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James Robert Plihal, D.D.S. 1932-2020


Last updated 7/16/2020 at 4:24pm

James R. Plihal, of Seattle, Washington, died peacefully at home, with his wife by his side, on Friday, June 26, 2020.

Jim was born to James and Maude Plihal in Table Rock, Nebraska. After graduation from high school in Pawnee City, he attended the University of Nebraska. In 1954, Jim fell in love and married Jo Ann Utermohlen of Stella, Nebraska. Upon graduation in 1956, with his D.D.S., he began his dental career in the U.S. Air Force at Moses Lake, WA.

In 1958, he transitioned to reserve status, and returned to Lincoln, to establish a dental practice and teach at the UN Dental School. In 1963, Jim and Jo Ann, now with three children, made a decision to move to Seattle. Jim initially established a practice in Ballard, but moved his practice to Edmonds a few years later, to be near the family home.

After Jo Ann's passing in 2004, Jim was re-married in 2007 to Sharon Schloredt of Seattle. He became an integral part of Sharon's family of four daughters, their spouses and children during the remainder of his life.

Jim had a calling for dentistry, following in his father's footsteps. He practiced for 60 years, until age 85. After selling his own practice, he continued to work part time for colleagues, and to teach dental assisting. An advocate of the dental profession and dental health, he served as President of the WSDA in 1983 and was a state delegate to the ADA. He was also active in the Snohomish County Dental Society, and with the American College of Dentists.

Christian faith and service were important to Jim. He was an active worshiper and was involved in choirs, boards, and committees at his churches. He most recently worshiped at Denny Park Lutheran. For many years he attended a men's bible study at his former Faith Community Church in Edmonds.

Jim was a fan of sports, music, nature, personal connections, family and dogs. He was a bird hunter, fisherman, and grew prize-winning roses. He loved watching Seahawks and Cornhusker football games. One of Jim's most cherished places was the family cabin on Orcas Island. There he was able to creatively combine his love of family, outdoor recreation, nature and good company.

Jim was preceded in death by his wife of 49 years, Jo Ann, his parents and three older sisters. He is survived by his wife, Sharon, and his children Joni, Judy, and Jim Jr., their spouses, and his grandchildren, Savannah, Ivan, Tucker, Jordan and Jacob, in addition to many nieces, nephews and cousins. He is also survived by his stepchildren Kim, Kelly, Kerri and Kristin, their spouses, and children.

A traditional memorial service will be held when larger group gatherings resume. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the University of Nebraska Dental School or Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

Please refer to the full obituary, located on the Beck's Tribute Center website at https://www.beckstributecenter.com/obituaries/James-Robert-Plihal-DDS?obId=15981431#/obituaryInfo.


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