Dr. Pat Fetchero, a longtime Bel Air dentist and an associate professor of dentistry at the University of Maryland, died of heart failure Friday at Upper Chesapeake Medical Center. He was 91.
The son of Salvatore Fetchero, a coal miner, and Teresa Rota Fetchero, a homemaker, Pat Fetchero was born and raised in Clarksburg, W.Va., where he graduated in 1941 from Washington Irving High School.
Drafted into the Army in 1943, he served as a dental assistant with the Army Dental Corps in Europe. He participated in the Normandy invasion and the Battle of the Bulge. His decorations included a Bronze Star and the Belgian Croix de Guerre, which he earned during the Battle of the Bulge.
"It was the impetus having served as an assistant in the Army Dental Corps that made him want to become a dentist," said his wife of 64 years, the former Catherine Elizabeth Brown, who was a registered nurse at Union Memorial Hospital.
After earning a bachelor's degree in 1948 from West Virginia University, he earned his dental degree in 1952 from the University of Maryland.
From 1952 to 1953, he practiced dentistry at Spring Grove State Hospital Center before establishing a solo dental practice in the Lutz Building on Main Street in Bel Air.
In 1961, he joined two other dentists, Dr. Donald Russell and Dr. Francis Simansky, and established FRS Corp., a group practice. They purchased another Main Street building in which they located the practice.
Dr. Fetchero retired in 1971 from the practice of dentistry when he joined the University of Maryland School of Dentistry as an associate professor. He retired from the university in 1986.
He was a life member of the American Dental Association and Maryland State Dental Society. He had been a member and past president of the Harford and Cecil County Dental Association. He also was a past president of the Bel Air Optimist Club.
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Dr. Fetchero also crafted wildlife jewelry made of sterling silver, gold and gold cast bronze, which he sold at wildlife exhibits in Maryland, Delaware and Pennsylvania.
A resident of Bel Air for 62 years, he was an active member and volunteer at Bel Air United Methodist Church, 21 Linwood Ave., where funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday.
In addition to his wife, Dr. Fetchero is survived by two sons, Michael A. Fetchero of Cumberland and James C. Fetchero of Charlotte, N.C.; a daughter, Mary Jane Ciufo of Bel Air; a brother, James Fetchero of Wellesley, Mass.; and four grandchildren.