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Dentist Irwin retires after 45 years in Farragut

Dr. Gene Irwin, DDS, is retiring after 45 years in a Farragut office along the same stretch of Kingston Pike.

“You hate that time runs and runs and runs, and the time catches up and it comes time to do something else,” Irwin said.

“I’ve enjoyed the last 45 years. I hate to not be able to see my patients on a professional basis any longer.

“It’s just been enjoyable the whole time,” he added.

Irwin said he’d had three offices over the years along the same stretch of Kingston Pike, just east of West End Avenue.

Irwin, a Roane County native, graduated from The University of Tennessee and attended dental school at UT Memphis.

After graduating in 1964, Irwin briefly worked in North Carolina before moving back to East Tennessee in 1965 to found a private practice.

He chose Farragut.

“I thought this was a nice community,” he said.

In 1965, Irwin was the only dentist between Lenoir City and Bearden Hill.

“When I started practicing in this area it was a farm community, basically a rural community. There were two or three dentists practicing in Lenoir City, and if you went east, Dr. Bill Battle was the first fellow in practice back east,” Irwin said.

“And actually, Dr. Battle was sort of on the outskirts. … There was nothing at Cedar Bluff Road,” he added.

Irwin has five children, two with wife, Barbara, and three from their previous marriages. He also has four grandchildren.

“Barbara and I like to travel, so we hope to do some traveling,” Irwin said about possible retirement plans.

He said he had “plenty of projects available at his house” and with his children and grandchildren. He’d also like to spend time fishing and golfing.

Irwin said he’d like to be involved in the community with mission work.

“You’re really not quitting work; you’re just changing your work habits,” Irwin joked.

Irwin retired the last week of April; he is staying at his office a few more weeks to introduce patients to Dr. Bennett Kizer, who is taking over the practice.

“I couldn’t have looked and found anyone I was more comfortable with,” Irwin said of Kizer.

He said he’d known Kizer’s family for years through church ties, guessing he’d probably taught Kizer in a Sunday School class as a child.


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