VDA News

VDA Members Recognized in 2024 VA General Assembly Resolutions

The VDA is proud to share that two incredible ADA and VDA life members, Dr. Walter Claytor (HJ320) and Dr. Jack Cole (HJ167/SR48), were acknowledged in special resolutions during the 2024 General Assembly Session.  

Walter Claytor, DDS earned his dental degree from Meharry Medical College School of Dentistry the same year that his father, Dr. John B. Claytor, Sr., opened the Claytor Memorial Clinic to serve the predominantly Black community in the Roanoke neighborhood of Gainsboro. Soon after graduating, he opened a private practice in the Claytor Memorial Clinic alongside his father and siblings in 1949. He interrupted his dental career from 1951-1953 to serve in the United States Airforce. He was appointed to serve on the Virginia Board of Dental Examiners in 1970, becoming the first black person in southern states to hold this position. Dr. Claytor recently passed away on January 1, 2024 at the age of 98.  

Jack Cole, DDS attained his dental degree from what was then the Medical College of Virginia School of Dentistry. He practiced dentistry for over 50 years, beginning his career at the former Southwestern Virginia State Hospital in Marion before opening his own practice in Glad Spring and then Abingdon. He served the community until his retirement in 2008. Dr. Cole recently passed away at the age of 90 on January 11, 2024.

The General Assembly presented these resolutions to express their respect for the memory of Dr. Claytor and Dr. Cole.  Both pillars in their respective communities and in the Virginia dental community, they will be very missed by the VDA family.