Twenty-five years after ‘Blizzard of ’93,’ 100-plus patients celebrate with staff
“That was supposed to be my first week of practice, but I had to cancel the first two days of patients because of the snow,” said Bowdle, a native of Cleveland (Bradley County), about his first and only practice after graduating dental school at the University of Tennessee Memphis in 1989.
A memorable storm in human form, more than 100 patients, came by to celebrate the practice’s 25th anniversary in the office parking lot, 11232 B West Point Drive, Thursday evening, April 19.
“In 1993 we had our first baby (son, Garrett), our first house, our first practice and our first dog,” Bowdle said about he and wife, Karen Bowdle. Younger son, Jackson Bowdle, was among those on hand for the celebration.
Saying he’s built the practice to “at least 2,500 patients” currently, Bowdle began in Farragut when Dr. Gumby Rule retired following his own long tenure in the same office.
Mike and Ellen Smith, former patients of Rule, stayed around to give Bowdle a chance.
“He (Rule) said, ‘I think you’ll really like the dentist that’s going to take over,’” Ellen Smith said. “I wanted to give Keven a chance. And he was wonderful — and he’s been wonderful ever since. I highly recommend him.
“I hope he has 25 more years,” she added.
Beyond the office, “We moved into the same little neighborhood … and they kind of became our kids’ surrogate grandparents,” Karen Bowdle said about the Smiths. “… God wanted these people in our lives.”
Moving to Farragut from Virginia, Darrel and June Kohlhorst became patients in 2000 after “we asked around, and Kevin Bowdle had the best reputation of any dentist locally,” Darrel Kohlhorst said.
“Dr. Bowdle has always been most accommodating for us and for our sons — we have four sons who have all been to Dr. Bowdle,” Kris Van Allen said about she and husband, Rick Van Allen.
“We now are starting to see the children of the children that we started with,” Dr. Bowdle said.
Avery Petty and his wife, Barbara Petty, have traveled from Lenoir City, starting as patients of Rule, who “just tried Dr. Bowdle out and we liked him,” Avery Petty said.
Chris Carter, a patient whose family is close to the Bowdles, said the
practice “probably has some of the lowest turnover in the business. His staff
stays with him because he takes care of them so well.”
“I love working with Dr. Bowdle and the girls,” said Lisa Myers, a front office employee of the practice, which also includes Linda Rose, Faye McKelvey, Robin Maples, Lisa McGuire and Jeannie Wilson. “… We treat people like they’re people, not just a number coming through the door.
“A smile goes a long way.”
About his staff, “They are the personality of the practice,” he said. “They are why I’m successful.
“One staff member has been with me since the beginning,” he added about Rose, who worked with Rule.
Overall, “I’m grateful to Farragut, because this is for them,” Dr. Bowdle said about celebrating 25 years.
“We’re blessed with so many good relationships.”