Merced County Times Newspaper
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Co-workers celebrate retirement of longtime orthodontist assistant

 

She worked a lifetime in one Merced orthodontic practice, and made a difference in thousands of people’s lives all along the way.

That’s why family members and co-workers did not want the retirement of Linda Mora to go unnoticed.

They decorated her workplace with golden balloons, frills and well-wishes.

They took her out to lunch.

And they even called the local newspaper.

“My patients don’t want me to leave, and I feel sad about that,” Mora told the Times. “Sometimes I see them out on the town. Sometimes, I will see someone, like in their 40s, and they will be surprised and say, ‘You did my braces.’”

The 66-year-old registered dental assistant retired on March 6 from Lee Boese, DDS / Orthodontics Exclusively in Merced. She worked for the same orthodontist office, and the Boese family, for a total of 46 years and three months.

Her first name is actually Priscilla, but people know her better by “Linda”, her middle name. She started out as a young lady who went through the Merced College dental program. She was finishing up her A.S. degree in 1977 when a good friend, Denise, said there was an opening at the orthodontics office of Dr. Lee R. Boese, Sr.

That was great news because she was excited about working in dentistry, but there was one little problem. She didn’t know anything about “ortho”.

But somehow it didn’t matter.

“He hired me,” Mora recalled with a smile. “It was on Pearl Harbor Day. I was 20 years old.”

Mora said Dr. Boese would go on to teach her “everything that I know” in the world of orthodontics — even as new technology developed.

When she started, they were still wrapping metal bands around each individual tooth of a patient. Each band was connected by a wire and slowly moved into position. “You know how hard it was to fit those bands,” Mora exclaimed.

She also remembers a time when “setting up the glue” meant mixing materials together and waiting several minutes. That process today takes about three seconds thanks to an ultraviolet light tool.

Fortunately, brackets and fixed braces have become more sophisticated with modern bonding, elastics, and new “friendlier” wires.

“We used to see patients for adjustments every four weeks, but now it’s every six to eight weeks,” Mora said.

Dr. Boese was always there as a great mentor, but over the course of four decades, he also became a good friend.

“He saw me through my dating years, and then my marriage, and kids, and then through losing my parents,” Mora said. “I loved working for him, and I miss him.”

Sadly, Dr. Boese, Sr. passed away in 2021. His son, Lee Boese Jr., leads the practice today.

Mora said she still loves the work, the people, and the daily routine, but she says it’s time to move on.

“My hands are starting to get a little bit sore,” she said. “And I’m able to get my full Social Security now.”

Mora has been married to her husband, George, for 41 years. They have two sons, Scott and Kevin, and six grandchildren.

“I’m sure they will keep me busy,” she said. “We have some travel plans too. It will be nice. I won’t need to ask for time off. … But I will miss the patients, and I will miss the office girls. … It hasn’t hit me yet.”

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