Jack Diener, 90, a dentist who was one of the first in the area to use a health maintenance approach to dental care, died of
congestive heart failure April 12, 2005 at his home in Chevy Chase. A longtime Chevy Chase resident, he also lived part of every
year in Pompano Beach, Fla.
Dr. Diener was born in the District and graduated from the old Central High School in 1930. He received his undergraduate
degree from the University of Maryland and his dental degree from Georgetown University. During World War II, he served two
years with the U.S. Army in the European theater, achieving the rank of captain.
He opened his clinic on Georgia Avenue in 1954. It was essentially an early HMO. Families affiliated with local labor unions paid
a flat rate rather than for individual services.
Active in numerous charitable causes, he performed dental surgery on a pro bono basis at Children's Hospital; served on the
executive board of Big Brothers of the District of Columbia; and founded Boy Scout Troop No. 12, in which Big Brothers
participated. He was co-founder of the Volunteer Dental Panel for the Hebrew Home of Greater Washington, serving on its board
of directors, and was president of the Maimonides Dental Society.
After retiring in 1975, he raised funds for the treatment and research of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's disease) and
founded the dental program for the Jewish Foundation for Group Homes. He also performed magic shows at Children's
Hospital, for the Boy Scout troop he established and for children around the world.
Dr. Diener was a sculptor of note. His bust of Yitzhak Rabin, the former prime minister of Israel, is on display at Rabin Hospital
in Petach Tikva, Israel; his bust of Judge John J. Sirica is at the Georgetown University law school library.
Survivors include his wife of 68 years, Idalee Diener of Chevy Chase and Pompano Beach; two children, Arlene Friedlander of
Potomac and Suki Munsell, who lives on a yacht out of Florida; six grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.