S: Dr. Richard J. Cray's Love, Joy and Profession
BC: H A P P Y | R E T I R E M E N T
FC: Dr. Richard Cray's Retirement Celebration
1: Dr. Richard J. Cray graduated from Michigan State University then went on to attend the University of New Jersey School of Medicine and Dentistry. He completed his internship at Rochester General Hospital and pursued additional specialty training at Indiana University MSD and Periodontics. | From graduation to retiring, his smiles stay the same (even better as Nancy is always at his side.)
2: Rich played accordion at age 11.
3: "There is always something for which to be thankful." -Charles Dickens | High school graduation
4: Horse riding, playing accordion at young age | Hobbies
5: Reading, figure skating... Not only Rich loves to practice perio, he loves everything he does and lives up to the full extend. Now he's playing an electric accordion.
6: He went back to competitive Roller Skating when he was in his 40's after being away from it for 20 years. Yet he won his medals.
7: Rich loves dancing and is always a good dancer. He and Nancy won a dancing contest at Rocky Mount, NC. Any where he dances, there are always many ladies who are happy to be his dancing partners
8: Rich can sing. | He has a nice deep voice. A lot of people admired his voice, except one patient (you know whom, Dr. Cray!) During a surgery, he sang an Elvis's song. The patient on the chair used to be an Elvis imitator for years. That patient was too afraid of the sharp scalpel to protest then but talked about that all the time later.
9: Family | Growing Family
10: We Give Thanks | Friends &
11: Colleagues | Rich gets along very well with everyone. He not only befriended with his colleagues but also with his employees and some of his patients.
13: Rich has had a lot of fun with us, all the women around him.
14: Thanksgiving | Dr. Cray delivered Christmas presents to his referral dentists
15: He hosted Pig Picking parties every year for all his referral dentists, their staffs and families. Everyone loved good food, nice musics and winning raffle ticket prizes.
16: Staffs & their Families
17: "Real abundance is found when we join hands with those we love."
19: "Real abundance is found when we join hands with those we love."
20: Stacey & Wendy | Karen Halleman o k | We even dressed up the UPS man | Kathy- the Tooth Fairy
21: Diane & Cindy | A patient brought back some dresses from India for the office staffs | Catherine- the Cat Woman
22: Been a Great Boss | Dr. Cray is always a great boss. He's not only caring for his employees but their families as well. He treated his staffs nicely and respected them at the same time. He asked for their opinions before making his decision when hiring new staff members. Even when he wanted to bring Nancy on board, he asked Cindy for her opinion. He treated us on all the trips to Dental Meetings as fun and memorable no matter that we went to Myrtle Beach, Caribbean cruises or Washington D.C.
24: Showed his appreciation to the staffs
25: Staff Parties | Dr. Cray sang the song he wrote for Kathy at her 20th employment anniversary party.
26: Dr. Cray was teaching at UNC Chapel Hill from 1974-1976. Then he started his practice at the office on Walnut street, Cary in 1976-1983. He moved to his office at 1142 Executive Circle since 1983. Some long term patients told me they were so impressed when he came out to the waiting room to introduce himself. Being new to the office, they already felt comfortable and trust. | A skilled and caring Periodontist | Staff lunch at patient J. Comeaux's house
27: From your patients, " As I told Dr. Cray and Wendy, my staff and I try very hard to deliver a client experience that is exemplary. My experience in your office yesterday was exactly what we strive for, and I has floored by it! I have never had and experience, in the healthcare industry, that was such a stellar example. You are to be commended! Furthermore, it would be inappropriate for me to neglect commenting on Nancy and Wendy. I was immediately impressed when I saw Nancy delivering fresh coffee to the waiting area. And then she greeted me by name...without looking at her appointment book. This is exactly what I am striving for with my staff, make our clients feel important!. Then Wendy was the consummate professional......" T. Hicks | Wendy got high on N2O when testing equipment | Lorraine still smiled after her surgery
28: I came to Dr. Cray close to 10 years ago for a root resection on my #14. When I returned for my visit after the procedure, Dr. Cray informed me that he did not believe that the resection would save the tooth. We decided at that point to extract the tooth and do an implant. That’s when the fun started! I’m sure that Dr. Cray has had many memorable patients, and I think I may be a candidate. Due to unforeseen circumstances, I was a frequent visitor at the office. Unfortunately, I was not anatomically gifted in the mouth department, causing all kinds of problems. Though dental surgery visits aren’t usually pleasant, I could always count on Dr. Cray’s reassuring manner and always felt at ease. In fact, his entire staff has always been genuinely warm and caring. It was always obvious to me that people enjoyed working in that office and I attribute that to Dr. Cray. It’s not just his sunny personality that creates such an environment. It’s his work ethic, integrity, and respect for others. He leads by example and sets a high standard of care while always doing right by the patient. I never questioned his advice, I knew that I could always trust his judgment and knew that he would not take advantage of that trust. So, after ten years, I am definitely going to miss seeing Dr. Cray at the office. I will, of course, still be a patient there, but it won’t be the same. I guess he deserves a break, some time to travel and enjoy being with his family. So, I guess I’ll give him that! Dr. Cray – thank you for everything. It has been the most fun oral surgery a girl could have!!! Enjoy your retirement! J. Rost
29: Dr. Cray, Twenty years ago, I came to you with a hopeless tooth. Now that tooth still holds up the same bridge in my mouth. I'm very grateful to your professional expertise, gentle and caring manner. Most of all, your honesty and warmness made me feel comfortable and trust right from the first day at your office. Even after I moved to Charlottville, I don't mind coming back. You've saved my teeth for more than 20 years. Best wishes on your retirement! E. Carter. | “Dr. Cray – it won’t be the same without your Harrison Ford face, deep voice, and skilled hands at the practice! Enjoy retirement!“ J. Wheeler | Dear Dr. Cray, What I remember most about you is your willingness to humor my request to make "niced sounds" when checking my gums!! How many patients ask that? Also, I always had great faith in your expertise as a periodontist. P. Stubenrauch | Dear Dr. Cray, Twenty-seven years ago, I came to you with puffy, tender gums that bled every time I brushed. Looking forward, I figured I would soon be on a Gerber Baby Food diet! Now, here I am at 75, still eating corn on the cob! Thanks for keeping up with the new technology (as it came along). I sure needed it. It was fun as we grew old together! All the best for a great retirement! E. Stubenrauch
30: Nadine, Thank you for asking me to share my thoughts on the care that I have received from Dr. Cray over the last 5 - 6 years. I had, for 40+ years ignored my dental health because I really did not like to go the dentist and only went to Dr. Jimmy Honeycutt when I was in pain. Dr. Honeycutt finally convinced me that I was going to lose my teeth if I did not address my periodontal disease and referred me to Dr. Cray. I reluctantly started the long and very expensive process and after watching the video on the treatment and the various health problems that were related to periodontal problems I was convinced that I had no choice but to follow through with the plan. I quickly found that Dr. Cray and the entire staff at his office were very caring and great people. The several years process of root scaling and 5 implants was certainly very difficult but I am very very grateful to Dr. Cray and the rest of the staff for the treatment that I have received. I would have never thought this, but I have found at 62 years old that I don't even mind going every 3 month for periodontal maintenance. I would like to wish Dr. Cray the very best in his well deserved retirement and to express my gratitude for the excellent treatment that I have received from him. R. Watkins
31: To Dr. Cray, I will be forever grateful to you for saving my career. When I came to you over twenty years ago I was in danger of losing the teeth needed to play clarinet. Through your initial surgery and follow-up treatments, I'm still going strong and plan to play another ten years, at least. I have you to thank for making this a reality. Your warm personality, and periodontal expertise has been greatly appreciated and will be sorely missed. My best to you and Nancy. M. Cyzewski
32: To the Best Boss Ever In the Fall of 1985 I started as a full time hygienist, I was replacing Kelly. I only had 4 years under my belt as a hygienist, and I was very nervous about working in a Periodontal office. My interview with Dr Cray was over lunch and we talked about my interests and his interests, the office and the staff members he had at the time. I really liked his personality right away. He seemed like a fun loving, laid back kind of boss. I also met his assistant at that time, Ginger, she was very personable as well, I also could tell her and Dr Cray had a good time working together. So I was hired and learned all about how to treat periodontal disease and worked as a hygienist for 10 yrs, then the assistant position came open, and I asked if I could move into the surgical assistant position. Dr Cray granted me the wish. Now we are sitting side by side for hours at a time, sometimes we hummed to his oldie but goodie songs, other times we could have a few unkind words said between us, but we still loved to work together. Some of the staff would say we acted like brother and sister working together. There will be those Implant Surgery days, Stress is a great thing!, Here he comes asking all of us , Wendy, Connie, Tina, Renee or I if we had everything out and ready, Now why would he ask such a silly question? He would ask us over and over again, and of course we had everything set up and ready. As we assistants can attest too, he always said when he left the room during these surgeries, don’t forget to Over Angulate that x-ray. Of course this was a joke between us every time we had to take an x-ray. No matter what, he was an Artist performing his master piece not only in Implant procedures but during all of his surgical procedures.
33: Patients, or his staff knew of his dedication, care ,loyalty and professionalism, and in return he has long term patients and staff that have trusted him in their care and employment for 30 some years. Some have even become good friends to him and Nancy. To me that says it All ! Most of all we must not forget the Fun times together as a team. Let’s start with Friday afternoons after the end of a long week. Thanks to Tina, Jello Shooters of all flavors to enjoy. Or just a night out to have drinks and appetizers and plenty of laughs with all the girls. Dr. Cray loved to show he cared and wanted us to become a better team by taking us to Myrtle Beach Dental seminars for a few days to learn and have fun together. But the best times together were on our Seminar Cruises. All of us have Plenty of memorable moments from these cruises. We had education mixed with relaxation, laughter, fun, dancing and of course the most important of all, our beverage ,be it non alcohol or alcohol to keep us hydrated. So, I just want to say to Dr Cray Thank you sooo much for being my boss, and friend . Best wishes to you in your next adventure, your retirement! Love, Kathy
34: Well Rich, it is so hard to believe our friendship began with an interview six years ago. Although we only worked with each other for a year, our friendship keeps growing with each passing year. During the year we worked with each other, my admiration and respect for you grew professionally as did our friendship. It was during a difficult time for you of practice transition when I came on board. I always appreciated and respected you for always being able to separate our friendship from our professional roles. I know how difficult that year was for you watching all of the changes to a practice that you built and loved. Through all of the transition and turmoil, you always respected my administrative position and never allowed your friendship to influence my professional responsibilities. For that I am grateful.... | I am so proud and fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with such a caring, quality -oriented Dentist. The relationships you have developed with your patients is genuine and heartfelt. I know they will miss the exceptional care they have come to know. Dentistry is your passion and you inspired and energized all of us who had the good fortune to learn from you. Some of my fondest memories, are of the Friday morning huddles. Never have I had so much fun working on a Friday, that I truly would have worked for free. Our laughter was so contagious that even the sedated patients wanted to join in the fun. Thank goodness, Nadine never filed a sexual harassment claim against all of us. I remember all of us drinking shots of Petron with the Grotsteins at the Myrtle Beach Dental Meeting and then you skipping out of class with Nancy and I to sit by the pool, listening to the band and drinking more tequila. One of my fondest memories is seeing the love you shared with Nancy both in and outside of the office. It is rare that a couple can work together all day and then come home and still be crazy in love with each other.
35: Your journey has been guided by your passion for life, be it roller skating, dancing, the accordion, boating, reading a book or performing intricate dental surgery. I am honored to have walked the path with you and wish you, Nancy and your family many more magical moments on your journey. | The Dating Game- Myrtle Beach
36: To Dr. Cray, Somehow I believed Fate had sent me to your office. I filled in for your office for only 2 days; a month later I became one of your staff members. I don't know if you realized that Lisa ganged up with Nancy to get me in. When Nancy called me to set up an interview with you, she said, "Don't worry. The job is yours." Who would imagine how easy it was to get a hygiene position in your office? At first, there were some moments I was not happy with how you handled things. Again, Nancy & Lisa made me feel better. I thought you were testing my patience, which I have a good resource. Then I felt your warmness, your consideration, your kindness. You won me over (but I still have a soft heart for Nancy.) It is said that behind a successful man, there is a great woman. Nancy is not only behind you, she is next to you all the way. | Thank you for being a great Boss for over 6 years I've been working at your office. Thank you for taking good care of my husband, Tien, with his implants. Even I have to put up with all kind of jokes on Friday huddles (I've learned how to tolerate them,) I love you all. You and Nancy are always down to earth and give us respects. Still remember Karaoke parties at my house; you love to sing more than to eat. You have a lot of interests with so much energy. I know you will enjoy your retirement but you will miss your clinician life. (Just do not drive Nancy nuts, please.) Thank you for trusting and respecting my hygienist's skills and judgement. That was a great compliment from a periodontist to a hygienist. All the best to you and Nancy, Nadine Nguyen
37: Practicing retirement
39: Happy Retirement, Dr. Cray! Nancy still finds a good support to lean on. Be strong!