March 01, 2009




Posted Feb. 15, 2009

AVMA Honor Roll Member
AVMA Member

Herbert L. Bandemer

Dr. Bandemer (COR ’55), 83, Canandaigua, N.Y., died Oct. 7, 2008. In 1960, he founded Storybook Farm Veterinary Hospital in Bushnell’s Basin, N.Y, practicing there for 25 years before moving the clinic to Victor, N.Y. Earlier in his career, Dr. Bandemer practiced in Cortland, N.Y. A member of the New York State VMS, he was honored in 1995 for his commitment to the profession. Dr. Bandemer was an Army veteran of World War II, participating in the Normandy invasion and the Battle of the Bulge. He attained the rank of sergeant, earning four Bronze stars and a Purple Heart with four oak leaf clusters. Dr. Bandemer’s wife, Dorothy; a son; and two daughters survive him.   

James M. Barbee

Dr. Barbee (KSU ’45), 84, Lincoln, Neb., died Oct. 7, 2008. He practiced in Sutton, Neb., for 40 years. Dr. Barbee was a member of the American Association of Bovine Practitioners and American Association of Swine Veterinarians and a life member of the Nebraska VMA. Active in civic life, he was a three-term president of the Sutton school board, served on the Sutton city and community councils, and was instrumental in starting the Sutton Community Foundation, serving as its first president.   

Dr. Barbee is survived by three sons. His brother, Dr. Larry D. Barbee (KSU ’55), is a veterinarian in Sutton. Memorials may be made to Federated Church of Sutton, 407 N. Saunders Ave., Sutton, NE 68979; or Alzheimer’s Association, 225 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 1700, Chicago, IL 60601.  

George T. Bear

Dr. Bear (OSU ’50), 85, Ashland, Ohio, died Dec. 16, 2008. Prior to retirement, he owned a small animal practice in Columbus, Ohio, and worked in rabies control for the Ohio State Health Department. Early in his career, Dr. Bear practiced in Minnesota. He was a past president of the Ohio VMA. Dr. Bear’s wife, Lydia; three daughters; and a son survive him.    

Juan J. Bonavera

Dr. Bonavera (TAN ’81), 51, Canyon Country, Calif., died Nov. 7, 2008. He owned Canyon Country Animal Hospital since 2002. Earlier in his career, Dr. Bonavera founded an emergency animal hospital in Santa Clarita, Calif. He was a member of the Southern California VMA.   

Richard E. Cooper

Dr. Cooper (ISU ’56), 79, Centerville, Iowa, died July 12, 2008. Prior to retirement in 1998, he owned a mixed animal practice in Centerville. Dr. Cooper also served as veterinarian for the Appanoose County Fair for several years. He was a member of the Iowa VMA. Dr. Cooper was also a member of the Lions Club and an honorary member of the 4-H Club. His wife, Sharon; a son; and a daughter survive him. Memorials toward the Dr. Richard Eudean Cooper Appanoose County 4-H Youth Scholarship, Drake Avenue Christian Church, or 18-80 Club may be made c/o Thomas Lange Funeral Home, 1900 S. 18th St., Centerville, IA 52544.  

David A. Crank
Dr. Crank (IL ’74), 58, Paxton, Ill., died Nov. 3, 2008. He owned the Animal Clinic of Paxton, a small animal practice, for 27 years. Earlier in his career, Dr. Crank practiced in Belleville, Ill. He was a member of the Illinois State VMA. Dr. Crank is survived by his wife, Janice, and a daughter.  

Harry L. Gray

Dr. Gray (COR ’57), 85, Greenville, Del., died July 21, 2008. He was the founder of Brandywine Veterinary Hospital in Chadds Ford, Pa. Dr. Gray also served as veterinary adviser to the Delaware County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. He was a past president of the Brandywine Valley VMA. Dr. Gray served as a Marine during World War II, attaining the rank of sergeant. His wife, Margaret; three sons; and two daughters survive him. One son, Dr. Bradley S. Gray (UP ’99), is a veterinarian in Chadds Ford. Memorials may be made to Cornell Veterinary Alumni Association, P.O. Box 748, Ithaca, NY 14851.  

Homer H. Greenlee  

Dr. Greenlee (TEX ’41), 93, Coleman, Texas, died July 30, 2008. Prior to retirement in 1974, he owned a practice in Fort Worth, Texas. Dr. Greenlee also farmed and ranched in Coleman County since 1947. A veteran of World War II, he served as a captain in the Army. Dr. Greenlee’s two sons survive him.   

Harold W. Knirk

Dr. Knirk (MSU ’42), 89, Lansing, Mich., died Jan. 8, 2009. Prior to retirement, he managed four animal hospitals in Detroit. Following graduation, Dr. Knirk owned a practice in Monroe, Mich., for 28 years. In 1970, he joined Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine as an associate professor, also serving as director of its veterinary technician program. During that time, Dr. Knirk helped develop and win passage of legislation to define the proper registration and use of veterinary technicians in Michigan. In 1977, he became the first executive director of the Michigan VMA, serving in that capacity for seven years. 

Dr. Knirk was a past president of the Michigan VMA and North American Veterinary Technician Educators. He served as Michigan’s alternate delegate to the AVMA House of Delegates from 1978-1985, co-chaired the former AVMA Committee on Government-Subsidized Veterinary Services, was a member of the former AVMA Manpower Committee, and served on the AVMA Political Action Committee Policy Board. Dr. Knirk received several honors, including an Outstanding Alumnus Award from the MSU-CVM in 1983 and Distinguished Life Membership from the MVMA in 1986. He was also named Professional of the Year by the Michigan Association of Professions. Dr. Knirk’s wife, Vera, and three sons survive him. Memorials may be made to the Michigan Animal Health Foundation, 2144 Commons Parkway, Okemos, MI 48864.

James L. Massey

Dr. Massey (TEX ’50), 87, Beaumont, Texas, died Dec. 4, 2008. He owned a practice in Beaumont for 50 years. Earlier in his career, Dr. Massey worked for the wildlife and disease management program of the state of Washington. He served in the Air Force during World War II. Dr. Massey was a lifetime member of the National FFA Organization and a member of the Beaumont Airport Advisory Committee. He is survived by his wife, Nelda; two daughters; and a son.

Joe G. Peeples

Dr. Peeples (TEX ’63), 71, Garland, Texas, died Jan. 4, 2009. From 1992 until retirement, he served as the manager of EBS/West, a commercial bull stud and embryo transfer center in Capitan, N.M. Following graduation, Dr. Peeples practiced in Texas at Sonora, Odessa, and Plainview. In the mid 1970s, having developed an interest in bovine artificial insemination and embryo transfer technology, he worked for Codding-Armour Research in Foraker, Okla. Dr. Peeples later co-founded Southwest Embryo Transfer Service in San Antonio and spent a year at the Department of Agriculture’s Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory in College Station, Texas. 

In the late 1980s, he worked in Paraguay with the Granada Corporation. A charter member and past president of the American Embryo Transfer Association, Dr. Peeples was named Embryo Transfer Person-of-the-Year in 1986 and granted honorary life membership in 2001. He is survived by his wife, Edna; a daughter; and three stepdaughters. Memorials may be made to the American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 102454, Atlanta, GA 30368; or Texas A&M Foundation, 401 George Bush Drive, College Station, TX 77840.  

James R. Piotrowski

Dr. Piotrowski (MIN ’58), 78, Crescent City, Calif., died Dec. 18, 2008. From 1980 until retirement in 1994, he was a theriogenologist and veterinary consultant for the Upjohn Company in Fort Collins, Colo. Following graduation, Dr. Piotrowski practiced in Cozad, Neb., for 16 years. He then joined American Cynamid, serving first as a technical service consultant in Worthington, Ohio, and, later, as product manager in Princeton, N.J.

Dr. Piotrowski was a member of the Colorado VMA, American Association of Bovine Practitioners, Academy of Veterinary Consultants, American Association of Swine Veterinarians, and what is now known as the American Association of Corporate and Public Practice Veterinarians, a group that in 1994 named him Veterinarian of the Year. Dr. Piotrowski’s wife, Maida; three daughters; and a son survive him. Memorials may be made to the Del Norte Tennis Association, P.O. Box 307, Crescent City, CA 95531.   

Robert L. Pyles
Dr. Pyles (KSU ’43), 86, Albuquerque, N.M., died Sept. 4, 2008. Prior to retirement in 1984, he served as New Mexico state veterinarian. Earlier in his career, Dr. Pyles worked for the Department of Agriculture as New Mexico veterinarian-in-charge. During that time, the state attained hog cholera-free status. A veteran of World War II, he served in the Army Air Force. Dr. Pyles was a past president of the New Mexico VMA and a member of the New Mexico Cattle Growers Association and National Association of Federal Veterinarians. In 1972, he was named New Mexico Veterinarian of the Year. Dr. Pyles’ wife, Ruth, and two sons survive him. Memorials may be made to Harwood United Methodist Church, 420 San Lorenzo N.W., Albuquerque, NM 87107.
Ray F. Reppert

Dr. Reppert (ISU ’43), 88, Okoboji, Iowa, died Jan. 14, 2009. Prior to retirement, he practiced mixed animal medicine in Pender, Neb. Dr. Reppert was an Army Veterinary Corps veteran of World War II. His wife, Norma, and two sons survive him. Memorials may be made to the Iowa State University Large Animal Medical Center, Iowa State University Foundation, 2505 University Blvd., Ames, IA 50011.   

Dale A. Tibbitts

Dr. Tibbitts (WSU ’59), 73, Roy, Wash., died Oct. 30, 2008. Prior to retirement, he co-owned Parkway Veterinary Clinic in Parkland, Wash. Early in his career, Dr. Tibbitts practiced in Oregon. He was a member of the Washington State VMA. Dr. Tibbitts is survived by his wife, Norine; two sons; and two daughters. Memorials may be made to the Benevolence Fund at Rainier View, 12305 Spanaway Loop Road, Tacoma, WA 98444.  

Richard L. Walker

Dr. Walker (CAL ’80), 56, Davis, Calif., died Dec. 1, 2008. A diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Microbiologists, he was a professor of clinical diagnostic bacteriology at the University of California-Davis and chief microbiologist at the California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory. Known for his expertise in veterinary pathogens key to animal agriculture, Dr. Walker conducted research in infectious diseases, clinical veterinary bacteriology and mycology, and the use of molecular diagnostic techniques in clinical bacteriology. 

Early in his career, he practiced in California at Vacaville and Cordelia and served as an assistant professor at the North Carolina State University School of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Walker was a member of the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians, American Society for Microbiologists, and Conference of Research Workers in Animal Diseases. His wife, Deidre, and a daughter survive him.  

Drue S. Ward
Dr. Ward (TEX ’39), 92, Fort Worth, Texas, died Dec. 13, 2008. He was the founder of Ward Animal Hospital in Fort Worth, practicing there for 35 years. Dr. Ward also served as veterinarian for the Fort Worth Stock Show. From 1953-1957, he served on the Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners. Dr. Ward’s wife, Louise, and three daughters survive him. His nephews, Drs. Billy C. Ward (TEX ’63) and Kenneth L. Ward (TEX ’67), are veterinarians in Texas at Georgetown and Dallas, respectively. Memorials may be made to the All Saints Episcopal Church, 5001 Crestline Road, Fort Worth, TX 76017; or Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Suite 101-VMA, College Station, TX 77842.