Keith F. Anderson, 89, a longtime Philadelphia dentist who was known for helping patients even if they couldn't pay, died Wednesday, Dec. 16, of complications from Parkinson's disease.
Dr. Anderson also worked at Temple University's dental school for 25 years and enjoyed mentoring students, said his son, Keith Jr. He was a professor of dentistry and later became director of emergency services at the dental school.
He continued his private practice while teaching.
"If you came in and you didn't have any money, he would still fix your teeth," said Anderson, 52, an IT project manager for Verizon. "I used to get mad at him. I said, 'Dad, this is not a charity. This is supposed to be a business.' "
But Anderson said his father's work ethic for 40-plus years had a profound impact on him. "It taught me some humility," he said. "It taught me to be good to people, no matter what."
Born in New Rochelle, N.Y., Dr. Anderson was drafted into the Navy and served in World War II. He got both his bachelor's and dentistry degrees from Howard University.
His wife, Evora, died in 1972 of a heart attack, leaving him to raise the couple's four children on his own, the oldest then 14.
"He pushed for education and discipline," Keith Jr. said. "When I look back at how I am today, I really do owe it all him."
The family lived in Philadelphia until 1973 and then moved to the Main Line, he said.
Dr. Anderson began his dental practice in the 1970s. He had offices on Tabor Road across from Einstein Medical Center and on Germantown Avenue in Mount Airy. He continued to work into his 80s, his son said.
Dr. Anderson enjoyed jazz and the opera. He belonged to the Omega Psi Phi fraternity and had been president of Chi Delta Mu, a professional fraternity for students in allied health professions.
In addition to his son, he is survived by children Sydney and Lisa Sankara, four grandchildren, one great-grandchild, two brothers, and a sister.
Services will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 23, at Milestone Events L.L.C., 600 E. Market St., West Chester.
Donations can be made to MainLine Health Home Care & Hospice, 240 Radnor Chester Rd., Suite 100, Radnor, Pa., 19087.