Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Epilogue | Rudolph G. Weihe

Dr. Pain-free dentist Rudolph G. Weihe loved music, travel

TAMPA — Dentist Rudy Weihe didn't need piped-in music. He supplied his own.

While probing a patient's mouth with picks, Dr. Weihe hummed songs from the 1920s — give or take. He would offer a dollar if you could name that tune.

A St. Petersburg College biology professor named Starr Culver found Dr. Weihe in 1965, on a colleague's recommendation.

"My first impression was that he didn't hurt," said Starr Weihe, 72. The dentist packed gold into her teeth. Two years later, he put a diamond on her finger.

The singing dentist became one of the state's best. He led the Pinellas County Dental Association and held memberships in several organizations, such as the Florida Academy of Practice Management and the Royal Society of Health of Great Britain.

Dr. Weihe died Wednesday at Tampa General Hospital. He was 95. He practiced in the Chicago area and St. Petersburg, and moved to Tampa five years ago.

"He was the very finest dentist I ever saw using gold work," said Dr. Geoffrey Weihe, 65, who followed his father into dentistry.

Dr. Weihe grew up in Oak Park, Ill., the son of a tool and die maker. A man of many talents, he boxed as a lightweight and played the piano while working his way through the University of Illinois and its dentistry school.

He married and raised a family. After his first wife died of cancer at 47, he started over in St. Petersburg. Starr Weihe, whom he married in 1967, taught biology at St. Pete Junior College (now St. Petersburg College). Though she was 23 years his junior, they seemed made for each other.

They went to the symphony. He made her giggle. She taught him to appreciate art, though he couldn't stomach anything too abstract. They vacationed in England more than 40 times.

"He enjoyed following his wife around," said longtime friend Eugene Patterson, 85, a former St. Petersburg Times editor and president who twice accompanied the Weihes to London. "He concealed it as best he could, but he liked the country."

At home in Point Brittany and later in Tampa's Canterbury Tower, they could be alone, together. He watched golf while she read, and neither minded.

At 3 a.m. Wednesday, on impulse, Mrs. Weihe awoke to check on her husband. She put her hand on his brow. They talked for an hour. He died three hours later.

Dr. Weihe never stopped singing or playing the piano. At his 95th birthday party in June, with an orchestra's backing, he serenaded his wife with Let Me Call You Sweetheart.

Andrew Meacham can be reached at (727) 892-2248 or

. Biography

Rudolph G. Weihe

Born: June 11, 1913.

Died: April 15, 2009.

Survivors: wife, Starr Culver Weihe; daughter, Sally Ellen Wheeler and her husband, Louis; sons, Geoffrey Weihe and his wife, Anne, and Bruce Weihe and his wife, Lisa; nine grandchildren; and numerous other extended family members.

Service: to be arranged.

Dr. Pain-free dentist Rudolph G. Weihe loved music, travel 04/15/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 15, 2009 10:08pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Federal study says humans harmed by dispersant used during Deepwater Horizon


    A first-of-its-kind scientific study has determined that the dispersant BP sprayed at the oil gushing from the Deepwater Horizon rig in 2010 harmed human health.

  2. Across Tampa Bay, local commercial banks and credit unions appear healthy


    In another sign of economic vitality, Florida's home-grown banking industry demonstrated strong bench strength in the latest quarterly analysis by Bauer Financial. The vast majority of commercial banks with headquarters in Florida received five "stars" from Bauer, which is the highest ranking of health on its 0-to-5 …

    Several years ago, First Home Bank in Seminole faced regulators breathing down its neck for inaedquate controls and financial weakness. Under CEO 
Anthony N. Leo, the bank has rebounded. It received a top-rated "5" star rating from Bauer Financial in the latest quarter. Most area banks are doing better these days. [SCOTT KEELER      |     TIMES]
  3. Two linemen lose their wedding rings in Tampa Bay. So far one has been found and returned.

    Human Interest

    Two linemen who spent days restoring power in the Tampa Bay area had the same unfortunate mishap: They lost their wedding rings.

    Facebook helped Michael White find the wedding ring he lost while helping restore power in Tampa Bay.
  4. Need is now for new mental health center at Bay Pines, veterans say


    ST. PETERSBURG — Veteran Ellsworth "Tony" Williams says the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System's new mental health center will help fill an immediate need.

    The new mental health center at the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System stands four stories tall and was built at a cost of $92 million. It will centralize services that before were scattered. [HOWARD ALTMAN   |   Staff]
  5. GOP health bill all but dead; McCain again deals the blow


    WASHINGTON — Sen. John McCain declared his opposition Friday to the GOP's last-ditch effort to repeal and replace "Obamacare," dealing a likely death blow to the legislation and, perhaps, to the Republican Party's years of vows to kill the program.

    Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington in July.  McCain says he won't vote for the Republican bill repealing the Obama health care law. His statement likely deals a fatal blow to the last-gasp GOP measure in a Senate showdown expected next week. [Associated Press]