Durwood Earl “Woody” Bach

By January 2, 2013 Obituaries

Dr. Durwood Earl “Woody” Bach, 63, of Charleston, husband of Kathy Bach, died on Tuesday, January 1, 2013 at his residence.

Dr. Bach was born April 3, 1949 in Baltimore, MD, a son of the late Earl Durwood Bach and Caroleen Keller Bach. He proudly served as a colonel in the United States Army and was the Professor and Chairman Diplomate, American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at The Medical University of South Carolina. He was loved dearly and will be greatly missed.

In addition to his wife, Kathy, he is survived by mother, Caroleen, son, Jeffrey; daughters, Karli  and Kami;  two grandchildren; siblings, sister Joanne, brother Robert; several nieces, nephews, and cousins.

A memorial service will be held January 24, 2013 at 12:00 Noon at St. Luke’s Chapel at MUSC, 181 Ashley Avenue, Charleston, SC. Inurnment will be held at National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, Punchbowl, Honolulu, Hawaii at a later date.

Memorials can be made to the Clemson Fund, Clemson University, P.O. Box 1889, Clemson, SC  29633-9972 in memory of Dr. Durwood E. Bach.

Arrangements are pending at Simplicity Lowcountry Cremation & Burial Services.


  • Joseph Park says:

    Please let me know when the funeral / visitation will be. He was my attending / professor in oral surgery and a good friend.

  • Mark Chishom says:

    I would like to pass on my sincerest condolences to Kathy and the family. Dr. Bach was a great man and oral surgeon. He unselfishly shared his knowledge and experience in oral surgery with many residents and dental students over his career and thereby countless patients have benefitted. I will always be very appreciative to him. His dedication and professionalism has given me a career that I enjoy and support my family. If there is anything that my family can do in your time of need please don’t hesitate to ask.

    God Bless you,
    Mark and Patrice Chishom

  • bill westervelt says:

    Please let me know some more details. Woody was my best friend in high school and my roomate at Clemson for the lst semester. There are many of his friends from Bel Air, Md and his high school buddies that have reached out to Woody over the years and actually may want to attend any services or support any charitiy or organization Woody requested.

  • Otto Slater says:

    My deepest sympathies to Kathy, and Dr. Bach’s family and colleagues. I trained under Dr. Bach, and my fellow residents remain grateful and fiercely loyal to him. My time spent with Woody were amongst the greatest expperiences of my life, and the MEDU and our profession of oral and Maxillofacial Surgery have suffered a great loss. Thank-you, Dr. Bach, the great memories, and may you rest in peace.

  • Donald Howard says:

    Both yours and Dr. Bach’s generosity have touched our family over the years. Our thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family. If you need anything please do not hesistate to call us. God Bless you.
    Donald, Kelly, Jaiden, Trenton, and Lauren Howard

  • Robin White says:

    Dr. Bach was wonderful to my daughter, Carly, as he and his terrific residents performed double jaw surgery on her this past July Her open bite has not only been corrected but is now a perfect bite with a winning smile thanks to their handiwork. We are deeply saddened to hear of his passing – what a huge loss for his family and MUSC.

  • Peter Karas says:

    It was w/ great sadness that I learned of Woody’s passing. I was a classmate and teammate of Woody at Bel Air High School in Maryland. He was a good friend and a great athlete. Please let us know where we can make a donation in his memory. He will be missed and may his memory be eternal.

  • My condolences to Woody’s family and deepest sympathies to his wife, Kathy. Prayers are going up to give you peace in this time of great sorrow. Woody was a very special person and a most generous and considerate friend in high school. And what a dancer and athlete – he had the moves for both!! The fond memories of our friend will live on in the hearts of his fellow classmates of Bel Air High School, class of 1967! Rest in Peace, Woody. We will miss you!

  • Bonnie (Brookman) Sutton says:

    We alumni at BAHS are deeply saddened by the untimely death of one of our best and brightest. Woody was the consumate athelete and all around great guy. So sorry for the familys’ lost as it is indeed a great one. His work as it seems leaves behind a great legacy for anyone to be proud of, just wish we had the opportunity to say good-bye. Good-bye Woody, we still and always will miss you….

  • Joan Berry says:

    Dear Friend Kathy, I didn’t know Woody except thru the stories you shared as we exercised over the years at Curves, our mouths more than our bodies. But I do know you and how much you loved him and your family. Please accept my heartfelt condolences. Life is too short.

    Love, Joan

  • Tom Carr says:

    All of us from the Bel Air HS class of ’67 are heartbroken to hear of Woody’s untimely passing. He was a true leader and everyone admired his athletic abilities. Those of us who played sports with him knew well of his determination and drive. He truly was one of our best and brightest. It is abundantly clear that he lived a very fulfilling life and touched the lives of so many of his students and colleagues. Our heart goes out to Kathy and the rest of his family. As others have indicated, many of us would like to make a donation in Woody’s name to help keep his memory alive. Please let us know how we might do that. God bless.

  • Jeffery Dootson says:

    I was so saddened to hear about Woody passing. I notified all the residents from Hawaii that I could and all were so upset. My heartfelt condolences to you and all the children. Everyone wants to know if there is some organization or entity we can send donations in his memory. Woody influenced a great number of people’s lives for the better and we are all better people for knowing him. His presence during our training changed a great deal of how I manage my professional care, which only you can understand, and for that I will always be grateful. I hope you are doing alright in this difficult time and please if there is anything we can do please let us know. I hear the final resting place is Punchbowl which is fitting as Woody will have a great view for eternity.

    Jeff and Susan Dootson

  • Greg Boice says:

    Kathy, I was shocked and saddened when I heard of Woody’s passing. Both he an you contributed so much to my life and career. His guidance and the personal interest he took in me, helped make me the oral surgeon I am today. I frequently think back to our time together at Tripler and think of it as one of the defining moments in my life. My deepest sympathy, Greg Boice

  • Carol (Miranda) Cunningham says:

    I was a classmate of Woody’s at Bel Air High School in Maryland, Class of 1967. I too was shocked and so saddened to hear that we have lost him. He was a shining star at our high school, kind to everyone, a consummate leader, and athlete. I extend my deepest sympathies to his wife Kathy, and to all his family members and friends. None of us from Bel Air will forget Woody.

  • Chuck Palian says:


    My condolences. I enjoyed our time in Hawaii. Woody was a great guy. He’ll be in my prayers.

  • Elizabeth LaBar says:

    Dear Kathy and the Bach family:

    My deepest condolences to you all. I enjoyed Woody’s wry sense of humor and his musicality while we all played the ukulele.


  • Connie Tucker says:

    Kathy and family. Baron, Angelica and I extend our deepest condolences to you all. May you and your family find peace and comfort that Woody is sitting in the right hand of our Heavenly Father. I am very grateful to have met Woody. He was very gentle and modest. I enjoyed conversing with him. Baron, Angelica and I will never forget that he went out of his way to get Angelica a Volunteer Internship at MUSC in the BioMedical Department. We will miss him a lot.

  • Donald Bandy says:

    I am very saddened to hear about Woody’s departure. Although I had limited contact with Woody, I knew many who worked with him, and universally I can tell you he was well liked and respected. My best wishes and prayers to you and your entire family in this difficult time.

  • Kathleen Conti says:

    To the Bach family,

    The class of ’67 from Bel Air, Md. has lost one of the best and brightest stars that came out of that class. He will be truly missed by all that had the good fortune of knowing and admiring him.

  • Danielle Hostler says:

    Kathy & Family,

    I was so sad to hear of Dr. Bach’s passing. I have had the pleasure of working with him the past few years as an OR nurse, and the OMFS team is a tight group. It took awhile to get into the “circle of trust” but once I did, Dr. Bach was nothing but kind, humorous and generous with his wisdom and words. Last time I saw him was when he gave me and my husband Clemson tickets (and a hug), but I never got to tell him how much we enjoyed ourselves.

    I have many wonderful memories of him talking about Hawaii, growing up in Maryland, Kathy’s hula experiences and listening/calling in to Aloha Joe (while he sang along). His residents loved and respected him and so did the nurses who worked with him often. There is a huge void that will never be filled. Wishing his loved ones peace at this difficult time.

  • Mo n Reece says:

    Auwe Woody, we never got to go to a game together, didn’t get to try my ono pork, and so much more… but what you did share with me and my family, was your love, friendship, and aloha, that can never be repayed. I enjoyed playing music with you, listening to your Clemson traditions and folklore, and just sitting and sharing simple moments of the world as it went by. Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your life. We are humbled and honored to have shared our short time together. You made our lives richer!

    Aloha Oe my friend.

    Kathy, our strength is yours to draw from, our prayers and condolances are his. We will miss his smile and warm spirit….

  • Steven Perkins says:

    Dear Kathy,
    I am sadden about the news of Woody’s passing. He was so full of life and gave so much of himself to our profession. To this day I tell people he was one on the smartest surgeon I knew. He could always fine a way to get a case done. I admired his work so much and learned so much from him. It is only right that he rests in Hawaii. My deepest sympathy.
    Steven Perkins

  • Regina Herring says:

    Kathy and Family,

    I spent many years working with Dr Bach during my time as an OR Nurse at MUSC. I left MUSC a year ago, so I was surprised to hear he had been sick and shocked that he had passed. He was a wonderful Surgeon. He was one of the surgeons that when you heard he had a surgical case, you knew it would be a pleasure to work with him no matter what it was. I was moved to hear him tell us about the miracle your son experienced. It was evident he loved his family and I am sorry for your loss.

  • Don Hofheins says:

    Dear Kathy and Family

    My heart is heavy with the news I received today. Regretting that I failed to keep in touch, didn’t even know he was ill. I thought of calling him to talk about a patient recently. It would have been great to hear his voice again, but now I’ve missed my chance. Still, I smile as I think of just a few of the priceless things he taught me when I was a resident. There are many things that are a part of me now that I don’t even realize came from him. I hope I’ve been able to pass some of that on to others too. He was and will continue to be a great influence on my life that goes beyond my professional career. I thank God for that and pray blessings and peace to you, Kathy, his children and all his family.

    Don Hofheins
    Rolla, Missouri

  • Amy Romanczuk says:

    Kathy, my heart goes out to you and yours. Woody made this world a better place for us all. As a neighbor, he was wonderful. I also had the good fortune to be a patient of his, and he was exceptional. Please know that our thoughts and prayers, though coming in a little late, as we just learned of his passing, are with you and the family. There is a Woody-sized hole in the world. He will be missed.

  • Ken says:

    I’m very late posting this I know. I only heard of Dr. Bach’s passing today.

    I did not know the man personally; I was a patient of his. I was suffering very painful jaw damage and no surgeon I could find in wanted to work on it. In desperation I found Dr. Bach’s email address on the MUSC website and wrote him. Two hours after my email the clinic called me to set up a visit the following week. The surgery was long and complicated, but he and his team solved my problem in one go. Afterwards he spoke with my wife so kindly that she still refers to the man as a saint.

    I know it doesn’t sound like much, but the man radiated skill and compassion. I had the greatest of respect for him, and now that he has passed I mourn the loss of a kind man and great healer. May God welcome his soul and comfort his family.

  • Mike Werner says:

    I was glancing through my JOMS today and saw that Woody had died. I was shocked, saddened, and surprised. I often think of all the time that we spent together on the first floor of Tripler and in the OR (6th floor?). I am not sure that I thanked him enough for all he did for me as a resident, but it must be gratifying to you to know that the number of people’s lives that he influenced is certainly multiplied by the number of residents that he trained. I remember one particular basketball game with Dr. Fonseca (who was on of our consultants) and how Woody and I were on the same team. I remember his interest in facial cosmetics and bringing that back to the residency after his visit to Alabama. I remember giving a joint talk at the annual meeting on submental liposuction in Chicago around 1992. I hope that you are doing well, and please know that my thoughts are with you. Gratefully, Mike Werner Olympia, WA

  • Howard Schellenberg says:

    I am sorry to just be hearing of Woody’s passing. I worked with him in Hawaii and enjoyed many rounds of golf with him in paradise. He was a great mentor and always took time to spread his sunshine to others.

    Woody was a great person and he enjoyed life so much. My thought and prayers are with his family.