H. Leonidas “H.L.” Keith Jr., 85, practiced dentistry in Wilmington for over 50 years

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H. Leonidas "H.L." Keith Jr.
H. Leonidas Keith Jr.

H. Leonidas Keith Jr., DDS, 85, passed away unexpectedly Tuesday evening, Jan. 10, 2017, at his home.

Known to all as H.L., he was born in Wilmington to Allene Coats and H. Leonidas, DDS, on April 15, 1931.

He is survived by his beloved wife of 56 years, Emeline Elmore Keith; sons, Harrison Leonidas (Sandi) Keith III, DDS, of Wilmington, and Brandon Elmore (Cathy) Keith; grandchildren, Samantha Bartlett and William Benjamin of Annapolis, Md.; sisters, Mary Ann Keith (Knox) Massey of Atlanta, Ga., and their children, Charles Knox (Jami) Massey III, Allene Elizabeth Massey of Savannah, Ga., and Louise Coats Massey of Chapel Hill; Allene Keith (Laurens) Wright of Wilmington; sister-in-law, Becky Elmore (Joe) Clement of New Bern, and their children, Emily Clement (Burton) Stewart of Raleigh, N.C., and Hunter Clement (Bill) Duggan of Suffolk, Va; as well as numerous great-nieces, great-nephews and cousins.

H.L. graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was a member of the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity. Additionally, he was a member of the third dental school graduating class at Chapel Hill. He practiced dentistry in Wilmington for over 50 years. H.L. loved dentistry, adored his patients and took great pride in his profession. His son, Lon, is now the third generation of the Keith family to practice dentistry locally.

H.L. participated in his community as a member of the North Carolina Dental Society. He served as president of the Fifth District Dental Society and was on the staff of Babies Hospital, New Hanover Hospital and Davis Nursing Home. H.L. was a member of St. James Episcopal Church.

He was a family man and so proud to pass on his passions and skills to his two sons and grandchildren whom he adored. H.L. loved the outdoors and found great joy in hunting and fishing with his sons and friends.

A private internment will take place in the St. Francis Garden followed by a reception for family and friends at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 14, in the Great Hall of St. James Parish.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina, P.O. Box 127, Lake Waccamaw, NC, 28450; or Lower Cape Fear Hospice, 1414 Physicians Drive, Wilmington, NC 28401.

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