The Academy Regrets of Announce the Passing of Past President Michael Cripton of Canada
Dr. Michael and Nancy Cripton in happier times
Drs. Richard Kozal and Mike Cripton representing PFA at the 1975 FDI Congress
PFA President Cripton running a Board Meeting in 1975 (center) with Secretary General Richard Kozal (left) and President-elect Nicholas Saccone (right)
President Cripton with legendary General Robert Shira and Presidentelect Nicholas Saccone in 1974
Dr. Cripton (second from the right) with PFA Officers at the 100th Canadian Anniversary
Dr. Michael J. Cripton, 73, died on March 27, 2008, just before noon after a protracted illness. This illness kept Dr. Cripton from serving on the Foundation Board of Directors in recent years. But prior to that time, Mike was an outstanding leader in his community, in his profession, in organized dentistry, and in the PFA. In the early 90s, Dr. Cripton began serving on the International PFA Board of Trustees as the Canadian Trustee. Because of his outstanding service, he was then selected by the Board of Trustees to start in the Chairs to become the first non-U.S. PFA International President for 1994-95. Following his tenure as PFA President, Dr. Cripton was selected to be the first non- U.S. Foundation Trustee, a position he continued to serve in until his recent retirement.
Dr. Cripton started out in life in Montreal, the son of John and Veronika Cripton. His father was a Ukrainian immigrant who died when Mike was 9, and the family dissolved. Michael Cripton then entered Weredale Boys Home where he excelled, attaining a supervisory role there until his graduation from McGill Dental School in 1957.
Dr. Cripton then entered private practice in Fredericton where he met his wife, Nancy. After their marriage, they moved to Montreal where Dr. Cripton obtained his orthodontics degree. He established his orthodontic practice in Moncton, only the second orthodontist in all of the Province of New Brunswick in 1961. He then also embarked on a career in organized dentistry serving in many national and international capacities such as President of the Canadian Dental Association, of the New Brunswick Dental Association, of the Canadian Association of Orthodontists, and of the Royal College of Dentistry of Canada. He was a Delegate to FDI, and he chaired the Atlantic Section of the American Academy of Dentists.
Dr. Cripton served his community with the same vigor and spirit as he did his profession. He was President of the Moncton Boys Club and Chairman of the National Council of Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada. He was active in fund raising, especially for the Easter Seals. He was President of the Moncton Rotary Club with a perfect attendance record for 43 years. He served as District Governor of the Rotary and was a Provincial President for the McGill (University) Alumni Association. His sporting passion was hockey and served on the Executive Committee of the New Brunswick Hawks. He was Chairman for the 8000-seat Moncton Coliseum Commission. He co-founded C103 FM radio in 1988.
Dr. Cripton received many national and international awards, many from PFA, the Canadian Dental Association, and orthodontic associations, including the Queen's Silver Jubilee Medal in 1977, and the Builder of Youth Award from the Moncton Boys and Girls Club. Mike is survived by his lovely wife Nancy of 50 years, his four children, and his beloved seven grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, donations are asked to be made to the Alzheimer Society of Southeast New Brunswick.
When informing the PFA leadership of her husband's passing, Nancy related that he was surrounded by those who loved him dearly. "We have been saying goodbye to him for a very long time, and our children and I are so thankful that his journey is over. He is finally at peace."
Canadian Trustee Barry Dolman commented that the Canadian dental profession has lost two very special people within a very short time, PFA Fellows Michael Cripton and Jardine Neilson, the dynamic former CDA Executive Director, to Alzheimer's disease.
The second non-U.S. PFA President Kevin Roach stated, "Mike Cripton was an astute chairman, a brilliant leader, a good friend and mentor, an extremely generous and loving man." Dr. Roach had nominated Dr. Cripton for the Elmer Best Award which he received at the 100th Anniversary Celebration of the Canadian Dental Association in Montreal.
Past PFA President Gary Lowder expressed his condolences in saying, "May our good memories of Mike Cripton soften our loss and sadness at his passing. When Mike spoke, people listened." Current PFA President Jim Englander remembers Mike Cripton as man of class.
"In his quiet way and through his leadership, the mission statement of the Academy grew to tell the dental profession what Fellowship in PFA stands for and why we exist. He introduced to the Academy the concept of long-range planning centered on prudent financial management and continued membership growth. He truly will be missed."