Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Brooksville dentist, leader and mentor Dr. Chancey Springstead dies at 86

BROOKSVILLE — The way his best friend, Dick McCleery, explained it, the quickest way to put a smile on Dr. Chancey Wallace "Chan" Springstead's face was to put a fishing rod or a hunting rifle into his hands.

The two men enjoyed frequent weekend forays that took them into the county's swampy, densely wooded west side in search of saltwater fish, deer and fowl.

"He simply loved being outdoors," said McCleery, who had known Dr. Springstead since their days at Hernando High School. "Anytime you put him in an airboat, he was in heaven."

The longtime Brooksville dentist, whom everyone called "Dr. Chan," died Saturday after a long illness. He was 86.

A native Brooksvillian, Dr. Springstead grew up at a time when few young men were certain of their future. World War II was already well under way when he suddenly left Hernando High at age 19 to join the Army. By the time he returned to Brooksville, he was a man inspired to do positive things for his hometown.

Enrolling at the University of Florida, Dr. Springstead made good enough grades that by his sophomore year he was invited to enroll in Emory University's acclaimed dental surgery doctorate program. Upon completion of his degree, he returned to Brooksville in 1952 to start a career that would last more than 40 years.

Retired Circuit Judge Jack Springstead recalled that for years his father was the city's only full-time dentist.

"If you lived in Brooksville during the 1950s and 1960s, then most likely my dad was the only dentist you saw," Jack Springstead recalled. "He enjoyed his work, and he considered most of his patients to be friends."

Dr. Springstead's son said that his father always aspired to give back to the community whenever possible and encouraged other prominent people to do the same.

Working with and inspiring the area's youth was of particular importance to Dr. Springstead. He and his brother, the late Frank W. Springstead, both served as scoutmasters in Boy Scouts for many years. In addition, Dr. Springstead was a longtime member of the Brooksville Kiwanis Club and served as lieutenant governor of the organization's state chapter.

Dr. Springstead was preceded in death by his wife, Betty, and his brother. Survivors include his sons, Jack Springstead of Brooksville and Neil Springstead of Andalusia, Ala; his sister, Elsie Springstead Howell of Concord, N.C.; two grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.

Burial will be in the family plot at Brooksville Cemetery. Services will be private. Memorial donations may be made to the Florida Sheriff's Youth Ranch, P.O. Box 2000, Boys Ranch, FL 32064.

Logan Neill can be reached at lneill@tampabay.com or (352) 848-1435.

Brooksville dentist, leader and mentor Dr. Chancey Springstead dies at 86 10/31/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 31, 2012 8:57pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Trump sprinkles political attacks into Scout Jamboree speech

    GLEN JEAN, W.Va. — Ahead of President Donald Trump's appearance Monday at the National Scout Jamboree in West Virginia, the troops were offered some advice on the gathering's official blog: Fully hydrate. Be "courteous" and "kind." And avoid the kind of divisive chants heard during the 2016 campaign such as "build …

    President Donald Trump addresses the Boy Scouts of America's 2017 National Scout Jamboree at the Summit Bechtel National Scout Reserve in Glen Jean, W.Va., July 24, 2017. [New York Times]
  2. Trump, seething about attorney general, speculates about firing Sessions, sources say

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump has spoken with advisers about firing Attorney General Jeff Sessions, as he continues to rage against Sessions' decision to recuse himself from all matters related to the Russia investigation.

  3. John McCain to return to Senate for health care vote

    WASHINGTON — The Senate plans to vote Tuesday to try to advance a sweeping rewrite of the nation's health-care laws with the last-minute arrival of Sen. John McCain — but tough talk from President Donald Trump won no new public support from skeptical GOP senators for the flagging effort that all but …

  4. Last orca calf born in captivity at a SeaWorld park dies

    Tourism

    ORLANDO — The last killer whale born in captivity under SeaWorld's former orca-breeding program died Monday at the company's San Antonio, Texas, park, SeaWorld said.

    Thet orca Takara helps guide her newborn, Kyara, to the water's surface at SeaWorld San Antonio in San Antonio, Texas, in April. Kyara was the final killer whale born under SeaWorld's former orca-breeding program. The Orlando-based company says 3-month-old Kyara died Monday. [Chris Gotshall/SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment via AP]
  5. Blake Snell steps up, but Rays lose to Orioles anyway (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Blake Snell stepped up when he had to Monday and delivered an impressive career-high seven-plus innings for the Rays. That it wasn't enough in what ended up a 5-0 loss to the Orioles that was their season-high fifth straight is symptomatic of the mess they are in right now.

    Tim Beckham stands hands on hips after being doubled off first.