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Any time a company reaches its 40th year in business, a milestone celebration is appropriate.

And that’s exactly what one Waynedale business is marking this year – the practice of Dr. Tom Blake, D.D.S.; Blake Aesthetics Family Dentistry, which has been operating in the same location since July 3, 1981.

“I moved back to Fort Wayne after dental school,” Blake said, “and I’ve been working at the exact same spot ever since.”

Born in Fort Wayne, Blake attended Snider High School, graduating in 1973. He went off to college at Indiana University in Bloomington, earning his undergrad degree in Chemistry in 1977. He next enrolled at Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), graduating from that dental school with his DDS in 1981.

Blake said he even helped put himself through dental school, working as a waiter at an Indianapolis steak house restaurant.

Later that year, Blake returned to Fort Wayne and bought the practice where he’s been working for the last four decades. He purchased the business from Dr. Bill Able, he said.

Blake’s Waynedale roots run back years – in fact, he even worked as a lifeguard at the Avalon pool while he was still in high school, he said.

Still located at 2409 Fair Oak Drive, Blake’s practice currently has just one dentist – himself – while also employing eight additional staff members, comprising dental assistants, dental hygienists, and office support staff.

Blake estimates his office serves more than 2,000 patients, performing a wide array of dental services, from cleanings, to fillings, to dentures, to implants, to wisdom teeth extraction, and even orthodontics, he said.

Particularly pleasing for Blake, he said, are the large number of younger patients he serves.

“Yes, I love the kids. They’re good kids,” he said, “and they always put a smile on your face.”

Blake added that just serving the populace of Waynedale has given him cause to smile, as well.

“I have so enjoyed my time in Waynedale,” Blake noted. “It’s kind of its own distinct community, and the people of Waynedale are just a really good, solid, hard-working community.”

To help celebrate the 40th anniversary, Blake’s office is holding what it calls “Patient Appreciation Week” on July 6, 7 & 8. During the practice’s normal business hours (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.), folks can stop in and enjoy snacks as well as appreciation gifts. Visitors also are encouraged to write something on their memory board to commemorate the occasion, according to Office Manager, Cindy Prible. A special thanks to Hill’s Meat Market, McNamara Florist, Kroger, and Hello Sunshine Bakery for supporting the celebration.

Even after all this time, Blake doesn’t regret his decision to stay in Waynedale – and could really never imagine working elsewhere.

“You know,” said Blake age 66, “it’s funny. But in all these years, I never thought about moving my practice.

“I just really love it here.”

Michael Morrissey
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Michael Morrissey

Michael is a professional writer and journalist. He attended South Side High School and Northwestern University. He has written for newspapers in Michigan City, Indiana; Pekin, Illinois; and Bradenton, Florida. He also has written for and edited websites in Florida and San Francisco, California. > Read Full Biography > More Articles Written By This Writer