Seymour J. Carr
Adjunct Professor of Dentistry, Emeritus
The School of Dentistry lost a distinguished teacher, surgeon, and administrator when Dr. Seymour J. “Sy” Carr passed away on October 22, 2002 at the age of 83. His colleagues will always remember Sy Carr as a man who was devoted to his family and his students and loyal to UCLA and his profession. During his 25 years as a faculty member, he made significant contributions to the School of Dentistry, most notably in the development of the Section of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. Sy loved life and always had a friendly word for colleagues. He was an exemplary surgeon and teacher and his interactions were characterized by calm wisdom, kindness, wit, and a genuine desire to transfer his knowledge to a new generation of professionals.
Sy Carr was born in 1919 in New York and spent his youth in that state. He graduated from the University of Arkansas in 1940 and received his D.M.D. from the University of Louisville School of Dentistry in 1946. Sy served in the Army Air Corps during World War II and in the Army as an oral surgeon and Captain during the Korean War. He married his wife of 58 years, Dolly, in 1944.
Sy moved to Los Angeles in 1947 and joined UCLA as a consultant in oral surgery in 1955, years before the opening of the School of Dentistry. After the School was founded, his teaching career began with an appointment as a lecturer in Oral Surgery in 1967. Subsequently, he became acting chairman of Hospital Dentistry, chief of the UCLA Medical Center’s Dental Service, director of the General Practice Residency Program, adjunct professor in the Section of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and, for the years 1984-1989, acting chairman of the Section of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. Sy was honored by a lectureship established in his name in 1990. He was awarded adjunct professor of Dentistry, emeritus status in 1991.
Sy served the School and his community in many capacities and always with distinction. He was also known as a civic leader, particularly in the Westwood community. Internationally, Sy served aboard the S.S. Hope out of Conarky, Guinea, West Africa in 1964, at Queen Victoria Hospital in England in 1965, and as visiting professor at Alexandria University Medical Center, Egypt in 1979.
Sy is survived by his wife, Dolly, his brother, Martin, two sons and their wives and two grandchildren. He is sincerely missed by colleagues, students, family and friends. Earl Freymiller, a colleague and current chair of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at UCLA, paid this fitting tribute to Sy at the 2000 Seymour J. Carr Lecture, “It’s interesting to contemplate that beneath the surface of this gentle man lies a charismatic teacher of the highest caliber, a gifted surgeon, a keen business leader, an advocate of the community, and a man of integrity and benevolence.”