Edward Cuthbert, the co-founder of the Auburn medical software company that'd become Medent, passed away Friday, April 14, in Naples, Florida. He was 91.

Cuthbert moved to Auburn in 1960 and, with Dick Fitzgerald, started Community Computer Service in 1968, according to The Citizen archives. The two ran the company themselves at first, but it would grow into a workforce of about 260 serving more than 8,000 physicians worldwide, said Edward's son Doug, a vice president at Medent.

The drive Edward showed in starting the company, despite already having a "very good job" and six children, was one of his defining qualities, Doug said.

"It was tough, but he was persistent with it," Doug said. "I think that was one of his top characteristics."

Along with Doug, sons George, Bob and Gary continue to work for Medent. The company remains privately owned by the Cuthbert family, which also includes Edward's son Ed and daughter Nancy. Gary is the Hulbert Street company's CEO.

"Medent" gradually became part of the company name, Doug said, because as the name of its software, it was how most clients outside the Auburn area knew Community Computer Service.

Edward slowly stepped back from Medent in the mid-1990s, Doug said, and began wintering in Florida about 10 years ago. For his work with Medent, Edward was honored as the Cayuga County Chamber of Commerce's 2001 Small Business Person of the Year.

Along with his work, Edward also served on the boards of the Merry-Go-Round Playhouse, the Cayuga Museum and Tyburn Academy.

His leadership of an effort to renovate St. Mary's Church in the mid-1990s demonstrated another of Edward's defining qualities, Doug said: a soft-spoken but relentless optimism.

Because the project required a "daunting" amount of money and work, Doug said, the renovation committee held a vote about moving forward with it. Though "the great majority" of the committee voted no, Edward voted yes. He'd later tell Doug, "They just wanted to be on record in case it failed."

"My dad wouldn't be thinking about failure," Doug said. "He plowed ahead."

Lake Life Editor David Wilcox can be reached at (315) 282-2245 or david.wilcox@lee.net. Follow him on Twitter @drwilcox.

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Features editor for The Citizen.