Retiring dentist proud to be part of Spring ValleyDr. Jack Palumbo retired earlier this month from the dental clinic he opened in Spring Valley in 1973.
Retiring dentist proud to be part of SV
By Bill Kirk
SPRING VALLEY—The welcome mat was out for Dr. Jack Palumbo when he came to Spring Valley over three-and-a-half decades ago.
The Illinois native had known he wanted to be a dentist since he was a freshman in high school. He’d also thought about establishing a practice in Wisconsin, where he’d vacationed with his family, but needed to decide on a specific community. The decision wasn’t made any easier after he received more than 60 responses to a classified ad he’d placed in the Wisconsin Dental Journal.
Then, his fondness for the state’s scenery became a factor.
“I came over that hill on Hwy. 29 and it was like I was coming home,” Palumbo said Wednesday about his east side introduction to the local village, which had responded. He retired earlier this month from the clinic he opened there in 1973.
Small and rural, Spring Valley was similar to Rochelle, Ill., south of Rockford, his hometown, he said. Yet, it had a natural beauty exceeding the predominantly flat surroundings of the place where he grew up. No one in the family was a dentist, though his father, Joseph, was a doctor.
“I always liked his role in the community,” he said, noting his family also includes three sisters (now in Bloomington Normal, Ill., River Falls and Hilton Head, S.C.) plus brothers presently in Los Angeles and Fort Collins, Colo. (another brother, who lived in Denver, died).
Following graduation from Ashton (Ill.) High, Palumbo did his undergraduate studies at Drake in Des Moines, he said. He attended graduate school at Loyola in Chicago. The experience not only had him driving Chicago Transit Authority bus through some of the city’s toughest neighborhoods for a job, but learning dentistry at the university by treating people who came in off the street.
“It was a great education, but a lot of stress,” he said.
During his senior year, he’d already identified Spring Valley as his destination, bought the land and started building the clinic, he said. Dr. Fast, who was the local dentist and was nearing retirement at the time, had invited him to visit, plus he was contacted by several others, all giving him a warm reception. His future was set; the clinic went into operation in August of ‘73.
Read more in the print version of the Herald April 22.