POTTS, James Walter
of The Villages - James Walter Potts, D.D.S., 85, passed away February 10, 2020, at the Leesburg Regional Medical Center. Jim was born September 9, 1934, in Detroit, MI, to the late Walter Raymond and Dorothy Dafoe Potts. He attended Catholic schools his entire life- St Matthews in Detroit, De La Salle High School and the University of Detroit (U of D). He obtained his D.D.S. degree from the University of Detroit.
At De La Salle (and many in grade school)- he met his lifelong friends. These friends and their families met every 4th of July at a cottage on Lake Huron. While many of these friends have passed, many of their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren continue to meet there today.
In middle school, Jim’s cousin worked in a dental office and Jim would go shadow the dentist. He loved it- he loved the people, the artistry & the science.
At U of D, he met the love of his life, Mary Ellen Goike while he was in dental school and she was in dental hygiene school. Jim loved to teach. He started teaching as a child when his mother brought him in to tutor other students in her classroom. Jim continued to teach throughout his life as a dentist at U of D, the Pankey Institute in Key Biscayne Florida, national and local dental meetings, as well as an invited speaker in dental society meetings in Canada, Ireland and Mexico.
Jim was in private practice in Southfield, MI for 17 years before he moved his family south to Hollywood, FL. There he worked as the Director of Education at The Pankey Institute, Advanced Dental Education Training. After 6 years of teaching, he decided to return to providing general dental care and opened a private practice in the Winter Park and Altamonte Springs area near Orlando practicing for 17 years before he retired in 1999.
His patients loved him. Some drove 4 and even 8 hours away to see him due to his gentle demeanor, honesty, and craftsmanship. He did most of his own dental lab work (which is uncommon these days) to get it just right.
Jim loved spending time with his wife, family, and friends. He also enjoyed making stained glass creations, giving many to family, friends and to the local hospice center. He also enjoyed computers, technology, science fiction, astronomy, and the natural world. He actually read the entire Encyclopedia Britannica from A-Z. Jim enjoyed boating for many years while living on Lake Weir in Ocklawaha, FL as well as the waters of Lake Huron, inland Michigan lakes, intercostal waterways of south Florida, and lakes and rivers of central Florida. He was often the life of the party with his wit and shenanigans. He rarely missed his kids’ sporting events and enjoyed attending his grandchildren’s events as well
James is preceded in death by his parents, son, Andrew Potts and his sister & brother in law, Mary Louise and Jim Ramsey. He is survived by his loving wife of 60 years, Mary Ellen (Goike) Potts; sons, David Potts (Renee), Matthew Potts (Tracy); daughter Adrienne Lynch (Will); seven grandchildren, Bryan Potts (Anna), David Potts (Anastasia), Genevieve & Sheridan Lynch, Wesley, Sadie and Nathan Potts; and two great-grandchildren Annalyn and Andrew James Potts.
A teacher even in death, he has chosen to donate his body to the Anatomical Board at the University of Florida & Center for Translational Research in Neurodegenerative Disease. He hopes it will help others treat or cure dementia. The family will have a Memorial Mass at St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church in Altamonte Springs, FL, Saturday, March 14, 2020, at 1 pm. Reception to follow 2-4 pm. Arrangements are under the care of Countryside Funeral Home, Anthony, FL.
In lieu of flowers, Jim would be honored if you went out of your way this week to help someone in need. Donations may be made to The University of Florida Center for Translational Research in Neurodegenerative Disease.
PO Box 100243, Gainesville, FL 32610
CTRND Fund # F017383 must be noted on the memo line.
To send flowers to James' family, please visit our floral section.