December 01, 2009



Posted Nov. 18, 2009

AVMA Honor Roll Member
AVMA Member

Joseph E. Badger

Dr. Badger (OSU '35), 101, New Vernon, N.J., died July 18, 2009. Prior to retirement, he owned small animal practices in New Jersey at Madison and Far Hills. Dr. Badger was a member of the New Jersey VMA.

Ralph H. Burkholder

Dr. Burkholder (OSU '58), 74, Greenville, Ohio, died Aug. 23, 2009. Prior to retirement in 1995, he worked for the Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service for 30 years. Before that, Dr. Burkholder practiced mixed animal medicine in Glasgow, Ky., and in Ohio at Wauseon, Holmesville, and Shreve. Early in his career, he served in the Air Force as base veterinarian at Minot AFB in North Dakota. Dr. Burkholder attained the rank of captain.

He was a life member of the Ohio VMA and a past president of the Killbuck Valley VMA. Dr. Burkholder served on the board of directors of the Greenville Public Library and Darke County Soil and Water Conservation District. He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth; a daughter; and a son. Memorials may be made to the Greenville Public Library, 520 Sycamore St., Greenville OH 45331; State of the Heart Hospice, 1350 N. Broadway St., Greenville, OH 45331; Wernle Children's Home, 2000 Wernle Road, Richmond, IN 47374; or St. John's Lutheran Church Building Fund, 7418 State Route 121 N., Greenville, OH 45331.

Donald L. Coshun

Dr. Coshun (MIN '62), 71, Waukesha, Wis., died Oct. 2, 2009. Prior to retirement in 2005, he was a relief veterinarian. Earlier, Dr. Coshun owned Waukesha Animal Hospital and a practice in Sussex, Wis., focusing on small animal medicine. He was a past president of the Midwest Small Animal Association and Waukesha VMA, and a charter member of the Wisconsin Academy of Veterinary Practice. Dr. Coshun was also a member of the American Animal Hospital Association and Wisconsin VMA and a charter member of the Kern Foundation, an organization that assists in providing animal care to Waukesha County pets whose owners are unable to afford it. Dr. Coshun served on the board of directors of the Ventures in People Foundation and participated in eight of its medical missions to Haiti.

His wife, Jean, and two daughters survive him. Memorials toward Ventures in People Foundation or Kern Foundation may be sent to Jean Coshun, c/o Church and Chapel, 380 Bluemound Road, Waukesha, WI 53188.

Robert F. Cross

Dr. Cross (OSU '46), 85, Wooster, Ohio, died Sept. 1, 2009. A diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists, he was professor emeritus of veterinary preventive medicine at The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine since 1987. Following graduation, Dr. Cross served in the Army for two years. He then joined OSU as an instructor of veterinary pathology. From 1951-1958, Dr. Cross worked in Hawaii. During that time, he served as a veterinary pathologist, was a zoo veterinarian, taught at the University of Hawaii, and was a partner in a practice.

Dr. Cross joined the veterinary faculty of Purdue University in 1958. In 1966, he moved to Wooster as a professor in the Department of Veterinary Science at OSU's Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. Dr. Cross' wife, Eileen; two sons; two daughters; and four stepdaughters survive him. One son, Dr. Joseph M. Cross (OSU '75), is a veterinarian in Parma Heights, Ohio. Memorials may be made to Hospice & Palliative Care of Greater Wayne, 2525 Back Orrville Road, Wooster, OH 44691; or Wayne County Care Center Auxiliary, 876 S. Geyers Chapel Road, Wooster, OH 44691.

Anton J. Eckstein

Dr. Eckstein (ISU '46), 85, New Ulm, Minn., died April 13, 2009. He owned a practice in New Ulm from 1947-1983. In later years, Dr. Eckstein practiced at Sleepy Veterinary Clinic in Sleepy Eye, Minn., and worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Buffalo Lake, Minn. He was a past president of the Minnesota Board of Veterinary Medicine and a life member of the Minnesota and Minnesota Valley VMAs.

Active in political life, Dr. Eckstein was mayor of New Ulm from 1959-1962 and served in the Minnesota State House of Representatives from 1971-1978. His wife, Harriet; four daughters; and two sons survive him.

Donald S. Fincher

Dr. Fincher (GA '59), 79, Galax, Va., died May 28, 2009. A mixed animal practitioner, he founded Galax Veterinary Clinic in 1966. Earlier in his career, Dr. Fincher practiced in Little Rock, Ark., and in North Carolina at Taylorsville and Sparta. He helped establish the Galax Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and Galax Carroll Grayson Animal Shelter. Active in civic life, Dr. Fincher served on the Galax School Board and was a charter member of the Galax Theatre Guild. He was an Army veteran of the Korean War.

Dr. Fincher's wife, Lois; a daughter; and two sons survive him. His son, Dr. Donald C. Fincher (NCU '89), practices at Galaxy Veterinary Clinic. Memorials may be made to Galax SPCA, c/o Nancee Waugh, P.O. Box 230, Galax, VA 24333; Twin County Humane Society, P.O. Box 125, Hillsville, VA 24343; or First United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 455, Galax, VA 24333.

William D. Funk

Dr. Funk (MIN '56), 80, Maple Grove, Minn., died June 17, 2009. A small animal practitioner, he owned Funk Animal Hospital in Brooklyn Park, Minn. Dr. Funk's wife, Mary, and nine daughters survive him. One daughter, Dr. Judith M. Funk (MIN '82), is a veterinarian in Minneapolis. Memorials may be made to the Minnesota Medical Foundation, P.O. Box 64001, St. Paul, MN 55164.

John J. Gattuso

Dr. Gattuso (IL '75), 60, Lebanon, Ill., died May 11, 2009. He owned Animal Hospital of O'Fallon in O'Fallon, Ill., focusing on small animal, exotic, and wildlife medicine. Dr. Gattuso also served as head veterinarian at Fairmont Park Racetrack in Collinsville, Ill., and bred, raised, trained, and handled field trial English Pointers, twice winning the National Field Trial Championships. Earlier in his career, he managed the Emergency Veterinary Service in Lisle, Ill., and owned what was known as Minton Animal Hospital in Fairview Heights, Ill.

Dr. Gattuso was a past president of the Metro East VMA and a past member of the Southern Illinois VMA's Ethics Committee. His daughter survives him. Memorials may be made to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, One Natural Resources Way, Springfield, IL 62702.

James H. Gray

Dr. Gray (COR '75), 63, Ventura, Calif., died July 24, 2009. A small animal practitioner, he was head veterinarian at Ventura Veterinary Hospital for more than 30 years. Dr. Gray is survived by a daughter.

Judith C. Haefner

Dr. Haefner (MSU '65), 67, Fountain Valley, Calif., died Aug. 11, 2009. A small animal practitioner, she owned a practice in Fountain Valley. Early in her career, Dr. Haefner owned a practice in Pontiac, Mich. Her two sons survive her. Memorials in her name may be made to the San Diego Zoological Society, 2920 Zoo Drive, San Diego, CA 92101.

Robert R. Hirshberg

Dr. Hirshberg (GA '51), 80, Hartsville, S.C., died July 16, 2009. Prior to retirement, he owned 76 Animal Hospital, a mixed animal practice in Sumter, S.C., for 47 years. Dr. Hirshberg served in the Air Force and Air Force Reserve, retiring with the rank of major. He was a member of the Jaycees, Elks, and Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club. Dr. Hirshberg received several honors, including the Salvation Army Others Award and the Boys and Girls Clubs of America's Distinguished Service Medallion. His daughter and two sons survive him. Memorials may be made to Temple Sinai Sisterhood Remembrance Fund, 13 Church St., Sumter, SC 29150; or Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club, 16 Kendrick St., Sumter, SC 29150.

Gianpaolo Maestrone

Dr. Maestrone (MIL '51), 79, Staten Island, N.Y., died Oct. 5, 2009. A diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Microbiologists, he was director of scientific and medical affairs at the American Parkinson Disease Association for more than 20 years. Dr. Maestrone began his career as a research associate at the Animal Medical Center in New York. He then worked at E.R. Squibb in New Brunswick, N.J., as a senior research microbiologist. Dr. Maestrone later joined Hoffmann-LaRoche's Animal Science Research Department in Nutley, N.J., as a senior microbiologist, retiring 20 years later as research leader when he joined the APDA.

Known for his efforts toward Parkinson's disease research on an international scale, he helped establish the Italian Parkinson Disease Association and assisted in developing the World Parkinson Disease Association. Dr. Maestrone was a member of the New York Academy of Medicine and the Conference of Research Workers in Animal Diseases. His wife, Sophia; a son; and two daughters survive him.

B.J. Myers

Dr. Myers (KSU '43), 90, Norman, Okla., died Aug. 17, 2009. He established Norman Veterinary Hospital in 1944, practicing there until retirement in 1984. Dr. Myers was a veteran of the Army. His daughter and two sons survive him. Dr. Myers' nephew, Dr. Mark A. Stanley (KSU '79), operates Norman Veterinary Hospital.

Jane M. Salsbury

Dr. Salsbury (TEX '90), 50, Embudo, N.M., died Aug. 27, 2009. A mixed animal practitioner, she established Espanola Valley Veterinary Clinic in San Juan Pueblo, N.M., in 2006. Earlier in her career, Dr. Salsbury practiced in Espanola, N.M., operated a mobile practice, and owned Mountain Veterinary Clinic in Rinconada, N.M. Her husband, Robert F. Fisher, survives her. Memorials may be made to Espanola Valley Humane Society, 108 Hamm Parkway, Espanola, NM 87532.

Joel D. Stahlecker

Dr. Stahlecker (COL '79), 54, Buena Vista, Colo., died June 5, 2009. A mixed animal practitioner, he owned Cottonwood Veterinary Service in Buena Vista. During his career, Dr. Stahlecker also practiced in Colorado at Divide and Colorado Springs. He is survived by his wife, Lisa; a daughter; and a son. Memorials may be made to Chaffee County Search and Rescue, P.O. Box 313, Poncha Springs, CO 81242; Rocky Mountain Theological Institute, 1310 Evergreen Heights Drive, Woodland Park, CO 80863; Faith Lutheran Church, P.O. Box 1448, Buena Vista, CO 81221; or (in memory of Dr. Joel D. Stahlecker), 950 S. Cherry St., Suite G-16, Denver, CO 80246.

Henry A. Stevens

Dr. Stevens (OSU '52), 85, Anna Maria, Fla., died Aug. 3, 2009. Retired since 2007, he was the founder of Bayshore Animal Hospital in Bradenton, Fla., in 1962 and Island Animal Clinic in Anna Maria in 1981. Following graduation, Dr. Stevens established a large animal practice in North Manchester, Ind. In 1960, he moved to Florida to work for the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

During his career, Dr. Stevens also served as veterinarian at Africa USA, a wildlife tourist attraction. He was an Army Air Corps veteran of World War II and a member of the American Legion. Dr. Stevens' wife, Catherine; a son; a daughter; and two stepsons survive him. Memorials may be made to Humane Society of Manatee County, 2515 14th St. W., Bradenton, FL 34205.


Your assistance is needed

to ensure timely publication of obituaries. Please report the death of a colleague or relative promptly to the AVMA News Staff in the Publications Division via a toll-free phone call at (800) 248-2862, Ext. 6754; e-mail at; or fax at (847) 925-9329.