Dr William R. “Bill” McCutcheon, 84, died Tuesday, December 7, 2021 in Morgantown, after a period of ill health. Bill was born December 28, 1936 to Beckley, son of Mabel W. and William M. McCutcheon.
Bill was a passionate learner throughout his life. After graduating from Woodrow Wilson High School in 1954, he received a Bachelor of Arts in Health Sciences from the University of West Virginia in 1959. He completed his dental studies in 1963 as a Fellow. from the third class of dental students at WVU, and in 1962 he became an inaugural member of the WVU chapter of Xi Psi Phi, the professional dental fraternity. Bill then went to the University of Michigan, where he obtained a Masters of Public Health in 1966. Later that year, Dr. McCutcheon became a faculty member of the WVU School of Dentistry, where he remained. 35 years until retirement in 2001. Throughout his career, Dr. Bill, as the children of the Morgantown neighborhood where he lived for many years called him, influenced dental programs at WVU and in the wider world of dentistry. He helped shape the rural health education program, started the remote site training program with Dean Biddington, and served as chair of the community health department at the WVU School of Dentistry. Bill was director of the First and Second National Conferences on Behavioral Dentistry and has been published widely in academic journals, including book chapters. He was a member of the West Virginia State Governor’s Dental Health Task Force and served on the Kellogg II Rural Health Initiative Grant Committee.
He was a human and civil rights champion at the WVU medical campus and hosted one of the first diversity trainings early in his career at WVU. Bill was a member of the American College of Dentists and the Pierre Fauchard Academy. He was Associate Dean at the WVU School of Dentistry and, in 2005, received the prestigious Distinguished Alumnus Award.
Bill was a dedicated Episcopalian and found strength and purpose through his faith. He was a founding member of St. Thomas Episcopal Church at Becket in Morgantown in 1979, served in the First Sacristy, and was a member of the St. Thomas Outreach Committee. Bill remained active with the church for the rest of his life.
Bill had a passion for social justice and awareness, and as such, he created two foundations to provide health care to underserved people in West Virginia. The We Care Endowment benefits patients, the community, private practitioners and dental students at WVU, by funding essential dental care and increasing dental literacy. Bill also established the St. Thomas at Becket Outreach Endowment with Your Community Foundation to meet basic health care needs through Milan Puskar Health Right, a primary care clinic that provides free health care to residents at low income uninsured or underinsured north central west. Virginia. Bill was a member of the Health Right Board of Directors from 2001 to 2016 and provided free dental care to Health Right clients for many years. In 2013, Bill received Health Right’s first annual Margaret M. Kearney Award for Excellence in Volunteering.
Bill was active in community concerns and often organized meetings with local politicians. He also enjoyed engaging in heated political discussions with like-minded friends. As an avid audiophile, Bill owned an extensive collection of vinyl records and CDs and enjoyed listening to opera and classical music.
Bill was predeceased by his parents and sister, Patricia M. Wathen. He is survived by his brother-in-law, Joseph F. Wathen; niece, Cynthia W. Sandoval (Peter); nephews, J. Mack Wathen (Nancy), Steven P. Wathen (Sandi) and W. Ford Wathen (Jim Schmidt); and three cousins, including Anne Louise Drake Maynor, with whom he was very close growing up.
A memorial service will be held at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Becket on March 26, 2022.