Probsts leave Fallon with mixed emotions
It was eerily quiet in his office as Dr. David Probst cleaned out his desk and packed boxes.
For the longtime Fallon dentist, his last day of practice not too long ago was mixed with joy and sadness. On one hand, his wife, Carole, and he were moving to Utah to be closer to their children and grandchildren. On the other hand, Probst was saying goodbye to his coworkers and Fallon, the Probsts’ home for 37 years.
David and Carole, who had been living on the East Coast while he obtained his degree in dentistry and then in Illinois for two years, decided to move west to be closer to her parents who had relocated to Northern Nevada.
“They built a home in Fernley, so we came to Nevada and looked around,” Probst said of their visit. “And then we came to Fallon.”
An opportunity arose when Probst discovered a dentist was selling his practice. Probst bought the business in 1976 and began to establish himself. Six years later, Rob Weed moved to Fallon with his family and became a partner.
Rob couldn’t have been a better partner,” Probst said of his friend. “We practiced together, went on vacations and went fly fishing together. Our wives were also close friends.”
Ironically, their paths crossed many years before the Weeds arrived in Fallon. Probst, who was on a mission for the Church of Latter Day Saints in the Rochester, N.Y. region, met the Weed family at a church event.
“Rob’s family came up from Delaware to see a pageant,” Probst said.
For 30 years, the two dentists worked together until Rob and Becky Weed sold their half-share of the business to Cary Jacques before heading to Africa to do work for the LDS Church. Then, recently, Probst sold his share to Jacques.
For David and Carole Probst, though, preparing to leave Fallon was emotionally difficult.
“We’ll miss all the friendships we made,” David Probst said. “But we’ll always consider ourselves Fallonites.”
He said one of their daughters is upset knowing that their Fallon home is no more.
Likewise he said Carole also has mixed emotion.
“She has been planning on this for a long time, but she decided it was the right time,” David Probst said.
He said his father-in-law died 12 yeas ago, but his mother-in-law, who is now 88 years old, will relocate to Utah with the Probsts.
The Probsts have four daughters — Erica, Erin, Megan and Alyssa. Erin and Megan live in the Provo area while Ericka lives in Roseville, Calif., and Melissa now resides in Dallas.
A native of Ogden, Utah, David Probst wanted to help people, and he felt dentistry was a good way to make a difference. He applied to Georgetown University’s dental school and was accepted. He began his studies in the fall of 1970. In the meantime, Carole accepted a teaching position at one of the high schools in northern Virgina.
During his second year of dental school, David Probst received a letter from the U.S. Navy asking him if he would be interested in a military scholarship that would pay him for his final two years. David Probst accepted the scholarship, and once he graduated from Georgetown, he and Carole packed their belongs and headed to Naval Station Great Lakes north of Chicago where served for two years.
Ironically, it was also the Navy that brought the Weeds to Nevada. Rob Weed had also received a Navy scholarship to practice dentistry, and his assignment eventually broguth him to Naval Air Station Fallon.
Once the Probsts become settled in Utah, David Probst may seek a Utah license to practice dentistry.
“Carole has been after me to get a Utah license but I haven’t bothered,” Probst said, grinning. “Though I might contact the Utah Dental Board for someone who wants to do charitable-type work.”
In looking back at his career, David Probst said he enjoyed dentistry and working with his patients. One patient, though, will always have a special place in his heart.
“I remember an elderly woman I treated,” Probst said. “She has some poor looking front teeth. I did a lot of work on them and got the teeth looking better. Every morning when she woke up, she looked in the mirror.”
The patient told Probst what she said every time she looked in the mirror and smiled.
“I’m thinking of you.”