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Dentist retires after 30 years in Batavia

Dr. R. Mark Lee sells practice on Island Avenue

BATAVIA – Dr. R. Mark Lee has retired from dentistry after seeing his last patient on June 10.

Lee has sold his dental practice at 34 N. Island Ave. in downtown Batavia, which he first opened in November 1984.

"I really enjoyed getting to know my patients," Lee said. "They would get to know me just like I would get to know them."

Lee, 61, grew up in Batavia. Of his location in the city, he said, "this was a natural spot to open my own office."

Lee said he felt good about the fact that his practice was consistently named as a top dentist in the Chicago area by patients surveyed by the Chicago Consumer Checkbook magazine.

Dentistry runs in his family. Lee was a third-generation dentist. Before opening his own practice, he practiced with his father, Robert, and also taught for two years at his alma mater, the University of Illinois Dental School. He is a 1979 graduate of the school.

Lee's grandfather, Harry Matthews, also was a dentist. Lee also spent three years with the U.S. Navy Dental Corps after graduating from the University of Illinois Dental School.

Dr. Chris Szydelko, of Downers Grove, purchased Lee's practice. He is a fellow graduate of University of Illinois Dental School, having graduated from there in 2006. Szydelko also shares something else in common with Lee as Szydelko's father also is a dentist.

"I felt that he had the same values as I did," Lee said.

Lee said it was the right time to retire, saying "after 35 years as a dentist, it just felt right."

Lee isn't just sitting around in his retirement, however. Lee and his wife, Wendy, will be riding in next month's RAGBRAI, a seven-day bicycle ride across Iowa. This will be the couple's fifth time participating in the event.

In the fall, he will be going on a 1,000-mile bicycle ride.

"I'm an avid bike rider," Lee said. "You just feel really good after a nice vigorous ride. It's not putting a lot of stress on your body."

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