posted October 1, 2008
William L. “Dub” Anderson,
Dr. William L. “Dub” Anderson of Dallas made his imprint on veterinary medicine as an equine practitioner and leader. The former AVMA president died April 25, 2008, at age 77.
He followed his brother, the late Dr. Dan J. Anderson of Fort Worth, into the veterinary profession. The Andersons are the only brothers who have served as AVMA president, Dan from 1962-1963 and William from 1977-1978.
Former AVMA president Dr. Alton F. Hopkins Jr. said, “We both practiced in Dallas all of our careers, and I basically followed him as president of our local, state, and national associations. He was a great proponent of veterinary medicine at a time when the profession was still struggling for its identity. He was one of the veterinarians who led us from being horse doctors to being professionals.”
William’s love of horses began at an early age from riding his horse to school. In 1953 he earned his veterinary degree from Texas A&M University, followed by two years in the Air Force Veterinary Corps. He entered large animal practice in his native Rockwall, Texas, eventually focusing on equine medicine.
Since 1976 he owned Lake Country Animal Hospital, a mixed animal practice in Frisco, Texas. During his career he was a partner at practices in Dallas, Addison, and Frisco. He is credited with introducing late-night emergency service to Dallas County.
Dr. Anderson was a founder of the American Association of Equine Practitioners. In 2001, the Texas VMA named Dr. Anderson its Equine Animal Practitioner of the Year. His colleague, Dr. E.T. “Zeke” Skidmore, who nominated him for the award, said, “I knew him well over 50 years, and he was one of the finest veterinarians around, particularly equine veterinarians. He pioneered many of the things in equine medicine and surgery that are routine now. He was willing to go out of his way to help other veterinarians, and he was a mentor to prospective veterinary students.”
As Texas VMA president in 1970, Dr. Anderson established the association’s public information program. While a leading member and chairman of the TVMA Legislative Committee, he spent many hours at the state capital in Austin and in Washington, D.C. A member of the Texas Academy of Veterinary Practice, Dr. Anderson helped the TVMA establish the Southwestern Animal Health Conference in conjunction with Texas A&M. In 1968 he was president of the Dallas County VMA.
Dr. Anderson served on the Texas Animal Health Commission from 1972-1976, on the Texas State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners, and on the Governor’s Commission on Drug Abuse.
Dr. Guy Sheppard, director of development at the TAMU College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, was a student taking his state boards at the time Dr. Anderson served on the examining board. Later, the governor appointed Dr. Sheppard to succeed him. He said, “I always looked up to Dr. Anderson as an excellent role model of what I wanted to be—successful in practice but also giving back to the profession.”
Dr. Anderson represented Texas as alternate delegate to the AVMA House of Delegates in 1975 and delegate in 1976. As a member of the House Advisory Committee, he chaired the reference committee on membership services.
In his inaugural address to the HOD in 1977, Dr. Anderson called for better use of veterinary technicians and foreign veterinary graduates, stronger financial support from state VMAs and AVMA members so the Association could exert greater influence on federal legislators, a more aggressive public information program, more active involvement with state associations, and development of strategic goals.
“We, the members of the veterinary profession, have had victories in the past,” Dr. Anderson said. “As the pendulum swings, let us continue ‘to dare mighty things’ and not be content to exist in the ‘gray twilight.’”
In 1980 he became one of the first two veterinarians to receive the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the TAMU veterinary college. He was an AVMA honor roll member.
For 50 years Dr. Anderson was veterinarian for the Pan-American Livestock Exposition at the State Fair of Texas. His generous community service included being a board member of two banks and a trustee of the Dallas Health and Science Museum.
The next generation of Andersons continues their fathers’ work. Dr. William Anderson’s twins, Drs. Bill Anderson and Andra Anderson, have practiced with their father and continue to run Lake Country Animal Hospital. Dr. Dan Anderson’s son is Dr. Billy Anderson, who owns a practice in Fort Worth.
Dr. Anderson is also survived by his wife, Mary Lou, and two stepdaughters, Cinde Humphreys of Dallas and Linda Barbee of Austin.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Texas A&M Foundation, designated for the W.L. Anderson Scholarship Fund, and sent to the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine, Office of the Den, 4461 TAMU, College Station, TX 77843-4461.