Dr. Steck concludes 29 years in Cardington
By Evelyn Long -
When Dr. David Steck sold his Cardington dental practice at 111 East Main Street to Family Dental Clinic on September 18, 2012, he concluded 29 years of practice in Cardington.
It was October, 1983 that the young dentist, a June graduate of The Ohio State University College of Dentistry, arrived in Cardington to become its first resident dentist since the early 1940’s. He brought with him his wife, Sandy, an experienced dental assistant who became her husband’s dental assistant, and their daughter, Nissa.
A Columbus native and a graduate of Whetstone High School, Steck had first considered a career in Electrical Engineering but after one year of school he decided the career was not for him. He later graduated from the Fisher College of Business Administration which was a great aid for him in his later dental practice. He chose dentistry after searching a library of books — “It was a choice that I have never regretted,” he said.
Following graduation from the dental school, he learned there were “too many graduates for internships available, so I just decided to hang out my shingle.” The search for that place to hang his shingle was narrowed after he learned that the city of Mansfield had six new dentists and Mount Gilead already had three. Dr. Brown, a Mount Gilead dentist and a professor at OSU, took him under his wing and suggested Cardington because of its lack of a dentist. Dr. Wm. Lee then offered the three empty patient rooms in his office at 117 East Main Street and that’s where Dr. Steck hung his shingle. He practiced from that office for the next six years, sharing the waiting room with Dr. Lee’s patients. Then in 1989, Frank Jessie decided to sell his business next door, at 111 East Main Street and Steck purchased it assuming the tornado disaster fund.
“From the beginning I’ve had a full day of patients, 12– 15 a day, he said. His practice included fillings, cosmetic dentistry, braces, extractions, etc.
“My late day was always Wednesday,” he said, ” so we could accommodate patients who worked in the day. For many years his office was open five days a week and Saturday mornings.
Taking its toll on his practice, though, was the “business end,” where the increasing demand for paper work was taking more and more of his time. “I have never tired of the practice of dentistry,” said the doctor.
“It’s been a whirlwind,” he said of his practice “I love being here — I would have been unhappy in Columbus. I like the small town — I don’t have to worry about my neighbors — the kids grew up in the dental office — I don’t regret it one bit.”
His career was interrupted in 2005 when he suffered a heart attack — but after one week in the hospital, he was back in his office, treating the dental needs of his patients.
Sandy has helped through the years as his dental assistant. She is a Groveport native who earned her dental assistant credentials from the Eastland Vocational School. She met Dr. Steck at a dental convention and the couple attend that annual convention each year not only to learn more and mingle with colleagues but to return to the event where they first met.
Active in the community — he belongs to the Masonic Lodge and the Cardington Rotary Club — they are members of St. John’s Lutheran Church, Windfall, where they serve in many areas.
Dr. Steck has also supported school groups, such as the school’s music boosters where he has sponsored the photo on the band calendar for many years.
In addition to Nissa, the Stecks are parents to Bart, a graduate of OSU and a resident of Tellury, Colorado and Moriah, a resident of Dublin and an employee of Nestles where she is a micro biologist and she is also a zoologist.
Nissa and her husband, Kevin Peak, have four children; Tyler, 12 and triplets, Gabi, Andru and Garrison, 6. They are students at River Valley School.
The Stecks plan to stay in Cardington. He will also work one day a week, Thursday, in the Family Dental Clinic. Patients who have questions are welcome to call him at his home, 419–864-6635.