Well-known dentist remembered as man with many friends
Laid-back and easygoing, Terry Fine was among the Grand Valley’s best-known dentists and was a man with many friends and no known enemies.
Fine was shot to death Saturday morning in an apparently random attack in his front yard.
Fine had “one of the best practices in town for the last 20 years,” said local dentist Brandon Berguin. “It’s a terrible loss to the dental community. He always put his patients before his practice.”
“He really tried hard to be a good person,” fellow dentist Don Aust said. “He worked on relationships.”
A “very, very serious person,” said Jim Fleming, a friend, patient and one-time next-door neighbor, who said Fine never quite forgave him for not allowing Fine to pull his wisdom teeth.
“Terry is probably sitting in heaven right now cussing those caps he put on my wisdom teeth,” Fleming said. “And using graphic language.”
When Julie Gillis was deciding where to establish her practice, she interned with Fine, an experience that helped her decide to settle in Grand Junction.
“He cared about his patients and his staff, and he cared that I was doing well,” Gillis said. “He spent time to make sure that everybody around him was doing well.”
When outside the office, Fine was “laid-back and easygoing,” said friend Bill Sisson. “He always got himself in trouble.”
On a recent visit to Lake Powell, Sisson said, Fine was doing some boat repair in the water with a drill.
The drill was plugged into a 110-volt outlet.
“He was always showing us funny ways to do things he shouldn’t be doing, and he’d come out just fine,” Sisson said. “Terry had a knack of always being able to find a way out.”
Dentist Ken Perino worked with Fine for nearly a quarter-century. They never were in the same office, but by happenstance, their offices always were near one another’s, Perino said.
It was only Friday morning, he said, that Fine went to his office with an X-ray of a patient, wanting to consult with him, Perino said.
“We talked about it and made some decisions,” Perino said. “He had his patient’s interest in mind. That’s exactly what was happening.”