Dr. Donald Verrier, a prominent Portland dentist and founder of Portland Dental Health Care Center, died June 9 after a period of declining health. He was 81.
Dr. Verrier was remembered by his family Thursday as a great dentist and businessman who had a passion for life and adventure.
A longtime Portland resident, Dr. Verrier opened his practice on Auburn Street in 1978. He practiced dentistry for nearly 50 years.
His daughter, Michelle R. Verrier-Davis, practiced with her father and purchased the business in 2006 with her husband, Dr. Peter Davis. She reflected on his career Thursday, saying he was a great dentist who loved his patients.
“He was all about his patients,” she said. “He enjoyed making them smile.”
Dr. Verrier grew up in Biddeford, graduated from St. Louis High School and from Georgetown University School of Dental Medicine in 1965. Soon after, he was commissioned as an Army captain in the Dental Corps during the Vietnam War. He was stationed in Schwaebisch Gmund Germany, where he met his wife, Sieglinde Verrier.
The couple were married for 52 years and raised three daughters.
His daughter said he was a great father and mentor. She entered the profession, as did his other daughters, Jasmin Boucouvalas of Saco and Nicole Foster of Falmouth, who are both dental hygienists.
“At 12 years old, we all were the assistant’s assistant,” Verrier-Davis said. “I worked with him all day. It was awesome. I learned so much from my father that I became a better dentist than just about everyone. He taught me things … he taught my colleagues things that they would never have known without him.”
Mr. Verrier worked long hours, six days a week throughout his career. He retired in 2013 and spent his final years traveling. His daughter said he pursued a bucket list of 50 to 75 places to travel and things to do.
“When he retired, we went on all these adventures,” his daughter said, recalling the day she told him they were going to Applebee’s for riblets. “We kidnapped him and brought him to the airport. We flew to Aruba. We had reservations on the water. As we were walking across the white sand to our table on the beach, he cried. It was crazy stuff we did.”
Dr. Verrier was remembered for his love of family and community. His daughter reflected on his generosity.
“My father was such a giving man,” she said. “He would help people without them knowing. He would donate to the boxing club every year. My father would tell people he traded his car in, but in reality, he gave his cars away. If he saw someone who couldn’t pay for something, he would pay for it. He did this all the time.”