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Duane T. DeVore, 64, dentist, lawyer


Dr. Duane T. DeVore was a dentist whose specialty was oral surgery. He was a lawyer who specialized in medical and dental malpractice cases. He also was a baker and gourmet cook who spent countless hours making breads and fancy dishes. He was 64.

Dr. DeVore, who died Sunday of cancer at his Kent Island home, was described by friends and relatives as "eclectic" because of his many interests.

He pursued each with gusto.

Outside his professional careers, Dr. DeVore went scuba diving in the Caribbean, flew airplanes, rode motorcycles and raced his Porsche on tracks in Georgia.

He also was a collector and connoisseur of fine wines, and he tutored and read to disadvantaged city youths.

"He was kind of a Renaissance man. He had a huge range of interests. He had very keen insights," said his wife, the former Linda Meisel Rubinstein, whom he married in 1990. "He always said, 'Anything worth doing is worth doing to excess.' "

Dr. DeVore recently retired after a 39-year career as a dentist, oral surgeon and dental school professor. For the past 18 years, he also worked as an attorney with a downtown law firm.

During his dental career, he became known as an expert in forensic dentistry. He testified in murder cases throughout the nation, including the trial of Theodore Bundy, a mass murderer executed in Florida in 1989.

"He had a quick mind," said Dr. Gerald Gaston, an Eastern Shore dentist who knew Dr. DeVore for about 12 years. "He testified in analyzing human bite marks, all before the use of DNA."

The Chicago native attended Northern Illinois State College from 1949 to 1951 and graduated from the Loyola University College of Dentistry in 1956. He earned a doctorate in pathology from the London Hospital Medical Center at the University of London in 1971. He was a resident in oral surgery at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Atlanta and at the Research and Education Hospital of the University of Illinois in Chicago.

He had a private practice in Savannah, Ga., and was a professor and director of research in the department of oral maxillofacial surgery at the University of Maryland from 1971 to 1995.

He attended law school while he was a practicing dentist and graduated from the University of Maryland School of Law in 1979.

"He was just an amazing guy," said Charles Bernstein, Dr. DeVore's former law professor and later a colleague at the Baltimore law firm Bernstein and Sakellaris. "He was a man of intellect and integrity and modesty."

Dr. DeVore was a diplomat of the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, and a member of the American Dental Association, American Academy of Forensic Sciences, British Academy of Forensic Sciences and American Association of Dental Schools.

He was internationally known for his research and had written more than 50 scientific papers.

He was also known in smaller circles for his baked breads and dinner dishes.

Services were held yesterday.

In addition to his wife, Dr. DeVore is survived by a daughter, Kate DeVore of Boston; a brother, Jay DeVore of Edinburgh, Ind.; and two grandchildren.

Memorial donations may be made to the National Psoriasis Foundation, 6600 S.W. 92nd Ave., Suite 3000, Portland, Ore. 97223-7195.

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Pub Date: 5/14/98

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