Dr. Asher B. Carey Jr., 89, formerly of Selbyville, Del., passed away peacefully in his sleep Monday, Nov. 24, 2008. A graduate of Selbyville High School, he enrolled at Washington College and at the Baltimore College of Dental Surgery, the dental school of the University of Maryland.
In 1943, he was awarded a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree and the Maryland Oral Surgery Award of 1943. He was elected into the national honorary dental fraternity, Omicron Kappa Upsilon. He was then commissioned into the Dental Corps of the United States Army Air Force and served through World War II until 1946, attaining the rank of major. When the war ended, he served at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Along with Army personnel, his patients included the late Margaret Truman, daughter of then-President Harry Truman.
Carey returned to Selbyville and opened his dental practice in 1946. He practiced for 47 years, retiring in 1990. In recognition of his outstanding and meritorious service to dentistry, he was inducted as a fellow in the Royal Society of Health, the American College of Dentists and the International College of Dentists. He was a life member and former president of the Delaware State Dental Society. He belonged to the American College of Dentists and to the American Association of Dental Examiners. He was a Life-Fellow of the Pierre Fauchard Academy and a member of the Royal Society for the Promotion of Health.
A civic and community leader, her served on the Selbyville Town Council and was elected mayor. While he was mayor of Selbyville, the town brought the first lawsuit filed under the 1964 Environmental Protection Act, winning a landmark case against a Maryland poultry processing plant that fouled the air in nearby Delaware communities. He spearheaded the drive for the fluoridation of Selbyville’s town water. He also served on the town council of Fenwick Island, Del., where he summered for many years.
The governor of Delaware appointed Carey to the Delaware State Park Commission and to the Board of Delaware State College (now Delaware State University) in Dover, Del., where he provided mouth guards for every member of the football team.
Carey was instrumental in having the Howard Pyle Center, a youth services and recreation center in Roxana, Del., built and later served on its Board of Directors. He also served for many years on the Board of Directors of the Maryland State Bank in Bishopville, Md., and on the Board of Home Federal Savings and Loan Association in Millsboro, Del.
Carey was a 32nd degree Mason, a member of the Doric Lodge #30 in Millville, Del., and a member of the Scottish Rite. He was a life member of the Lodge Council Chapter Consistory in the Valley of Wilmington, an honorary life member of the First Hundred Club of Boumi Temple AAONMS of Baltimore, Md., a life member of the Selbyville Lions Club and served as its president; as well as belonging to the American Legion and the Elks. He was a member of Salem Methodist Church in Selbyville, where he served on the Board of Trustees and as Sunday School superintendent for 15 years.
Appreciative of the support he received upon returning home from the war, he repaid their kindness by donating his time, talent and treasure to church, town, educational institutions, community service organizations (particularly veterans, firemen and police) and non-profit organizations. He routinely donated his dental services to indigent patients. He believed in the power of a formal education and with that in mind, he and his wife donated their Selbyville home to the Selbyville Public Library in 2004.
Carey enjoyed the outdoors – ducking, hunting and fishing. He owned several race horses, including a trotter named Novacaine that enjoyed some success at the track. After retiring, he and his wife enjoyed living in Deerfield Beach, Fla., until returning to Sussex County, Del.
Carey is survived by his wife of 65 years, Pauline; a daughter, Nancy Carey, Esq., of Nahant, Mass.; two sons, Dr. Asher Carey III of Dover, Del., and Dr. Andrew Carey of Falmouth, Maine; and four grandchildren, Adrienne, Asher, Ben and Amanda.
A funeral service was scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 29, 2008, with interment in Roxana Cemetery, Roxana. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions to the Dr. Asher and Pauline Carey Youth Services Center, Selbyville Public Library, Selbyville, DE 19975; or to the Georgetown Branch Office of the Delaware Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Assoc., P.O. Box 625, Georgetown, DE 19947.