Son joins father at Waterloo dental practice

Dr. Graham Beard

There are two Beards practicing dentistry in Waterloo these days – possibly the first such father-son team in the city’s history.

Dr. Daryll Beard and his partner, Dr. Charles Holmen, have practiced in Waterloo for many years. They went to the Southern Illinois School of Dentistry together, and after Dr. Holmen returned from a stint in the Air Force, they came together again. Their office is at 208 Bradford Lane.

Recently, they were joined by a second Dr. Beard — Dr. Graham Beard, DMD – also a graduate of the Southern Illinois School of Dentistry, 30 years after his dad and Dr. Holmen.

Dr. Graham, as they call him in the office to reduce confusion, was born and raised in Waterloo. He is absolutely “from home.”

A 2005 graduate of Waterloo High School, Graham Beard played football, basketball and baseball in high school.

“The summer after I graduated from high school and my sports life was ended, it just seemed to be right to come to the office with my dad every day,” he said. “I started out trimming the bushes outside. I also put up shelves downstairs. My dad built this office and knows every inch of it – so that’s how I started.”

Graham went to Missouri State University in Springfield before transferring to Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. He then transferred to the Southern Illinois University School of Dentistry, completing his doctorate and becoming a licensed dentist in September 2013. He told of assisting his dad and Dr. Holmen during summers while in college, performing work from maintenance to sterilizing equipment.

“I watched a lot, too. My dad was a strong, positive influence on my becoming a dentist,” he said. “Dr. Holmen was too.

“In many ways, it was like having two parents. They both taught me by their examples, to treat patients as I would want to be treated. That philosophy became mine as well.”

Graham Beard has a soft spot for children. He noted that at the end of his first year of dental school, he was qualified to clean teeth for children and was allowed to do so here.

Today, the younger Dr. Beard participates in a program called “Miles of Smiles,” visiting schools to provide dental care for Medicaid-eligible youngsters who otherwise might not have access to dental care.

“But I like adults, too,” Graham said, adding, “I just like people.”

Graham Beard is firmly entrenched in Waterloo, having bought a house just south of town right before he graduated from dental school.

It’s been a hard path from trimming the shrubbery to completing a doctorate in dentistry. But Dr. Graham Beard evidences both a firm foundation and vision of his future.

And he comes by it both naturally and by hard, diligent work. To set up an appointment, call 939-7181.

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Alan Dooley

Alan is a photojournalist -- he both shoots pictures and writes for the R-T. A 31-year Navy vet, he has lived worldwide, but with his wife Sherry, calls a rambling house south of Waterloo home. Alan counts astronomy as a hobby and is fascinated by just about everything scientific.
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