Any photos not otherwise credited are from the personal collection of Frank Passic, Albion Historian.
Morning Star, October 24, 2010, pg. 2
At Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo sits the Sindecuse Health Center, and at the University of Michigan on the east side of the State sits the Sindecuse Dental Museum. Both were $1 million gifts of the dentist and philanthropist, Dr. Gordon Hugo Sindecuse (1898-1993). Gordon was a 1917 graduate of Albion High School. His brother Earl graduated from Albion in 1915.
Gordon came to Albion as a boy in 1911 from Litchfield with his parents. His father Fred Sindecuse first worked here for the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railroad, and then was purchasing agent at Union Steel Products for many years. After graduating from Albion High School Gordon worked two years in Albion to save enough money to go to college, first to Albion College, and then to the University of Michigan Dental school in 1919, where he graduated in 1921. He began his dental practice in Kalamazoo in 1921, where he worked until his retirement in 1955.
Dr. Sindecuse made his fortune in the stock market in such firms as the Parchment Paper Company, the L. V. White Oil Company, and others. He lived at Gull Lake near Richland with his wife Elizabeth Moore whom he married in 1943. Dr. Sindecuse was born with only one good leg, and wore a prosthesis.
In the interim period between High School and College when he was saving money for the latter, Dr. Sindecuse wrote in his memoirs: "I still wanted to be a dentist but I didnít have the money to go to college yet. I worked on the railroad as a baggage master. I also worked at the Malleable Iron Company, Union Steel Products Company, and the Hayes Wheel Company."
"When I was a baggage master, we had a carload of sheep that froze to death. The railroad unloaded them in a heap. That was 1915, and after school let out I took the wool off the sheep and sold it for $70."
"The best place I worked for was the Hayes Wheel Co. [On N. Clark St, site of todayís Patriot Satellite]. It was piece work. I worked from 7 at night to 7 the next morning. The machine I was working on was run by one man during the day. However at night I ran two machines and was making good money. The boss called me in and said I couldnít do that. I told him I had to work hard to earn enough money to go to dental school. The boss changed his mind and let me work both machines. I always went back to Hayes Wheel during vacations. I earned enough money to keep me in school until my senior year. Grandma Salway lent me $600 for expenses that year, and I graduated in 1921. That graduation was the high point of my life."
Dr. Sindecuse died in 1993 in Sarasota, Florida, and is interred Mount Ever-Rest Cemetery in Kalamazoo next to his wife.
From our Historical Notebook this week we present the 1921 U of M graduation photo of Dr. Gordon Sindecuse, courtesy of the Sindecuse Dental Museum at the University of Michigan. Oh, Gordon didnít forget Albion College (where he began his college career) in his philanthropy. He gave stock to the College. Special thanks to Molly McGuire of the Sindecuse Dental Museum for information for this weekís article.
1921 U of M graduation photo of Dr. Gordon Sindecuse
All text copyright, 2020 © all rights reserved Frank Passic