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A Tribute to Former Proofs® Editor Mary Elizabeth Good

March 1, 2008
Mary Elizabeth Good, retired editor of Proofs® magazine, died December 18, 2007.
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Mary Elizabeth Good, retired editor of Proofs® magazine, died December 18, 2007. She was employed by PennWell for 20 years as editor of Proofs. She was also active in the Tulsa Archaeological Society and Oklahoma Anthropological Society, winning the Crabtree Award for Avocational Archaeology in 1993.

She was an avid researcher, photographer, and writer on early Oklahoma history. Her books on American Indian glass trade beads in American archaeological sites are well known. Her award-winning photograph of a child looking at the statue of Will Rogers was placed in the Tulsa Public Schools.

In addition to Proofs, her articles and photographs were published in many magazines and newspapers, including “Muzzle Blast,” the “Gilcrease Gazette” magazine, and the Tulsa World.

She and her husband, Lee T. Good, were married in 1948, and together they founded the Osage Territory Muzzleloaders Club in the 1950s. This led to many adventures and a unique education for their three children, Alyne, Clyde, and Martin.

As her daughter recalls, “Our adventures took us down dirt roads with grass growing in the middle. If there was a rickety wooden-covered bridge, that made it even better (as long as we didn’t look down to see how many boards were missing as we drove across the bridge).

“Mom would read to us in the car from old historical journals on our way to some battlefield or ruin of a long-forgotten building. It made an ordinary stop on the road a real adventure. During our treks across rural Oklahoma, Mom would have Dad slow down for what he called ‘hysterical’ markers. Mom could tell us what the marker said before we even reached it.

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“Instead of the usual Motel 6 or Holiday Inn, we learned how to sleep in one tipi with all five of us in it. It was quite a sight at the campground as we arrived with 18-foot wooden poles strapped to the roof of our car. It was a family experience that Mom was very much a part of. We were all taught how to set up and take down the tipi that Dad had made.

“When Dad and Mom formed the Osage Territory Muzzleloaders Club, Dad built the rifles that they both used. Dressed in her buckskins, moccasins and coonskin hat (as was Dad), Mom won many trophies and medals for shooting muzzle-loading rifles and pistols. This was in the 1950s, when few women were shooting black-powder rifles in competitive matches. She and Dad taught their children and grandchildren how to respect and shoot firearms, and encouraged many others to pursue this interest.

Mom won many trophies and medals for shooting muzzle-loading rifles and pistols. This was in the 1950s, when few women were shooting black-powder rifles in competitive matches. She and Dad taught their children and grandchildren how to respect and shoot firearms, and encouraged many others to pursue this interest.
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“Mom collected old bricks with the inscriptions imprinted on the top, and our fireplace was constructed with these old bricks. Of course, she knew the historical background of each brick, such as the ‘Don’t Spit on the Sidewalk’ brick used to decrease the spread of tuberculosis.

“As was common on many of our trips, we sat in a hot, white 1965 Ford Custom while Mom was relieving some poor, collapsed mansion of a paving brick for her collection. On one occasion, a large white goose took offense to her actions and chased her down the ruined brick sidewalk. We listened to Dad’s hilarious play-by-play and watched with excitement as Mom reared back to throw her newfound prize at said goose.

“On still another occasion, I was sent to the junior high school office, where my parents were called concerning exaggerations in a report I had written titled ‘What I Did on My Summer Vacation.’ When Mom and Dad explained everything in the report was true, I got an A+.

“Our parents raised us in a very different, yet educational environment from our peers. Mom had a very colorful life and she shared her knowledge of so many topics with others, especially her photography and her written materials, which will live on.”

Remembering Mary Elizabeth

“Mary Elizabeth was “Mary Mary Elizabeth was definitely the sort of icon you seldom see in publishing. Even when I was more of a competitor to her than a colleague, I knew she was a true fixture in the dental industry. I could comb my hair all day long in getting ready to get information from a dental manufacturer, but, when she walked into the room, she was the only person the CEOs and presidents wanted to talk to. I sure was glad when our boss hired us to work on the same side. She had such a presence in the dental industry and had a way of making people feel proud that they work in it.

Mark Hartley
Editor, RDH® Magazine

I think of Mary Elizabeth and what comes to my mind is how much she loved her job as editor of Proofs® and the people she worked with. It was just pure joy for her! She couldn’t wait until the next meeting to see all her good friends again. I counted myself among her many friends and we greatly enjoyed each other’s company and shared many interests. She and her late husband, Lee, formed a Muzzleloaders Gun Club in the 1950s (Lee looked just like Davy Crockett in his coonskin jacket and cap!), and I always found it humorous that this sweet-looking little grandmother was the best shot in the club! Mary Elizabeth was a very special person, and I’m so glad I was in her life. God speed, Mary Elizabeth.

Penny Anderson
Senior Editor,
Dental Economics®

Mary Elizabeth was the ultimate professional and friend with expertise of unimaginable proportion, be it Indian beads, dental products, travel or archaeology. She was protective of family and friends and offered her hand to all of us whether we were stressed from overwork, health problems or personal loss. We will miss her.

Pat Muchmore
Former Editor,
Dental Economics,

The dental world is close-knit. Proofs magazine was (and is) an essential tool for getting to know the who’s who, and Mary Elizabeth Good was responsible for making Proofs the epicenter of our industry. She was one of those rare figures so closely associated with her work that when you mentioned her name, everyone immediately thought of Proofs, and when you mentioned Proofs, everyone immediately thought of her. Her determination and enthusiasm was legendary. I remember, in later years when she used a cane to help her get around, she was still willing and ready to trek to a dental meeting. She was also, if this even needs to be said, an all-around nice person. Her contribution will be remembered by anyone who was lucky enough to be part of this business during her two-decade long career.

Larry Cohen
Benco Dental

Synonymous with DMA coverage in Proofs was Mary Elizabeth Good. Her professional talent was superseded only by her warm, endearing nature and profound interest in the dental industry. DMA’s growth was greatly assisted by Mary Elizabeth’s genuine gift in being able to write so eloquently about the organization’s successful meetings and association programs. “Meg’s” service to the dental industry and sincere friendship to the DMA will forever be a warm memory.

Kathleen A. LaMar
Former Associate Director, DMA

Everyone at Henry Schein is deeply saddened by the passing of our dear friend and longtime editor of Proofs, Mary Elizabeth Good. As an avid photographer and a gifted writer, Mary Elizabeth brought her sharp eye and way with words to Proofs. Her valuable work at PennWell Publishing and her dedication to dentistry made her a consummate educator and vital link between all facets of the dental community. Mary Elizabeth will be remembered as a role model by all those whose lives she influenced, and her energy and spirit will continue to inspire us. We extend our deepest sympathies to Mary Elizabeth’s children, Alyne, Clyde, and Martin; her grandchildren; and her great-granddaughter.

Stanley Bergman
Chairman and CEO, Henry Schein, Inc.

I first met Mary Elizabeth at a DTA summer meeting in the mid-1970s in upstate New York. At that time, she was an icon in the industry, a woman in a man’s world and one that everyone wanted to know. She was the voice of the distributors and manufacturers at a time when the industry was undergoing significant change.

At that time, no one had a better pulse of the industry than Mary Elizabeth. Be it a manufacturer or distributor, she knew what was going on, who was going where, and clearly understood the changes that were taking place. She walked a fine line and she did so with the utmost integrity and class.

Mary Elizabeth will be remembered as one of the first women to leave their mark on our industry. She was a respected friend to all while always being the consummate professional. Mary Elizabeth, we thank you for the memories you have left with us and for what you contributed to our industry. You will always be remembered and dearly missed.

Andrew G. Whitehead
Vice President
Sales & Marketing
Crosstex International

Mary Elizabeth was a remarkable person who dedicated her life to educating and informing everyone in the dental business about the great things going on every day in a very special industry. She was always available to talk about ideas and interests and was genuine in her concern about the industry and people she loved.

Paul A. Guggenheim
Southwest Region Manager,
Patterson Dental

From Mary Elizabeth’s Family to the Dental Industry

For some, a job is “just a job.” This was never the case when my mother, Mary Elizabeth Good, was hired by Petroleum Publishing Company (which became PennWell) to be editor of Proofs® magazine. She was passionate about what she did, and that extended to her exemplary co-workers as well as her “work family” beyond Tulsa. Whether doing an interview, taking photographs, proofing an ad, or writing a story, she took it to a higher level than the physical activity. It was all about the person or product and how what was printed would be interpreted by the readers.

After her retirement, Mom continued to be thrilled when she received the next issue of Proofs in the mail. She read (and kept) every issue, and was so pleased with the success of the magazine as it continued to grow. The photos and stories of those she had known ignited wonderful memories that she shared with us. She appreciated and cared so much about her “PennWell family.”

Dad accompanied Mom to many of the meetings she attended while editor of Proofs. After Dad died in 1998, I was invited to accompany Mom to the DMA Meeting at Lake Tahoe in August of 2000. It was so exciting to see the faces and hear the voices of the people who, until that time, I had only known by “name.” I watched her being enthusiastically greeted (quite joyfully, I might add) by those attending the event, and realized just how important these relationships were to Mom and the depth of the mutual respect.

There is no trophy that could have shown any better how much she was appreciated and loved by the DMA members. It was all clearly on display in front of me. Mom continued to wear her DMA and Lake Tahoe shirts and talk about that DMA Meeting (her last travel adventure) until her death on December 18, 2007.

Our parents instilled a strong work ethic in me and my brothers, Clyde and Martin Good. It was illustrated by my parents’ decades-long employment and experiences at PennWell (Mom) and the J. M. Davis Gun Museum (my Dad, Lee).

We appreciate all those at PennWell, Proofs, and her associates in the dental industry who together had such a profound, positive influence on my parents’ lives. We hope to pass along this work ethic to the next generations of the Good family.

— Alyne Eiland