Having spent nearly 42 years standing above the dentist chair, Dr. Harold W. Wilson says he's ready to spend the next 42 standing above the ninth hole.
Wilson, a dentist practicing with Wilson-Hart-Bausback Dental in Slingerlands, has announced that he is retiring from the practice that he founded with Dr. Joseph Hart in 1976.
Wilson, who lives in New Scotland with his wife, Carol, said he wants to spend more time with his family and be able to pursue more of his favorite activities.
He sent out a letter in the beginning of the year to patients informing them of his decision.
What I alluded to in the letter was that I was going to spend more time with our family. Between my wife and me, we have four children and eight grandchildren in four different states, Wilson said. "We're going to spend more time playing golf and skiing. We still go out to Colorado every year for some skiing."
The Wilsons also own a home in Florida and can now split their time between there and the Capital District, as well as make the rounds in more frequent visits to their children's home states.
Before becoming a community icon, Wilson found his way to Bethlehem from New York City, where he was born and raised. Receiving his doctorate from the Baltimore College of Dental Surgery at the University of Maryland, Wilson served two years in the Navy, one of which was active service in the Vietnam War.
Always stressing the importance of continued education, Wilson completed the entire continuum of the L.D. Pankey Institute for Advanced Dental Education.
Whether you knew him as Dr. Wilson, or simply as "Hal," as he is known by friends and colleagues, he always greeted his patients with a smile, even if the patient was afraid to show him a smile of their own.