When Eugene Loya moved his dentistry practice from northeast Minneapolis to Nisswa, many of his loyal patients followed him Up North for checkups.
Besides being one of the few dentists in the area, Loya was known as a reserve guard on the 1954 Brainerd High School championship basketball team. He never had a hygienist, doing all the cleaning and other dental duties himself. His daughter ran the front desk.
“He was with his patients from beginning to end,” said his son Brad, of Rosemount.
Loya, 83, of Lake Shore, died Sept. 3 of COVID-19 at Good Samaritan Society–Bethany nursing home in Brainerd.
Loya was raised in Brainerd and graduated from the University of Minnesota dental school. To help pay for tuition, he mopped floors at a hospital. Even before he started his practice in Minneapolis, he continued to clean the hospital.
After graduation, he joined the Air Force and was