Aiken – Rocky L. Napier, DMD, 64, passed away Sunday, March 7, 2021 after a private and courageous two-year battle with colon cancer.
Rocky was a lifelong resident of Aiken county, and son of Jewel Renew Napier, North Augusta, and the late Clarence E. Napier and the brother of Nathan Napier of Nashville, TN. Rocky grew up as part of the proud Graniteville “Rocks” and cherished his many friends, his amazing and loyal staff Clancie, Kelly and Christen and the patients he was privileged to treat.
Dr. Richard Boyd, his childhood “bestie” was by his side since they were on the cradle-roll at church. They double dated to “Flat Rock”, played football together and occasionally would sneak out of the house to do some mischief and eat at the Blue Top Grill. Fortunately, they were never arrested. Rocky was the godfather to Richard and Stacy’s first-born child, Ali and spent many Thanksgivings together. A special thanks to Dr. William “Bill” Burn, his great friend, fellow boater and colleague who was usually with him in all things AGD related. Thank you to Dr. Felicia Goins and all of the pediatric dental community for their generosity and sacrifices during this time. Lastly, Rocky loved Pedro Negrete and his wife Rosa, children Hector, Pepe (deceased) and Rosamaria which was like his family. He could not have survived without Pedro by his side in every endeavor and occasionally drinking a little Tito’s vodka to celebrate the end of a long day at the lake. But most of all, he loved his prized dogs, Hercules and Sherman who both preceded him in death.
Rocky practiced pediatric dentistry in Aiken for over 30 years. As a graduating senior of the Medical University of South Carolina College of Dental Medicine, he served as the student body president of MUSC. He received his internship and residency training in Pediatric Dentistry at the University of Alabama-Birmingham School of Dentistry and the Children’s Hospital of Alabama, where he served as chief resident in 1998-1999.
Since dental school Rocky was the face of organized dentistry in many areas. He was actively participating in many roles for the ADA, AGD, American College of Dentists, International College of Dentists, Pierre Fauchard Academy, and the Southeastern Society of Pediatric Dentists. He was also involved with the State Board of Dentistry, EdVenture, water fluoridation, and seeking Medicaid benefits for children. He was a true “voice for the voiceless” and those children who were most in need of dental care. The awards and honors that were bestowed upon him are too numerous to list.
None of us are sure if he ever slept - it was not unusual to get a thought-provoking email or two from him at 2:30 am ...always working on some cause or on behalf of an organization he so generously volunteered his spare time to. Dr. Napier was always at the microphone if given the chance, and as a long-time SC AGD Delegate he made sure the voice of its membership was always heard. Surely, meetings will never be the same without his presence and the passion behind organized dentistry has been forever affected by Rocky's constant fervor, passion and love for the profession.
A Celebration of Life will be held at 4:00 PM on Sunday, April 18, 2020, at Grace United Methodist Church, North Augusta, with the Reverend Tommy Wilkes and the Reverend Randall Haase officiating. The family will receive friends in the church vestibule one hour prior to the service.
To honor Rocky and his sincere love for the children of South Carolina, please direct memorials to the S.C. Dental Foundation, an affiliate of the South Carolina Dental Association (www.scda.org).
SHELLHOUSE FUNERAL HOME, INC., 924 HAYNE AVE., AIKEN, SC
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