By DOCS Writing Staff
It’s with heavy hearts and deep admiration that the faculty and staff at DOCS Education pays tribute to three very special DOCS members who’ve recently passed away. Pillars in their respective communities, Dr. Donald Couchman, Dr. Michael Charles Bowman, and Dr. Richard Plasch were active, contributing dental professionals known for aiding their peers within the DOCS community and beyond. Some of you may have known them personally and professionally, or were fortunate enough to meet them at some of our past in-person events. While their absence is felt and they will be greatly missed, they’ve made an everlasting impact on the practice of dentistry and touched the lives of countless colleagues, coworkers, patients, friends, and family.
Dr. Donald Couchman DDS, a talented, well-respected dentist of 48 years and DOCS member since 2001, sadly passed away last year on December 11th.
Born in Jacksonville, FL Dr. Couchman grew up in San Diego, CA where he attended San Diego State University and went on to graduate from Northwestern University School of Dentistry. Dr. Couchman proudly served in the US Navy as a Lieutenant and officer with the US Public Health Service before moving to Colorado Springs, CO, and establishing a successful dental practice of over 30 years.
It’s said Dr. Couchman, “never met a stranger,” as he’d often travel to countries in Africa, Latin America, and Europe, sharing his Christian faith and dentistry skills, lifting up the souls and smiles of those he met along the way.
Dr. Couchman is survived by his beloved wife, Cathleen, of 55 years, two daughters, Christine and Erica, 10 grandchildren, and one great-grandson.
Dr. Donald Couchman was a respected member of the DOCS community and loved by many who knew him. He will be greatly missed by those fortunate enough to have experienced his passion for helping others and dedication to his faith, family, and dentistry.
Dr. Michael Charles Bowman, DDS, a DOCS member since 2003, ran his own dental practice in Loudon, TN since 1976. Dr. Bowman was 69 years young when he sorrowfully passed away on March 4th of this year.
Dr. Bowman was a member of the American Dental Association, Academy of General Dentistry, Southeast Academy of Prosthodontists, International College of Dentistry, and President of the American Endodontic Society. He was a devoted father, husband, son, brother, and uncle. Dr. Bowman loved to travel and had a gift for making friends everywhere he went. Dr. Bowman is preceded in death by his wife, Carolyn, and survived by his son, Dr. Jason Bowman, and daughter Jennifer Bowman.
The contributions Dr. Michael Charles Bowman made to the dental profession will live on as his lasting legacy, but he will remain missed by those who knew and loved him dearly.
Dr. Richard Plasch, DDS, from Hayward, CA, and a DOCS member since 2000, sadly passed away on March 15th of this year. Dr. Plasch was born in La Crescenta, CA but moved to the Bay Area via UCSF Dental, where he married Donna Hale, during dental school. Dr. Plasch and Donna had two sons, Greggory and Douglas, and three beloved grandchildren, Savannah, Joseph, and Jason.
After graduating from UCSF in 1963, Richard entered the US Air Force as a Captain and worked as a dentist for two years in Fairbanks, AK. Many years later, Richard met and married his second wife, Peggy, and became a much-loved stepfather to Eric Knoth and Holly Newman, and later, step-grandfather to Kali and Avery.
Choosing Hayward, CA to open his practice his professional skills and personable demeanor kept his practice alive and growing for nearly 50 years with volumes of patients who shared their dental health and life stories. "He was just easy to talk to, and always genuinely interested." His often-mentioned dry sense of humor both comforted as well as surprised his friends, relatives, and patients. His favorite saying was, "because it shows when you smile" was his mark of excellence. Dr. Plasch and his team were always easy to recognize at DOCS events because they wore wonderful, matching shirts that said “Touch of Plasch” on them.
While Dr. Plasch retired in January of 2020, he continued to attend dental classes and read up on dental literature. He had a relentless passion for dentistry that kept him learning and improving his knowledge beyond the day he took down his final shingle. Dr. Plasch was known as a true professional, consummate learner, and gentleman who always had kind words to offer both friends and strangers.
"Whether it be to discuss how to ski double black diamond slopes, fish for trout, do intricate dentistry, or enjoy life and relationships, Dick was truly a "go-to friend" for many of us. I know we all had moments that he inspired us to be the best versions of ourselves in his confident, humble way."--Dr. Gary Imm, DDS