In Memory of Dr. James Putnam, DDS
March 6, 2018
Resided in New Hartford, NY
Dr. James Putnam, 78, son of the late James H. and Virginia Duffie Putnam, passed from this life peacefully on March 6, 2018 in one of his very favorite places, Cooperstown, NY. He leaves his wife of over 50 years Jo Ann (Bunny), his daughter Robin Putnam and her fiancée Nick Schliesman, his son James Putnam and his daughter-in-law Lara, grandchildren James and Grant, his sister Barbara Putnam, his niece Amanda Johnson and her husband James Borchardt, and several cousins in many parts of the country. He leaves behind his beloved animal companions Cosmo and Boomer.
“Doc” enjoyed a successful career in dentistry of almost 50 years, and was blessed to have a wonderful staff and partner, Dr. Peter Massi. He valued and enjoyed the friendship of his many patients and missed them all when he retired.
He was accomplished in every area of his life. He enjoyed a near idyllic childhood on the baseball diamond, tennis and basketball courts of Oneonta, NY. A gifted student, he was elected to Boys State. A talented athlete, he enjoyed success on the basketball court and tennis court, winning two NYSPHS state championships. He was also elected to his high school hall of fame. While in college, he played both basketball and tennis and held a 70 – 4 record playing as the #1 seed tennis singles player for the University of Rochester.
Jim was a graduate of Oneonta High School, the University of Rochester, and the University of Buffalo Dental School. He completed an Internship at the Public Health Hospital in San Francisco and a Residency at Staten Island Hospital. He then ran the Public Health NIH Dental Clinic in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He left the Public Health Service at the rank of Lt. Commander to begin private practice in Utica, NY with Dr. Lyle Harrington, and eventually relocated his own practice to New Hartford, NY.
Jim served on several local boards, especially enjoying the Yahnundasis and Fort Schuyler. Over the years he volunteered as a coach in several youth sports programs and started the New Hartford Sports Booster Club.
Still a great athlete, he won several golf championships at the Sadaquada and Yahnundasis Golf Clubs, several city and regional tennis tournaments, enjoyed skiing for many winters, and hunting and fishing, especially with his partner Peter. He was the youngest person to shoot his age with a fine 68 at the Yahnundasis.
Jim had a legion of friends that included high school buddies, fraternity brothers, dental school friends, tennis buddies, and lots of golf friends. He also had some very dear and special friends: the late Dr. Jim Anderson and the late Dr. Bob Folley.
A celebration of his life will be held at the convenience of his family.
Doc fought a valiant fight against the effects of illness, succeeding in coming back to play some golf and enjoying his time in Florida, always with a smile on his face. That is how he wishes you to remember him – be always joyful.