senior editor of the leading textbook in dental public health, Dentistry, Dental Practice and the Community, Striffler also served as associate editor and editor of the Journal of Public Health Dentistry and published numerous scientific papers and editorial commentaries.
Striffler was active in major professional organizations. In recognition of his contributions to his field, Striffler received the Distinguished Service Award of the American Association of Public Health Dentistry in 1977 and the Knutson Award of the Dental Section of the American Public Health Association in 1984.
Striffler is survived by his wife, Ruth; daughter, Stephanie of Portland, Ore.; son, Geoffrey of Edgewood, N.M.; and granddaughter, Irene Marjorie Striffler Milsom of Portland. A memorial service will be held at 1:30 p.m. June 17 at the First Unitarian Church in Ann Arbor. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Dave Striffler Fund at the School of Public Health.