COHEN, Dr. Gary D. Age 61, formerly of North Little Rock, passed away with Nancy, his wife of 36 years when their small plane crashed in bad weather on Monday September 17, 2012. The couple was returning from their condo in Destin, Fla. to their home in Hendersonville, Tenn.

He was preceded in death by his father, Jack Cohen.

Survived by his children, Ben Cohen, Grace (Adam) Veenker, and Melissa Kate Cohen; grandchildren, Steven and Jonah Veenker; mother, Johnnie Cohen; sister, Cynthia Cohen.

Dr. Cohen was a graduate of North Little Rock High School, Hendrix College, and College of Dentistry, University of Tennessee Health and Science Center in Memphis. He worked as a general dentist for five years before entering the orthodontic residency at St. Louis University where he graduated at the top of his class in 1983.

He was the founder and President of Smile Construction, Inc., where Dr. Cohen not only provided clinical excellence in orthodontic treatment but also created lasting relationships with his patients and their families.

His professional affiliations include the Nashville Dental Society, Tennessee Dental Association, American Dental Association, Tennessee Association of Orthodontists, Southern Association of Orthodontists and the American Association of Orthodontists. Dr. Cohen was a past President of the International Orthodontic Education and Research Foundation and the 8th District Dental Society of the Tennessee Dental Association. He was the founder and director of the Summit Institute, an interdisciplinary dental continuing education organization dedicated to optimizing dental care. He also founded the Nashville Chapter of the Seattle Study Club, a prestigious organization dedicated to team treatment planning and total case management for achieving ideal comprehensive care. Recognition of Dr. Cohen include his receiving the 2008 America’s Top Dentist, 2010 and 2011 Nashville’s Best of Parenting awards.

As part of his commitment to the youth of his community Dr. Cohen sponsored local hockey, soccer, and baseball teams and contributed to the school athletic programs in multiple counties. He was past president of the board of the Cumberland Crisis Pregnancy Center. He served as a Sunday school teacher and deacon at First Baptist Church of Hendersonville where he and his family have been members since 1988.

Dr. Cohen loved the outdoors, boating, hunting, fishing, photography, flying and enjoyed spending time with his family, especially his two grandsons.

Remembrance services for Gary and Nancy will be held at Lakewood United Methodist Church on Sunday, Oct. 7 at 3:00 p.m., followed by a reception in Gibson Hall at the church.

Memorial donations may be made to Arkansas Children’s Hospital, Arkansas Symphony Orchestra Guild, or Lakewood United Methodist Church.