OBITUARY

Clement "Pete" S. O'Meara

December 9, 1923October 11, 2018

Clement S. (Pete) O’Meara was born to Agnes and Michael O’Meara in Parnell, Iowa on December 9, 1923. He passed away October 11, 2018 at his home in Ankeny with his children by his side. Pete lived a long and accomplished life, both personally and professionally.

Pete grew up in the Parnell-Millersburg area. Lessons learned from his family, schools, sports, and life on the farm forged his belief that education, relationships and hard work were the pillars of life-long success. He graduated from Millersburg High School in 1942 knowing he wanted to be a dentist and with a plan to accomplish it. A few weeks later he volunteered for the Army Air Corps and continued his education where he was based, attending Pomona Claremont College in California, the University of California at Berkley and the University of Oklahoma A & M (Oklahoma State University). He left active military service and went into the Naval Reserve in 1946 after being accepted to Creighton University. While completing his undergraduate degree he met Jean Elizabeth Stephen and they married in 1948. Following completion of his undergraduate degree he was accepted into the Creighton University Dental School and in 1951, graduated with his DDS. Still active in the Reserves following graduation and with two small children, he was transferred to Bethesda, Maryland, then to Portsmouth, Virginia where he served as the Dental Officer on the USS Cadmus R14. During this time Pete and Jean added two more children. He left the service in June 1954.

He moved to Des Moines with his family following discharge and joined his brother Don in private dental practice located in the old Bankers Trust Building. In 1959, with then 6 young children, he decided to obtain a higher degree and enrolled in the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. He completed an advanced degree in Orthodontics and returned to Des Moines to establish his first Ortho practice in the Equitable Building. In 1963 he and his partner decided to leave downtown and open their second Ortho Office on 39th Street in Des Moines. By 1964 the last two of his eight children were born. By 1966 his dental practice had outgrown the current site and he opened a satellite office on SW 9th Street. In 1968 he built one of the first dental group practices in Iowa where various areas of specialty were offered within the same practice. Also, in 1969, while practicing orthodontia part-time, he became an adjunct professor at the University of Iowa School of Dentistry, commuting each week until he resigned in 1974. Pete applied his experience of administrating dental practices and teaching in the graduate college of Dentistry at the University of Iowa when he joined Delta Dental Board of Directors in 1970. Shortly thereafter, he became its President and CEO. Also, during that time, he was a member of the Iowa Dental Association, serving as President of the Des Moines District and Chair of several select committees. In 1975 he remarried to Connie Wylder who he met while serving together in the Iowa Dental Association. Pete continued to practice dentistry part-time until 1988 when he “retired” to continue his work at Delta Dental where he remained until 2001.

Pete was active in many areas beyond dentistry. Throughout his life, he was a leader in the Catholic Church on both the parish and diocesan level. He led with his daily attendance at mass and his efforts to promote parish financial stability and educational excellence. He contributed endless hours of service for the betterment of parish life. While a member of Sacred Heart Parish he was a Diocesan Trustee, Chairman of the Building Committee and President of the School Board. He supported St. Ambrose Cathedral as Chair of the Finance and Building Committees. While a member of All Saints Parish he was Chair of the Pastoral Council. He excelled at developing property, designed and built his dental practices and multiple office buildings in the greater Des Moines area. He participated on community agency boards and City of Des Moines committees.

Throughout his life he was progressive in all ventures including his approach to dentistry, business, church and education administration. From the time he was in the primary grades until far past his final retirement in 2001 he regularly received written accolades, awards, commendations and letters recognizing his personal accomplishments and commitment. Yet nothing surpassed his receipt of a sealed certificate issued by Governor Tom Vilsack proclaiming June 1st 2001, as “Dr. Clement S. (Pete) O’Meara Day.” This certificate was issued for his life-long commitment to the State of Iowa and the oral health of all within it; his contributions to the dental profession including serving as Trustee to the Iowa Dental Association, Consultant to the American Dental Association, Delegate to the American Dental Association; his unsurpassed passion that all have access to quality dental care; and his 40-year devotion to unselfishly giving of his time and energies for the improvement of dental care in Iowa. Pete was proud of many things in his life; his military service, his professional accomplishments, his friendships and his family. Until shortly before his death, he loved to reminisce about his life on the farm, his siblings, all the friends he met over the years, what each meant to him, and time spent with his family.

He is preceded in death by his parents and brothers Don, Bill and Cyril. He is survived by his wife Connie, his sisters Mary and Helen (John), his brother Hugh (Irene); his children Stephen (Valorie), Mary (J.), Lynda, Kathy, Nancy (Bob), Kevin, Brian, and Chad (Julie); his stepchildren Michelle (Brett), Shari (Tim) and Doug; his 25 grandchildren, 35 great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.

A celebration of Pete’s life will include a visitation to be held at the Ankeny Funeral Home on Monday, October 15, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m., followed by a rosary at 7:00 p.m., and a service on Tuesday, October 16 at 10:00 a.m., at All Saints Church in Des Moines.

In lieu of flowers donations can be sent to Catholic Charities of Des Moines.

  • PALLBEARERS

  • Heather Owens, Casket Bearer
  • Erin Frederick, Casket Bearer
  • Matthew Bennett, Casket Bearer
  • Sean Davis, Casket Bearer
  • Quinnlan O'Meara, Casket Bearer
  • Rory O'Meara, Casket Bearer
  • Patrick McIlhon, Casket Bearer
  • Kevin Michael O'Meara, Casket Bearer
  • Stephen O'Meara, Honorary Bearer
  • Mary Bennett, Honorary Bearer
  • Lynda O'Meara, Honorary Bearer
  • Kathleen McIlhon, Honorary Bearer
  • Nancy Caylor, Honorary Bearer
  • Kevin O'Meara, Honorary Bearer
  • Brian O'Meara, Honorary
  • Chad O'Meara, Honorary Bearer

Services

  • Visitation Monday, October 15, 2018
  • Rosary Service Monday, October 15, 2018
  • Mass of Christian Burial Tuesday, October 16, 2018
REMEMBERING

Clement "Pete" S. O'Meara

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Dennis and Paula Johnson

October 14, 2018

We were very fond of Pete. Dennis worked with him , and he was orthodontist for our oldest daughter, Laura. He did so many good things and was so busy. We hope he's having a good rest.

Dennis and Paula Johnson

Joe and Jackie Carey

October 14, 2018

Steve,
Our prayers are with you and your family at this time. Your father sounds like he was an amazing man. May he be rewarded for his commitment to serving others throughout his life. God bless him and may he rest in peace.
Peace and prayers,
Joe and Jackie Carey

FROM THE FAMILY