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In Memoriam: Nijole A. Remeikis, D.D.S.

We are saddened to announce the passing of Life member Nijole A. Remeikis, D.D.S.

Dr. Remeikis taught full time at the College of Dentistry for over 40 years and served as head of the Department of Endodontics from 1979 to 1999. She continued to teach on a part time basis until 2004. Dr. Remeikis was known as a passionate advocate for the specialty of endodontics and had a unique talent for inspiring students and faculty. She was a great mentor and friend to many over her long and distinguished career at UIC. She was licensed as an endodontic specialist in Illinois in 1964 (the year endodontics was first recognized as a specialty by the ADA) and was the first woman to become Board certified by the American Board of Endodontics in 1970.

Over her teaching career, Dr. Remeikis received many significant honors awards, including election into OKU (national dental honor society) in 1959; Nell Snow Talbot Instructorship Award (1968); Faculty Loyalty Award from the Dental Alumni (1985); UIC Award for Excellence in Teaching, College of Dentistry (1995 & 1998); Fellow, International College of Dentists (1997); E. Lloyd Du Brul Faculty Achievement Award (1999); I.B. Bender Lifetime Educator Award (2007—this is the highest honor given to endodontic educators by the American Association of Endodontists); and Distinguished Dental Alumnus Award from the Dental Alumni Association of UIC College of Dentistry (2015). In addition, Dr. Remeikis served as a site visit consultant for the Commission on Dental Accreditation from 1990 to 1994 and as a member of the AAE Educational Affairs Committee from 1991 to 1995.

One defining characteristic that describes Dr. Remeikis was her desire not only to teach, but also to be a life-long student. This was perhaps best demonstrated by her forward thinking, planning, and fundraising efforts that led to the construction of a state-of-the-art microscope teaching facility in the mid-1990s at the UIC College of Dentistry at a time when many endodontic specialists did not see the value or need for microscopes. Dr. Remeikis correctly predicted that microscopes would become a standard and indispensable part of endodontic practice.

Dr. Remeikis will be remembered and missed by many.