Faculty and Staff, Passings

Four Longtime Faculty Members Pass Away

Pictures of faculty members who have passed away

It is with great sadness that we share the passing of longtime faculty members of the UNC Adams School of Dentistry. Drs. Karl Leinfelder, Cliff Crandell, Eugene “Gene” Sandler, and Diane Dilley made significant contributions to the field of dentistry and were deeply committed to the education and success of their students. Their dedication and expertise to the field, school, and students, will be greatly missed by all who had the opportunity to work with them.

Dr. Karl Leinfelder was a former faculty member in the Clinical Research department. After 13 years at UNC, Dr. Leinfelder spent most of his academic career at the University of Alabama-Birmingham. Upon retirement, he and his wife returned to Chapel Hill, where he worked with us as an adjunct faculty member in Operative Dentistry preclinical courses. Dr. Leinfelder led many early clinical trials and established UNC as a leader in clinical research on the emerging science of posterior composites.

Dr. Leinfelder’s obituary can be viewed here.

Dr. Cliff Crandell joined the faculty in 1955 and was a member of the Department of Oral Diagnosis where he taught Advanced Dental Radiology before becoming Director of the school’s Dental Data Center in 1970. He stayed for more than 28 years and co-authored the school history book. His daughter, Sue Felton, was the Director of Continuing Dental Education for many years and his son-in-law, Dr. Dave Felton, is a professor and former chair of prosthodontics at the school.

Dr. Crandell’s obituary can be viewed here.

Dr. Eugene Sandler became a Professor of Dental Ecology and Pediatric Dentistry at the school where he taught for thirty years. In 1979, Dr. Sandler was recruited as a teacher and administrator of what became a model dental program for teaching dental students to practice in an outreach setting in most of the 100 counties in North Carolina.

Dr. Sandler’s obituary can be viewed here.

Dr. Diane Dilley was a much beloved faculty member in the Department of Pediatric Dentistry for over 35 years. She was a pioneer and served on the Craniofacial Center team and as both the pediatric dentistry undergraduate and the graduate program directorships during a time when there were very few women on the dental school faculty.

A Celebration of Life will be held in the spring. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Diane C. Dilley Fellowship Fund at the Dental Foundation of North Carolina, UNC Adams School of Dentistry: Campus Box #7450, Chapel Hill, N.C. 27599-7450.