Roy L. Lindahl, 89, died July 2, 2015 at Carol Woods Retirement Center in Chapel Hill. Roy was born in Los Angeles, August 22, 1925, to Alice Chilstrom and Lars Lindahl. Roy attended the University of Southern California and Kansas State Teachers College, graduating from the USC Dental School in 1950. He completed his MS in Dentistry for Children in 1952 at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
Roy joined the faculty at the new dental school in Chapel Hill in 1952, becoming the school’s second Department Chair in Pediatric Dentistry in 1956 - through 1968. He was Director of Continuing Education from 1968-1983. In the early 1970s, he led the effort to establish an experimental dental practice with four dentists and several dental hygienists and dental assistants serving the general public from within the UNC Dental Research Center that conducted systematic studies of quality of care approaches relevant to private dental care.
Roy’s leadership was evident in state, regional and national organizations. He was President of the Durham-Orange Dental Society, served as the N.C. Dental Society’s delegate to the American Dental Association for 10 years, was President of the N.C. chapter of the American Society of Dentistry for Children, one of 10 founding members of the N.C. Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, and was President if the Southeastern Society of Pediatric Dentistry.
His role as national leader in the formative years of the specialty was significant. He was president of The American Society of Dentistry for Children, the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry, and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry - all in a period of 14 years. For the American Dental Association, he chaired the Council on Dental Care Programs that recommended proposals for dental insurance to state and federal governments. Roy provided input on why and how programs of care should be designed. He was appointed to a task Force on Medicaid and related programs by HEW Secretary to work with AFL-CIA and UWA union leaders and physicians to draft these proposals. Roy regarded this as the most meaningful work he did because it benefitted so many children.
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Roy was member of the Chapel Hill Rotary Club for 60 years, past club president and contributing member to the Rotary International Foundation. He sponsored Rotary Ambassadorial Scholars from Germany, Brazil, Korea, New Zealand and two from Japan. He led a team of young professionals on a 5 week Group Study Exchange trip to India and hosted others from Finland and India. In 1997, he was received the Rotary Foundation Citation for Meritorious Service. Roy served on the Chapel Hill School Board for 6 years, 3 years as chair, during integration of the school systems.
He enjoyed playing golf, taking it up at age 60, and bike riding, completing a life goal when he rode 100 miles on his 64th birthday. He also enjoyed lunching with friends at the CHCC, Chapel Hill Sports Club and the CH Bible Study Group. His favorite activities were attending UNC games, including women’s basketball, traveling and music. Values that guided his life were commitment to family, a deep faith, service above self and his optimistic outlook on life.
He is survived by his wife, Marian Stephenson, sons John Lindahl of Los Angeles, Larry Lindahl of Hillsborough, daughters, Linda Blaney of Westminster, SC, Carol (Kevin) Kennedy of Apex; step-children Mark Stephenson of Chapel Hill, Paul (Kim) Stephenson of Clover SC, Tara Stephenson (Crafford Harris) of Easton PA and grandchildren Kara Blaney, Savannah Kennedy, Scarlett Kennedy, Nathan Harris, Gabe Harris, Taylor Stephenson.
A celebration of his life will be held at Carol Woods Retirement Community Assembly Hall on August 22, at 2 pm - Roy’s 90th birthday. Memorial gifts may be made to the Roy L. Lindahl Fellowship Fund of the Dental Foundation of North Carolina, Inc., UNC School of Dentistry, Campus Box 7450, Chapel Hill, NC 27599 or the Carol Woods Charitable Fund-Employee Development Fund, 750 Weaver Dairy Road, Chapel Hill, NC 27514 or the charity of your choice.