James Edwin Overberger

Obituary of James Edwin Overberger

Dr. James E. Overberger, 86 of Morgantown passed away Thursday, June 22, 2017, at Ruby Memorial Hospital. 


Jim was born in Barnesboro, Pennsylvania.  His father Charles was a dentist and his mother Beatrice was a school teacher.  Jim was the youngest of three brothers, Charles and Bill Overberger. 


He was a member of the National Honor Society and received the Rensselaer Science Award upon graduation from Barnesboro High School.  He entered the University of Pittsburgh pre-dental program and was accepted into the dental school in 1950.  While in dental school he received the Psi Omega Scholarship Award and the Delta Sigma Delta Prosthodontic Award and the Alpha Omega Scholarship Award and was inducted into Omicron Kappa Upsilon.  He received his B.S. degree, Magna Cum Laude and his D.D.S. degree, Summa Cum Laude.  He was Fellow of the American College of Dentist, a Fellow of the Pierre Fauchard Academy and Academy of Dental Materials.  He was commissioned in the Army of Dental Corp after graduation in 1954 and was stationed at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and began his research interest in Dental materials.  Colonel Overberger was active for 42 years as USAIDR and was instrumental in assisting in the development of the Army of Dental Materials research.  He developed cooperative projects with the Institute and the West Virginia University School of Dentistry with greatly benefited military dentistry.   In 1990 he retired from the Army with the rank of Colonel and received a Meritorious Service Award. 


It was during this time that he met his future wife, Joan who was employed in the Pentagon.

After two years of active duty, Jim enrolled in the University of Michigan and received a Master of Science degree in Restoration Dentistry.  At that time, the School of Dentistry at West Virginia University was starting and he was recruiting to be one of the four original faculty members to initiate the school in 1957. 


In the early years of school, he taught almost all the labs and was primarily responsible for the courses in Dental Materials and Recoverable Prosthodontics and was actively involved in Dental Materials research which was founded by the National Institute of Dental Research (NIDR).  In 1967, he joined the University of North Carolina faculty in the Department of Prosthodontics.  In 1969 he was asked to return to West Virginia University as Assistant Dean for Research and Graduate Studies.  He later became Associate Dean in 1972 for Advanced Education, Continuing Education and Research until 1994 when he became Associate Dean for Continuing Education and Professor Restorative Materials until 2000.  Jim served as Acting Dean in 1979 and 1981.  Jim was one of the first Directors of the W.V. Dental Corporation which started in 1971, and serves as Chairmen from 1991-1999.


Jim was a member of many professional societies.  He was once of the first member of Council on Dental Materials when it was founded in 1966 and served until 1974.  He served a second term in 1988-1992.  He has served as President of the Dental Materials Group, IADR and President of the Eastern Conference for Dental Continuing Education. He is charter member of the Academy of Dental Materials and serves as treasurer for many years.   He also served many years on the National Affairs Committee of the AADR.  He published many articles relative to the properties of dental materials and presented many teaching courses of dental materials. He was licensed Prosthodontist in the state of West Virginia. 


Jim was initiated into Delta Sigma Delta at the University of Pittsburgh in 1950.  He was the first deputy of the Chi Chi Chapter at West Virginia University, when it was colonized in 1962, a position he maintained until  1967.  In 1972 he became the representative of the West Virginia Graduate Chapter and served as President of the Council of Graduate Chapters.  Jim was elected to be the supreme Grand Master of Delta Sigma Delta in 1994 and represented the Fraternity at it international meeting in Lucerne, Switzerland. 


Jim retired from West Virginia University in January 2004, but continued to volunteer to assist in the Dental Materials lab courses for two years.  In his retirement reception, he commented on how proud he was on his contributions to the many programs that have advanced the academic excellence of the school and the dental profession. 


James is survived by his wife, Joan of Morgantown and two sons, James Overberger and his wife Leila and Eric and his wife Christal; two grandsons Aaron and Adam Overberger.  


Hastings Funeral Home has been entrusted with arrangements.  Friends and family will be received at St. Francis de Sales Roman Catholic Church, 1 Guthrie Lane, Morgantown, on Wednesday, June 28th from 5-8 PM.  A Scriptural Wake Service will take place at the church on Wednesday at 7:30 to conclude the evening visitation.  Visitation will continue in the church on Thursday, June 29th from 10 AM until the Mass of Christian Burial at 11:00 AM with Father Carlos Melocoton, Jr. as celebrant.  Entombment will follow at the St. Mary Roman Catholic Church Peace Garden Mausoleum.  Full military funeral rites will be conducted at the mausoleum.


In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be made to the Dr. James E.  and Joan B. Overberger Continuing Education Fund.   Checks may be made to the WVU Foundation,  11 Waterfront Place, 7th Floor, P.O. Box 1650, Morgantown, WV 26507.  In the memo line, please include Fund ID# 3V799.



Send condolences online at www.hastingsfuneralhome.com.