AVMA News

In Memory – July 2022


Published: 30 June 2022

 

AVMA member | AVMA honor roll member | Nonmember

 

Nicholas H. Booth

Dr. Booth (Michigan State ’47), 98, Jacksonville, Florida, died March 28, 2022. From 1966-71, he was dean of Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences. As dean, Dr. Booth helped gain legislative approval to add biomedical sciences to the name of the veterinary college and collaborated on biomedical research projects with the University of Colorado School of Medicine. He was also instrumental in securing funding to build new facilities for the veterinary college and launched and expanded research and education programs.

Dr. Booth began his career practicing food animal medicine in Missouri, where he also served as a deputy state veterinarian and was involved in testing for bovine brucellosis and tuberculosis. In 1948, he joined the veterinary college at Colorado State University. Dr. Booth subsequently served as head of what was then the Department of Physiology before being appointed dean. Afterward, from 1971-74, he was director of veterinary research for the Food and Drug Administration. Dr. Booth then served as a professor of physiology and pharmacology at the University of Georgia. He retired as a professor emeritus in 1985.

Dr. Booth was a past chair of the AVMA Council on Biologic and Therapeutic Agents and served on the AVMA Panel on Euthanasia. He was a past president of the Phi Zeta Society and was a member of the American Physiological Society, Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine, and Society of Toxicology. From 1966-68, Dr. Booth chaired a veterinary drug panel for the National Research Council of the National Academies. He served as a consultant with the former U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, also serving as a member of the veterinary review committee for the National Institutes of Health Bureau of Health Professions Education and Manpower Training.

Dr. Booth received several honors, including the Colorado State University Alumni Association’s William E. Morgan Alumni Achievement Award in 2006 and Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Science’s Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2017. In 2010, the veterinary college named Booth Road, near the James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital, in his honor. Dr. Booth was also a past Colorado VMA Veterinarian of the Year.

He was a member of the Rotary Club. A Navy veteran of World War II, Dr. Booth was also a member of the American Legion. He is survived by a son, a daughter, four grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. Memorials may be made to Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, Dean’s Office, 1601 Campus Delivery, Fort Collins, CO 80523, or the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine, Dean’s Office, Athens, GA 30602.

Morgan N. Bosch-Dombrowski

Dr. Bosch-Dombrowski (Ohio State ’16), 31, Brooksville, Florida, died Nov. 15, 2021. An equine veterinarian, she practiced at Advanced Equine Dentistry in Dade City, Florida. Dr. Bosch-Dombrowski is survived by her husband, Jacob Dombrowski.

John M. Bowen

Dr. Bowen (Georgia ’57), 88, Athens, Georgia, died March 21, 2022. Following graduation and after earning his doctorate in physiology from Cornell University, he joined Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine as an assistant professor of physiology. Dr. Bowen subsequently served as an associate professor before moving to the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine, where he taught pharmacology, toxicology, and neurophysiology and became a professor in 1969. In 1976, Dr. Bowen was named associate dean for research and graduate affairs and director of the newly established Veterinary Medical Experiment Station, serving in these capacities until 1997. During that time, he helped raise funds for the new Animal Health Research Center and served as chair of the center’s planning and operations committees.

Dr. Bowen was a past chair of the AVMA Council on Biologic and Therapeutic Agents and AVMA Council on Research, was a past president of the Georgia VMA, and was an emeritus member of the Society for Neuroscience and Society for In Vitro Biology. In 1992, the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine named him a Distinguished Alumnus. In 1998, the veterinary college established the John M. Bowen Award for Excellence in Animal and Biomedical Research.

Dr. Bowen is survived by two sons, two grandchildren, and a great-grandchild. Memorials, with the check notated to Vet Med—In Memory of Dr. Bowen, may be made to the University of Georgia Foundation, University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine, Athens, GA 30602.

Jerry W. Brown

Dr. Brown (Washington State ’79), 73, Yelm, Washington, died Feb. 26, 2022. Following graduation, he practiced at Crate Veterinary Hospital in Spanaway, Washington. Dr. Brown subsequently joined Yelm Veterinary Hospital, where he eventually became a partner. He also served as a field service veterinarian for World Vets for the past 14 years and volunteered with Rural Area Veterinary Services, providing wellness clinics for isolated communities.

A licensed wildlife rehabilitator, Dr. Brown worked with Wolf Haven International for more than 40 years, conducting classes on wolf rehabilitation and wildlife handling, and was involved with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s Mexican Wolf Program. In 2018, the University of Minnesota’s Partners for Wildlife initiative awarded him a fellowship for wildlife rehabilitation.

Dr. Brown is survived by a son, a daughter, three grandchildren, and a sister. Memorials may be made to Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine, P.O. Box 647010, Pullman, WA 99164; World Vets, 9711 18th Ave. NW, Gig Harbor, WA 98332; or Wolf Haven International, 3111 Offut Lake Road SE, Tenino, WA 98589.

Carol D. Combs-Morris

Dr. Combs-Morris (Auburn ’82), 66, Estill, Kentucky, died Dec. 28, 2021. She owned Letcher County Outpost Animal Clinic in Isom, Kentucky. Dr. Combs-Morris previously worked at the Beaver Creek Veterinary Hospital in Martin, Kentucky. She is survived by her husband, Patrick.

Steven J. Helmink

Dr. Helmink (Illinois ’95), 51, Breese, Illinois, died April 1, 2022. Following graduation, he worked in Illinois’ Washington County before joining a practice in Breese. In 1999, Dr. Helmink established Clinton County Veterinary Services in Breese. He began farming full time in 2021. Dr. Helmink was a member of the Illinois State VMA, Clinton County Farm Bureau, and Farm Credit Illinois. He is survived by his wife, Lisa; a daughter and two sons; his mother; and three brothers and two sisters. Memorials toward the American Heart Association or St. Dominic Catholic Church may be made c/o Moss Funeral Home, 535 N. 5th St., Breese, IL 62230.

Leon L. Henning

Dr. Henning (Iowa State ’61), 90, Story City, Iowa, died March 27, 2022. He practiced in Kanawha, Iowa, for 32 years. Dr. Henning was an Army veteran of the Korean War. His wife, Bonnie; two sons; four grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; and a sister survive him.

Robert M. Jackson

Dr. Jackson (Georgia ’84), 68, Lakeland, Florida, died Dec. 5, 2021. He owned Animal Medical Clinic, a small animal practice in Lakeland. Dr. Jackson was a member of the National Turkey Wildlife Federation, Ducks Unlimited, Trout Unlimited, and the Coastal Conservation Association. A past president of the Lakeland Rotary Club, he was a Paul Harris Fellow. Dr. Jackson is survived by his life partner, Nanette Jameson-Lee; his mother; and a sister and a brother.

Edward J. Lemos

Dr. Lemos (Pennsylvania ’57), 89, Barrington, New Hampshire, died March 16, 2022. He was the founder of Dover Veterinary Hospital in Dover, New Hampshire, where he practiced small animal medicine for more than 30 years. Dr. Lemos later established a clinic on his farm in Barrington. Early in his career, he practiced large animal medicine in Concord, New Hampshire.

From 1978-79, Dr. Lemos was president of the American Animal Hospital Association. From 1995-99, he served on what was then the AVMA Group Health and Life Insurance Trust. In 1984, the Veterinary Medical Alumni Society of the University of Pennsylvania honored Dr. Lemos with a Centennial Award of Merit for outstanding contributions to veterinary medicine. Active in his community, he was a past president of the Rotary Club of Dover. Dr. Lemos is survived by his wife, Marilyn; four sons and a stepson; 10 grandchildren and three stepgrandchildren; and a sister.

Fred T. Lewis

Dr. Lewis (Cornell ’53), 95, Clarksville, Maryland, died March 13, 2022. Following graduation, he practiced briefly in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Dr. Lewis subsequently established a practice in Maryland’s Howard County. He also owned Lewis Family Racing Stable in Clarksville, breeding and racing horses. Dr. Lewis is survived by 10 children, 17 grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. Memorials may be made to Our Daily Bread, c/o Catholic Charities, 320 Cathedral St., Baltimore, MD 21201.

Tommy L. Mah

Dr. Mah (Kansas State ’81), 74, Topeka, Kansas, died Dec. 25, 2021. Following graduation, he joined Animal Clinic of North Topeka as an associate veterinarian. Dr. Mah eventually took ownership of the clinic, selling the practice in 2015. In retirement, he served as a relief veterinarian. Dr. Mah was a member of the Kansas VMA. He served in the Army Reserves. Dr. Mah’s wife, Sharon; a son; and two sisters and a brother survive him. Memorials may be made to Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine, 1700 Denison Ave., Manhattan, KS 66502.

Tom E. Michalek

Dr. Michalek (Michigan State ’81), 66, Kalkaska, Michigan, died April 4, 2022. He co-owned Thumb Veterinary Services in Sandusky, Michigan, where he practiced primarily dairy medicine for 38 years. Dr. Michalek was also an adjunct professor at Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine. He served on the Michigan Board of Veterinary Medicine and was a member of the American Association of Bovine Practitioners and the Michigan and Thumb VMAs. Dr. Michalek was active with the Sanilac County 4-H Club and the Sanilac chapter of the National FFA Organization and was a member of the Knights of Columbus. His wife, Lucinda; two sons and two daughters; two grandchildren; and two brothers survive him. Memorials may be made to the Sanilac County FFA, 175 E. Aitken Road, Peck, MI 48466.

C. Peter Nelson

Dr. Nelson (Cornell ’61), 87, Harvard, Massachusetts, died Nov. 9, 2021. During his career, he practiced at Marlboro Animal Hospital in Marlborough, Massachusetts. Dr. Nelson was a past president of the Massachusetts VMA, receiving its Distinguished Service Award in 1985. He is survived by his wife, Betsy, and his family.

William E. Norris

Dr. Norris (Ohio State ’42), 101, Altoona, Wisconsin, died Dec. 2, 2021. He practiced in Valders, Wisconsin, prior to retirement in 1986. Earlier in his career, Dr. Norris worked as an artificial insemination technician in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, and owned a practice in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. He was a past president of the Northeastern Wisconsin VMA and served on the board of directors of the Wisconsin VMA. Active in his community, Dr. Norris was also a past president of the Valders Lions Club and served as treasurer of the Valders School Board. He is survived by his life partner, Agnes Smieja-Larson; two sons; two grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

Dail W. Patterson Jr.

Dr. Patterson (Michigan State ’63), 84, Mason, Michigan, died Oct. 21, 2021. He owned Patterson Veterinary Hospital in Mason, where he practiced mixed animal medicine until 2015. Dr. Patterson’s daughter, son, four grandchildren, and a sister survive him. Memorials may be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, 5501 N. Cumberland Ave. #101, Chicago, IL 60656, or to Ele’s Place, an organization offering bereavement support services, and sent to 1145 W. Oakland Ave., Lansing, MI 48915.

Mark W. Peckham

Dr. Peckham (Texas A&M ’88), 64, Houston, died Jan. 6, 2022. Following graduation, he worked at the Houston Zoo. Dr. Peckham subsequently joined Bellaire Blvd. Animal Clinic in Houston, eventually taking ownership of the practice. He was a founding member of Bellaire Ducks Unlimited in Bellaire, Texas, and supported the Coastal Conservation Association. Dr. Peckham’s son, father, sister, brother, and stepsister survive him. Memorials may be made to Bellaire Ducks Unlimited, 7008 S. Rice Ave., Bellaire, TX 77401, or Coastal Conservation Association, 6919 Portwest Drive, Suite 100, Houston, Texas 77024.

Richard E. Perkins

Dr. Perkins (Auburn ’60), 90, Abbeville, Louisiana, died Jan. 18, 2022. Following graduation, he established a practice in Abbeville. In 1965, Dr. Perkins founded Perkins Veterinary Clinic in Abbeville, where he practiced mixed animal medicine until retirement in 1996. He was a member of the American Association of Equine Practitioners and Louisiana VMA. Dr. Perkins served in the Air Force during the Korean War. He is survived by two daughters, a son, six grandchildren, two stepgrandchildren, and two step-great-grandchildren. Memorials toward the priest’s discretionary fund may be sent to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 101 Vermillion St., Abbeville, LA 70501.

Charles L. Putnam

Dr. Putnam (Pennsylvania ’57), 89, Concord, New Hampshire, died Feb. 5, 2022. He worked for the New Hampshire Department of Agriculture prior to retirement. Earlier in his career, Dr. Putnam owned a practice in Keene, New Hampshire, and co-founded Cheshire Animal Hospital, also in Keene. He was a past president of the Keene and Concord Lions clubs. Dr. Putnam is survived by his wife, Judy; two daughters; and two sisters. Memorials may be made to the Southern Poverty Law Center, 400 Washington Ave., Montgomery, AL 36104.

John H. Richardson

Dr. Richardson (Michigan State ’57), 88, Waterford, Michigan, died Jan. 1, 2022. Following graduation, he served as a base veterinarian with the Air Force Veterinary Corps, attaining the rank of captain. Dr. Richardson subsequently earned his master’s in surgery and medicine from Michigan State University and joined Westcott Animal Hospital in Detroit. In 1961, he established Plaza Veterinary Hospital in Farmington, Michigan.

Active with the American Animal Hospital Association, Dr. Richardson served as the association’s regional coordinator for Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana, and was the member representative for southeastern Michigan. He was also a member of the Michigan, Oakland County, and Southeastern Michigan VMAs.

In 1979, the Southeastern Michigan VMA honored Dr. Richardson for outstanding contributions to the community. He was a past Michigan VMA Veterinarian of the Year and in 1989 received the MVMA’s W. Kenneth McKersie Service Award. In 1994, Dr. Richardson was named a Distinguished Alumnus by Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine. He was AAHA Midwest Region Outstanding Practitioner in 1998 and AAHA Practitioner of the Year in 2000. In 2005, the MVMA bestowed upon Dr. Richardson the Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award.

He established the John & Shirley Richardson Endowed Scholarship at Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine, given annually to a student demonstrating leadership in the Student AVMA, AAHA, and volunteering activities. Dr. Richardson served on the Farmington City Council and was a past mayor of Farmington. He was active with the Farmington Area Chamber of Commerce, Farmington Area Recreation Commission, YMCA, Boy Scouts, and Jaycees. Dr. Richardson was the recipient of the BSA Silver Beaver Award, also receiving several honors and awards from the Jaycees.

He is survived by his wife, Shirley; two daughters and a son; five grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and a sister and a brother. Memorials may be made to CARES of Farmington Hills, 27835 Shiawassee St, Farmington Hills, MI 48336.

Michele J. Sharkey

Dr. Sharkey (Auburn ’89), Eldersburg, died Feb. 2, 2022. She worked at the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Veterinary Medicine for more than 20 years.

During that time, Dr. Sharkey evaluated new drugs, including drugs for chronic pain and antimicrobials in companion animals; spearheaded several educational initiatives such as the Animal Health Literacy campaign; and earned a master’s in bioscience regulatory affairs from Johns Hopkins University. A founding member of the FDA CVM’s Immunomodulator Focus Group, she played an important role in drafting the scientific reference document to guide the development of a regulatory pathway for monoclonal antibodies as innovative therapies for chronic pain. Dr. Sharkey received several FDA awards, including the Outstanding Service Award.

Her work led to the Pain in Animal Workshop at the National Institutes of Health. In 2016, Dr. Sharkey participated in the European Medicines Agency’s Ad Hoc Expert Group on Veterinary Novel Therapies, which developed EMA guidelines regarding the development of monoclonal antibody–based products for animals.

Earlier in her career, she completed an internship in emergency and internal medicine at Friendship Hospital for Animals in Washington, D.C. Dr. Sharkey also practiced small animal medicine in Washington, D.C.; Maryland; and Virginia for several years.

She is survived by her parents and two brothers. Memorials may be made to Small Miracles Cat & Dog Rescue, 10236 Baltimore National Pike, Ellicott City, MD 21042, or The Elephant Sanctuary of Tennessee, P.O. Box 393, Hohenwald, TN 38462.

E. Kaye Smith

Dr. Smith (Kansas State ’65), 86, St. Louis, died Feb. 18, 2022. During her career, she worked for the federal government, directed laboratory animal care at Washington University in St. Louis, and directed laboratory animal resources and served as an associate professor of zoology at Southern Illinois University. Dr. Smith retired in 1999. She was a member of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science, American Society of Laboratory Animal Practitioners, and Humane Society of Missouri. Dr. Smith is survived by her life partner, Marge Chockley. Memorials may be made to the Humane Society of Missouri, Attn: Donations, 1201 Macklind Ave., St. Louis, MO 63110.

Valerie U. Spinanger

Dr. Spinanger (Pennsylvania ’89), 79, Haddonfield, New Jersey, died Dec. 29, 2021. She practiced small animal medicine in New Jersey. Dr. Spinanger also served as an adjunct professor of anatomy, physiology, and biology at Camden County Community College. She is survived by a daughter, a grandchild, and a sister and a brother. Memorials may be made to the Haddonfield Public Library, 60 N. Haddon Ave., Haddonfield, NJ 08033, or the Good Samaritan Fund, University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, 3800 Spruce St., Philadelphia, PA 19104.

Val D. Stuve

Dr. Stuve (Michigan State ’69), 75, Fairbanks, Alaska, died Nov. 19, 2021. Following graduation, he moved to Alaska and began his career at a small animal practice in Anchorage. In 1971, Dr. Stuve joined McKinley Animal Hospital in Fairbanks. He later served as veterinarian in charge at North Pole Veterinary Hospital in North Pole, Alaska. From 1981-2012, Dr. Stuve owned Aurora Animal Clinic in Fairbanks. He later assisted at the practice for several years.

During his career, Dr. Stuve served as veterinarian for the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race and was active with the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race. He was a member of the Alaska State and Interior VMAs. Dr. Stuve is survived by his wife, Valerie. Memorials, notated to the Dr. Val D. Stuve Scholarship for Veterinary Medicine, may be made to the UA Foundation, P.O. Box 755080, Fairbanks, AK 99775.

Thomas W. Swerczek

Dr. Swerczek (Kansas State ’64), 82, Lexington, Kentucky, died Jan. 9, 2022. Following graduation and after earning his doctorate in animal pathology from the University of Connecticut, he joined the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food, and Environment’s Department of Veterinary Science. During his tenure, Dr. Swerczek served as a professor and conducted research that focused on the potential impacts of electrolyte changes, particularly in potassium and nitrate in winter pasture, and excesses or imbalances of those electrolytes in commercial grain. He retired in 2018.

Known for his expertise in equine medicine, Dr. Swerczek performed a necroscopy on famed racehorse Secretariat in 1989 and discovered his abnormally large heart, credited by many for the horse’s dominance on the racetrack. He served on the editorial board of the Journal of Equine Veterinary Science and was a reviewer for the American Journal of Veterinary Research.

Dr. Swerczek’s wife, Mary Ann; a daughter and a son; eight grandchildren; and two sisters and two brothers survive him. Memorials may be made to the Catholic Action Center, 1055 Industry Road, Lexington, KY 40505; Bluegrass Hospice Care, 1733 Harrodsburg Road, Lexington, KY 40504; or Cathedral of Christ the King, 299 Colony Blvd., Lexington, KY 40502.