posted May 1, 2009
AVMA Honor Roll Member
David K. Detweiler
Dr. Detweiler (UP ’42), 89, Gladwyne, Pa., died Feb. 15, 2009. Known for his expertise in veterinary comparative cardiology, he was professor emeritus of physiology and animal biology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine since 1995. Dr. Detweiler began his career at Penn as an assistant instructor in physiology and pharmacology, serving as acting head for the two disciplines from 1944-1947. In 1962 he became professor of physiology, with a joint appointment in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. From 1962-1968, Dr. Detweiler served as head of the Laboratory of Physiology and Pharmacology in the veterinary school. In 1970, he was named head of the graduate group in comparative medical science.
During his tenure at Penn, Dr. Detweiler obtained grants from the National Institutes of Health for epidemiologic studies on heart disease in dogs. In 1960, the NIH awarded him a grant to establish the Comparative Cardiovascular Studies Unit at the university. The creation of the CCSU established the veterinary school as a center for comparative cardiovascular research and training.
Dr. Detweiler was a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine. During his career, he served as a Guggenheim Fellow at the University of Zurich and lectured at several universities in Germany. Dr. Detweiler received an honorary doctor of science degree from The Ohio State University and honorary veterinary degrees from the Vienna Veterinary School, Austria, and University of Turin, Italy. He was a past president of the Academy of Veterinary Cardiology, served as a consultant on cardiovascular disease for the World Health Organization, and was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.
Dr. Detweiler received several honors, including the Gaines Award in 1960 and the Pennsylvania VMA Distinguished Veterinarian Award in 1990. In 1982, the World Small Animal VA established the D.K. Detweiler Prize for outstanding scientific work in cardiovascular research, especially as applied to small animals. Dr. Detweiler is survived by his wife, Birthe; two sons; four daughters; three stepsons; and a stepdaughter. Memorials toward the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine may be made to the Office of Development and Alumni Relations, University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, 3800 Spruce St., Philadelphia, PA 19104.
Frank L. Docton
Dr. Docton (OSU ’51), 89, Xenia, Ohio, died Feb. 18, 2009. He retired in 1988 from Docton Animal Clinic in Xenia. Early in his career, Dr. Docton was an instructor of pathology at The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine. He served as a captain in the Army Air Corps during World War II. Dr. Docton’s wife, Elizabeth, and a son survive him. His son, Dr. Maurice H. Docton (OSU ’78), works for The Iams Company in Dayton, Ohio.
Wayne L. Emerson
Dr. Emerson (ISU ’49), 84, Eagle Grove, Iowa, died Feb. 15, 2009. He practiced at Emerson Veterinary Clinic and Hospital in Eagle Grove for 60 years. Dr. Emerson was a life member of the Iowa VMA. He was the recipient of a 1987 Stange Award from Iowa State University. In 1992, Dr. Emerson received the IVMA President’s Award.
Active in civic life, he served on the Eagle Grove City Council for several years. Dr. Emerson was a Navy veteran of World War II. He is survived by a son and daughter. Dr. Emerson’s son, Dr. Ronald C. Emerson (ISU ’73), practices at Emerson Veterinary Clinic and Hospital. His granddaughter, Dr. Jennifer Emerson Mathis (ISU ’01), is a veterinarian in West Des Moines, Iowa.
Wayne L. Finkbeiner
Dr. Finkbeiner (MSU ’47), 88, Middleville, Mich., died Jan. 23, 2009. He was the founder of Southkent Veterinary Hospital in Caledonia, Mich., practicing there until retirement in 1982. Dr. Finkbeiner was a member of the Michigan VMA and a past member of its board of directors. He also served on the Caledonia School Board and Kent Intermediate School Board for several years and was active with the 4-H and Rotary clubs. Dr. Finkbeiner served as a lieutenant in the Army Air Corps. His wife, Marie, and three daughters survive him. Memorials may be made to Leighton United Methodist Church, 4180 2nd St., Caledonia, MI 49316; or The Wayne and Marie Finkbeiner Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 164, Middleville, MI 49333.
John F. Hudelson
Dr. Hudelson (ISU ’51), 86, Parachute, Colo., died Feb. 19, 2009. Prior to retirement in 1988, he was Colorado state veterinarian. Following graduation, Dr. Hudelson owned a practice in Pomona, Kan., for six years. He then worked as area veterinarian for the Department of Agriculture in northwest Kansas. In 1958, Dr. Hudelson became state veterinarian for the Kansas Livestock Sanitary Commission. He served as Kansas Livestock Commissioner from 1970-1972, following which he moved to Colorado to serve as assistant state veterinarian.
Dr. Hudelson was a past president of the United States Animal Health Association, Kansas VMA, and Western States Livestock Assocation. He was named Kansas Veterinarian of the Year in 1971 and Colorado Veterinarian of the Year in 1985. Dr. Hudelson served in the Army Air Corps during World War II. His two daughters and a son survive him.
William C. Lawrence
Dr. Lawrence (UP ’59), 74, West Chester, Pa., died Nov. 22, 2008. He was professor emeritus of microbiology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Lawrence is survived by three daughters.
Earl E. Lindsay
Dr. Lindsay (OSU ’54), 82, Williamsburg, Va., died March 4, 2009. Prior to retirement in 1995, he owned Aquadale Veterinary Clinic in Massillon, Ohio, for more than 40 years. Dr. Lindsay served on the Ohio School Board and was active with the K9 Connection Therapy Dog Group and Boy Scouts of America. He was an Air Force veteran of World War II. Dr. Lindsay’s wife, Nancy; a son; and a daughter survive him. Memorials may be made to the Heritage Humane Society, 430 Walter Mill Road, Williamsburg, VA 23185.
John R. Molesworth
Dr. Molesworth (KSU ’63), 71, Posen, Mich., died Sept. 18, 2008. Prior to retirement in 2006, he was a field service veterinarian and livestock agent at Michigan State University Extension. Early in his career, Dr. Molesworth owned a practice in Rugby, N.D., for 25 years. He was a past president of the North Dakota VMA. Dr. Molesworth was a veteran of the Army. His wife, Glenda, and two sons survive him.
James P. O’Connell
Dr. O’Connell (WSU ’41), 92, Hayden, Idaho, died Dec. 13, 2008. From 1952 until retirement in 1979, he owned Sunset Animal Clinic in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Following graduation, Dr. O’Connell worked for the Department of Agriculture in California. In 1945, he moved to Coeur d’Alene, where he established a practice.
Dr. O’Connell was a past member of the Idaho Board of Veterinary Medicine. His four daughters and two sons survive him. Memorials may be made to St. Pius X Church, 625 E. Haycraft Ave., Coeur d’Alene, ID 83815; or The Holy Family Catholic School, 3005 Kathleen Ave., Coeur d’Alene, ID 83815.
Tom F. Ohnemus
Dr. Ohnemus (MEX ’83), 67, San Antonio, died Dec. 25, 2008. He was administrator of the Animal Hospital of San Antonio. Dr. Ohnemus was a veteran of the Army, attaining the rank of colonel. He received a Department of Defense Superior Service Medal. Dr. Ohnemus is survived by his wife, Dr. Rachael S. Ohnemus (MSU ’74), who practices at the Animal Hospital of San Antonio, and two daughters. Memorials may be made to St. Peter Prince of the Apostles Catholic Church, 111 Barilla Place, San Antonio, TX 78209.
Earl J. Splitter
Dr. Splitter (KSU ’43), 88, Plantation, Fla., died Dec. 24, 2008. Known for his expertise in hemoparasitic diseases, including eperythrozoonosis, anaplasmosis, and theileriosis, he retired from the U.S. Department of Agriculture as deputy director of animal health in 1986. Following graduation, Dr. Splitter worked as junior state veterinarian for the North Carolina Department of Agriculture. In 1946, he joined the faculty of Kansas State University, where he conducted research and became an associate professor.
Dr. Splitter’s career with the USDA began in 1957 when he joined the experiment station of the Agricultural Research Service as principal veterinarian. During his almost 20-year tenure, he served as director of research and education of what was is now known as the Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service. Dr. Splitter was a liaison representative for regional committees on animal health research, headed review teams for research and graduate education programs in veterinary medicine, and eventually became responsible for the administration of the extramural research programs in animal health, including formula funds and special/peer-reviewed grants.
He was a member of the National Association of Federal Veterinarians, American Association of Veterinary Parasitologists, and Conference of Research Workers in Animal Diseases. Dr. Splitter received several honors, including the USDA Superior Service Award in 1971; the KSU Distinguished Service Award and USDA Director’s Award in 1982; and the American Feed Industry Association Award in 1986. In 1988, the 69th annual meeting of the CRWAD was dedicated to him. Dr. Splitter is survived by his wife, Clara; two daughters; and a son. His son, Dr. Gary A. Splitter (KSU ’69), is a member of the veterinary faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Charles S. Thorpe
Dr. Thorpe (AUB ’52), 85, New Baden, Ill., died Jan. 21, 2009. Prior to retirement in 2008, he owned a practice in New Baden. Dr. Thorpe was a member of the Illinois State VMA. An Army veteran of World War II, he was also a member of the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Dr. Thorpe is survived by his wife, Frances, and a daughter. Memorials may be made to Zion United Church of Christ Building Fund, 11 N. Railway St., New Baden, IL 62265.