Donhiser DDS, William J.

Donhiser DDS, William J.

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William “Bill” Donhiser

RAPID CITY | Dr. William “Bill” Donhiser passed away on March 21, 2020 at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota following a brief battle with Acute Myeloid Leukemia.

Bill was born in 1957 to James and Lois (Cowen) Donhiser in Leonardtown, Maryland. He was the oldest of four children.

Bill was a 1975 graduate of St. Mary’s Ryken High School in Maryland and a 1979 graduate of the University of Wyoming. He was a very proud alumnus of UW where he was a member of Alpha Epsilon Delta Premedical Honor Society and Sigma Chi Fraternity. He loved his years there and throughout the remainder of his life could be seen wearing hats, t-shirts and jackets with the Cowboy Joe logo.

He continued his education at the Medical College of Virginia School of Dentistry graduating in 1983 with his Doctor of Dental Surgery Diploma. Following dental school Bill completed a Pedodontic Residency program at The Children’s Medical Center of Dayton, Ohio. He studied there from 1983 to 1985. Following his licensure he moved to Rapid City, SD, where he practiced Pediatric Dentistry from 1985 until 2017. Bill was the perfect example of someone who found joy in his work. He loved being a pediatric dentist and for the better part of 35 years took great pride and joy in his work. 

Although Bill was an extremely hard worker he also poured his soul into many hobbies. To say Bill was a voracious reader is an understatement. He read over a hundred books a year. He read books on a variety of topics such as business management, goal setting, biographies of notable people and many works of fiction. He was a life-long learner always researching new things.

Bill was also an accomplished skier having skied throughout many resorts in the U.S., Canada and multiple countries in South America. He enjoyed Heli-skiing in Canada and skied one time in New Zealand. Skiing was Bill’s lifelong passion. Having learned how to ski from his Dad, he passed on that passion and knowledge to his three children.

Volksmarching was another activity Bill enjoyed doing with his family. He completed more than 450 events in his lifetime and walked over 4,500 kilometers. He was on the board of Black Hills Volksport Association at the time of his passing.

Bill was a lifelong Episcopalian and a member of St. Andrews Church in Rapid City.

Bill played guitar, enjoyed music and loved both sport and luxury cars. He collected coins, stamps and first edition books signed by the authors. Bill led an interesting, generous and fulfilling life.

Bill was preceded in death by his parents.

Kathleen, his wife of 28 years, and three children survive Bill: James, 23, Liam, 21, and Fiona, 19. He is also survived by three sisters: Caroline (Bruce) Cain of Crownsville, Maryland, Grace (Lane) Keeney of Gillette, Wyoming and Jeanne Donhiser of Herndon, Virginia. Bill also had nine nieces and nephews and countless good friends.

The family is requesting that anyone with a humorous anecdote or simply an uplifting memory of Bill please email that remembrance to The family intends to share those memories at Bill’s Celebration of Life event that will occur sometime in the future. No date has been determined.

A memorial has been established in honor of Dr. William Donhiser through the Dakota Dental 4 Kids Foundation. Donations to the memorial will be used to provide dental care for children whose families cannot otherwise afford care. For anyone wanting to make a donation this would be an excellent way to honor Bill’s memory and his life’s work. Donations may be mailed to Dakota Dental 4 Kids Foundation/William Donhiser Memorial, 5509 Bendt Drive, Rapid City, SD 57702.

To plant a tree in memory of William Donhiser, DDS as a living tribute, please visit Tribute Store.

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