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Richard A. Weems, DMD, MS, D-ABFO, a native of Birmingham, AL, passed away on March 4, 2022. He received his dental degree from the School of Dentistry, University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), in 1977. He served for two years as a dental officer in the United States Army at Fort Jackson, SC, practiced general dentistry in Birmingham for three years, then returned to UAB, receiving an MS in oral radiology in 1984.
Dr. Weems’ first taught oral radiology at the College of Dental Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. In 1987, he returned to UAB as a School of Dentistry faculty member and later served as director of student affairs, director of clinics, and head of oral radiology. He fully retired from UAB in 2020.
Dr. Weems was instrumental in the genesis and development of the forensic odontology fellowship programs at the University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine in Knoxville.
He was a forensic dental consultant to the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences (ADFS) and served as the chief forensic dentist for the Jefferson County (Alabama) Office of the Chief Coroner/Medical Examiner.
Dr. Weems was a member of the Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team (DMORT) and participated in DMORT’s response to the World Trade Center disaster in 2001 and to Hurricane Katrina in both Gulfport, MS, and Saint Gabriel, LA, in 2005. He was also deployed by DMORT in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike, which struck Galveston, TX, in 2008.
Dr. Weems received certification by the American Board of Forensic Odontology (ABFO) in 2005. He served on the ABFO Credentialing and Examination Committee and served the ABFO as Secretary, Vice-President, and President-Elect. He was the President of the ABFO in 2018.
He also served on the board of governors of the American Society of Forensic Odontology and completed six years of service to the Odontology Section of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, serving as Program Chair, Secretary, and finally as Chair of the Odontology Section in 2010 and 2011.
Dr. Weems co-edited the Manual of Forensic Odontology, 5th Edition and has published numerous chapters in textbooks relating to dental radiology, forensic odontology, and forensic medicine.