C. Moody Alexander once gave a dollar bill to a first-year dental school student after observing her walk into the building with her right foot.
“He told me to ‘Always remember to step in with the right foot and to always do the right thing,'” Lina El-Kashef shared on her Facebook page, thanking him for leaving his handprint on her career path.
“Because of you Dr. Alexander, we will remember to ‘do the right thing’, we will reach out to others, we will do everything with the passion you had for dentistry, and we will always, always, keep your presence alive,” she continued.
Alexander died Feb. 3. He was 86.
A funeral service is scheduled at 1 p.m. Monday, Feb. 12, at Highland Park Presbyterian Church.
Alexander was well known in the Park Cities and Preston Hollow neighborhoods, serving as an orthodontist to many children – some now adults – in our readership area, People Newspapers publisher Pat Martin recalled.
Pam Carvey, president of the Rotary Club of the Park Cities called him a “gentleman, gentle man, and a wonderful Rotarian,” saying that Alexander was part of the club’s team that started the Dentistry with a Heart program to provide free dental service to those less fortunate.
Alexander became an orthodontist in 1960 and started the legacy of orthodontists in his family.
His nephew shared on the Alexander Orthodontics Facebook page that “Uncle Moody” was the type of man who let his light shine and poured out the love of Jesus.
“He loved people like no other. The joy in his soul was infectious. His smile, firm handshake, and positive attitude affected literally 100s of 1000s over the course of his well-lived life. He deeply loved his wife and my cousins. He was the patriarch and spiritual mentor to the 50 or so of us in our immediate family. Above all, Uncle Moody loved God and wanted others to know the love of Jesus as he did.”
Alexander’s life began on the plains of the Texas Panhandle, in Amarillo. The son of Jenkins Charles Alexander and Geraldine Audra Smith, the 5th generation Texan played football at Amarillo High and gained a full scholarship to Texas Tech University, according to his obituary.
An injury cut short his football career, but as manager and assistant trainer of the team, his influence lived on: In 1954, when Tech played Auburn in the Gator Bowl, Moody was instrumental in establishing the beloved tradition of the Masked Rider, the mascot of Texas Tech which continues today.
Moody attended dental school at the University of Texas Dental Branch in Houston for four years and was active in student government. After receiving his DDS, he was accepted to specialize in Orthodontics for two more years, and then established a practice in Odessa in 1960.
In 1975, he was invited to teach at Baylor Dental School in Dallas. He accepted and moved his family there. After one year he became the Chairman of the Orthodontic Department and remained so for ten years, after which he returned to private practice and continued teaching at Baylor College of Dentistry (now Texas A&M College of Dentistry) part-time. During his tenure, he became especially aware of the first year dental students’ need for compassionate support.
Ultimately, with the help of other faculties, the program Great Expectations was founded, focusing on friendship and guidance for the new students from the older students, faculty and practicing dentists.
Alexander’s professional achievements include receiving the Yellen-Schoverling Award from the University of Texas Orthodontic Alumni for outstanding contribution to Orthodontics; the Martin Dewey Memorial Award by the Southwestern Society of Orthodontists; the Robert E. Gaylord Award for Excellence and Humanism in Dental Education; the Dentist of the Year Award by the Dallas County Dental Society; the Trail Blazer Award by the Texas Orthodontic Study Club; the Founders Award by the 26th graduating class of the Baylor Orthodontic Department; and Medical Volunteer of the Year from the Agape Clinic.
For 43 years, Moody invested deeply in Highland Park Presbyterian Church. He served as a Sunday School Teacher, Deacon, Elder, and member of many committees, but he especially enjoyed his role on the greeting committee. He also helped lead the effort to raise funds and establish Elena’s Children’s Park, a memorial park dedicated to all Park Cities families who have lost a child.
Moody lived life to the fullest: he even went skydiving on his 80th birthday, “George HW Bush style,” to the great amusement of his friends. Most of all, he invested in his family, who brought him an abundance of delight.
The love of his life was his wife of 59 years, Freddie, who helped get him through orthodontic school and then gave him three children.
Donations may be made to Lewy Body Dementia Association LBDA.org – 912 Killian Road, S.W., Lilburn, GA 30047; Highland Park Presbyterian Church – HPPres.org – 3821 University Blvd., Dallas, TX 75225; or The Agape Clinic – theagapeclinic.org – 4104 Junius Street Dallas, TX 75246.