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David M. 'Doc' Stabins, DDS

April 25, 2021

Dr. David M. Stabins, DDS, known affectionately as “Doc” to his friends and family, passed away peacefully at home on April 25, 2021, in Watertown, NY. Born July 16, 1927, in Watertown, he was 93 years old.

David was the beloved husband of Patricia (Spicer) for 62 years and loving father of Julie Stabins (Greg Pilch) of Glendale, OH, Sara Freda (John) of Watertown, NY, Jessie S. Buck of Mt. Pleasant, SC, and the late Louis Jeffrey Stabins of Spring Hill, FL. He was also the amazing “Papa Doc” to five grandchildren: Louie, Joe, and Vera Freda, and Trey and Lee Buck. In addition, David is survived by numerous nieces and nephews whom he adored.

David graduated from Watertown High School in 1945. He then enlisted in the US Army, where he served as a medic and successfully competed on his unit’s golf team. In 1950, he graduated from St. Lawrence University, where he was a member of the Alpha Zeta Chapter of the Sigma Pi fraternity. He received his Doctor of Dental Surgery from the University of Pennsylvania in 1953, where he was a member of Delta Sigma Delta, an international dental fraternity. He then returned to Watertown to practice dentistry with his father, the late Dr. Louis Stabins, and there he operated a successful dental practice on North Rutland Street for over forty years. After David retired from dentistry, he focused on his hobbies and role as a husband, father, and grandfather. Some of his favorite activities included duck hunting at Horse Island, fishing on Lake Ontario, golfing at Ives Hill Country Club, vacationing in Siesta Key, Florida, and watching St. Lawrence University men’s hockey games. He was also an avid stamp collector, accomplished golfer, and a fan of Syracuse University Athletics and the New York Yankees. He enjoyed donning his tuxedo on New Year’s Eve and occasionally sporting his birthday suit during pool parties.

David was a Boy Scout, receiving his Eagle Scout badge at 16. He was the vice president of Watertown High school’s Hi-Y Club, manager of the ski team, and a member of the golf team. He also belonged to Watertown Noon Rotary, Black River Valley Club, Ducks Unlimited, and the Eastern Ontario Anglers Association. He was a member of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry and a member of the Grand Lodge of New York. David was a life member of the American Dental Association and a former president of the Jeff Lewis County Dental Society.

David was proud to have been baptized in the Catholic faith later in life by his dear friend, Father Steve Murray.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be made to the Northern New York Community Foundation, 131 Washington Street, Watertown, NY, 13601, or https://www.nnycf.org/giving/donate-online to establish the Stabins Family Memorial Scholarship, in honor of Dr. Stabins and his son, Jeffrey.

David’s family is forever grateful for the care their father received this year from his loving caregivers, Susie, Jessica, Roxy, and Mona. We would also like to thank Hospice of Jefferson County for their assistance during this difficult time.

Joint calling hours for David and his son, Jeffrey, are scheduled for Thursday, July 8, 2021, from 4:00 – 7:00 pm, at Cummings Funeral Service, Inc. in Watertown. Private Interment will be at the convenience of the family. Online condolences to his family may be posted at www.cummingsfuneral.com.


#15 Brian Rich 2021-05-04 10:41
As a kid, I don't think I ever missed a call from Uncle Dave for every birthday and, for that matter, for every time (significant or not) when i received some type of school honor. Despite the fact, to his great consternation, I told him that FDR was my favorite president at an early age, he encouraged me, followed my growth and always enthusiasticall y followed my education and career. I will always remember him as a great bartender, raconteur and lover of life (the famous "shore dinners," bloody marys and bullheads each spring are just some of my favorites), but also as a person uniquely confident in his own skin and yet willing to embrace new possibilities (as his baptism late in life reflected). A man for all seasons, I draw some solace in the fact that he entered his new journey in spring. God Bless You, Uncle Dave!
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#14 Margi Flood 2021-05-03 13:11
Dr. Stabins was my dentist until I left Watertown. I still remember the cotton balls on the old drill that were 'bunnies' so 6 yo me wouldn't cry. My deepest condolences. He was a wonderful person. Paddock Street just isn't the same.
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#13 Betsy Netto Thompson 2021-05-03 12:22
My deepest Sympathy goes to you, the Stabin's Family, Brian Rich & Family & all who loved Doc.
My thoughts & Prayers have/are with you.
Betsy Netto Thompson & Family.
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#12 Frank Farrell MD 2021-05-02 09:14
Dear Patti and Family,
Our sincere condolences to you and your Family.
Dave was a great Dentist, and a fine man!
Betty and I are praying for you and all the Family.
Frank and Betty
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#11 Christine Olszewski 2021-05-01 13:40
Our family will always remember how David would make duck sounds for Paul and Ashley which never failed to amuse them. He was an amazing individual and we were blessed to have him in our lives. David, you were one of a kind. My love goes out to Patty and the family.
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#10 Korleen Gould 2021-04-30 09:10
Patty, Ray and I would like to offer our condolences to you and your family on the death of your husband and father.. You faith in God will keep you all strong. Sincerely Ray & Korleen Gould
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#9 Marsha Davis 2021-04-29 17:15
Condolences to the Stabins family from a former patient of both David and his father. My dentist in Centreville, VA, has commented on the outstanding dental artistry by David I received over decades!
Marsha Davis Spiridigliozzi
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#8 Eunice S. Murray 2021-04-29 07:19
To the Stabins Family,
I want to express my sincere sympathy on the passing of Doc. I was one of his patients for years.. God Bless Eunie Murray
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#7 Theresa Jackson 2021-04-28 20:38
Rick and I are so sorry for the loss of Doc, and our hearts are with you all.

Theresa and Rick Jackson
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#6 Rosalind Morgia 2021-04-28 17:03
Patty and family:
We are so saddened by the death of your husband.
Please know he is in our thoughts and prayers as well as you and your family.
John and Rosalind Morgia
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