December 15, 2013



​Posted Dec. 4, 2013 

AVMA member
AVMA honor roll member

Woodrow J. Allen
Dr. Allen (COL ’71), 69, Carson City, Nev., died Sept. 20, 2013. A small animal veterinarian, he was a partner at Sierra Veterinary Hospital in Carson City. Dr. Allen was a past president of the Nevada VMA and served as Nevada’s alternate delegate to the AVMA House of Delegates from 2003-2009 and as delegate from 2009-2012. In 2008, he was named Nevada Veterinarian of the Year. Dr. Allen was a past commander of the Carson City Sheriff’s Aero Squadron and a past president of the Rotary Club of Carson City. He is survived by his wife, Tish; two daughters and two sons; and six grandchildren. Memorials may be made to Carson City Rotary Foundation, c/o Steve Lewis, 3 Tesla Circle, Carson City, NV 89706.


George L. Anstadt
Dr. Anstadt (UP ’57), 81, Tipp City, Ohio, died Aug. 1, 2013. A diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons and American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine, he owned Anstadt Animal Hospital in Tipp City. Dr. Anstadt also helped establish Upper Heights Veterinary Clinic in Huber Heights, Ohio, and All Pets Animal Hospital in Oakwood, Ohio. Early in his career, Dr. Anstadt served in the Air Force as a veterinary officer. During that time, he was chief of the surgery support branch of the Veterinary Sciences Division at the Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine; participated in the Mercury space program; and conducted research in cardiovascular physiology. In 1968, Dr. Anstadt received the Science of the Year Award from the Texas chapter of the Air Force Association for the design and development of the Anstadt Heart Cup, a mechanical ventricular assister, providing mechanical assistance to the heart without extravascular circulation. He attained the rank of lieutenant colonel. Dr. Anstadt’s wife, Inge; two sons; and four grandchildren survive him. Memorials toward the George L. Anstadt Heart Cup Research Fund may be made c/o Frings and Bayliff Funeral Home, 327 W. Main St., Tipp City, OH 45371.

Jane W. Benson
Dr. Benson (COR ’47), 87, Bainbridge, N.Y., died Aug. 28, 2013. She practiced mixed animal medicine with her late husband, Dr. Kenneth W. Benson (COR ’48), in Bainbridge for 60 years. Active in civic life, Dr. Benson was a member of the Bainbridge Guilford Board of Education for 15 years and helped evaluate Rotary Club projects in Africa. Her eight children; 30 grandchildren; and 20 great-grandchildren survive her. Memorials may be made to First United Methodist Church, 27 N. Main St., Bainbridge, NY 13733.

Walter W. Cook
Dr. Cook (ISU ’51), 90, Stuart, Iowa, died Sept. 20, 2013. He worked as a meat inspector for the Department of Agriculture prior to retirement in 1985. Dr. Cook also owned a grain and livestock farm in Dallas County, Iowa. Early in his career, he practiced large animal medicine in Iowa in Bagley and Stuart. Dr. Cook served in the Army during World War II, attaining the rank of second lieutenant. He was a member of the American Legion. Dr. Cook’s wife, Florence; two sons and a daughter; 13 grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren survive him. Memorials may be made to Stuart Depot Restoration, P.O. Box 307, Stuart, IA 50250.

George H. Cunningham
Dr. Cunningham (MO ’68), 70, La Center, Ky., died Oct. 9, 2013. A mixed animal veterinarian, he practiced at Coffee Memorial Animal Clinic in La Center for 45 years. Dr. Cunningham was a member of the American Angus Association, national and Kentucky cattlemen’s associations, and Kentucky and Jackson Purchase VMAs. His wife, Mary; three children; and seven grandchildren survive him. Memorials may be made to First Baptist Church, 421 Broadway St., La Center, KY 42056; or Lourdes Hospice, P.O. Box 7100, Paducah, KY 42002.

Joseph M. Fell
Dr. Fell (MSU ’47), 93, Saint Augustine, Fla., died Aug. 22, 2013. A diplomate of the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine, he owned Animal and Bird Hospital in Morristown, N.J., from 1960 until retirement in 1980. During that time, Dr. Fell also served as a consultant in laboratory animal medicine. Early in his career, he was director of the Gaines Dog Food Research Kennels, served as assistant medical director for E.R. Squibb, managed veterinary sales and marketing at Pfizer Inc., and conducted clinical research at Warner Chilcott. Dr. Fell was a past president of what is now known as the American Association of Corporate and Public Practice Veterinarians and served on the executive committee of the American Veterinary Exhibitors Association. He was also a past president of the New Jersey and Metropolitan New Jersey VMAs and a member of the American Animal Hospital Association. In 1980, the MNJVMA named Dr. Fell Veterinarian of the Year. He is survived by his wife, Betty; two sons and a daughter; eight grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren.

John W. Holden
Dr. Holden (MO ’59), 84, Sonoma, Calif., died July 6, 2013. He owned a large animal practice in the Sonoma and Napa areas of California for nearly 50 years. Dr. Holden was a veteran of the Marine Corps. His two sons, three daughters, and seven grandchildren survive him.

William S. Jones Jr.
Dr. Jones (UP ’71), 69, New Castle, Del., died June 17, 2013. A mixed animal practitioner, he established Red Lion Veterinary Hospital in New Castle in 1978. Earlier in his career, Dr. Jones served as a captain in the Army Veterinary Corps. He is survived by his wife, Patricia; three sons and two daughters; and six grandchildren. Dr. Jones’ daughter and son Drs. Courtney Manetti (UP ’99) and Luke Jones (UP ’05) practice at Red Lion Veterinary Hospital. Memorials may be made to Society of St. Vincent de Paul, c/o St. Elizabeth Ann Seton R.C. Church, 345 Bear-Christiana Road, Bear, DE 19701.

Dale F. McKenzie
Dr. McKenzie (MSU ’69), 67, Caledonia, Mich., died July 16, 2013. A large animal practitioner, he owned South Kent Veterinary Hospital in Caledonia for 41 years. Dr. McKenzie also served as an adjunct professor at the Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine. He was a past president of the West Michigan VMA and Michigan Veterinary Board of Nutrition and a member of the Michigan VMA and American Association of Bovine Practitioners. In 2007, Dr. McKenzie was named MSU Food Animal Practitioner of the Year. He is survived by his wife, Diane; two daughters and a son; and eight grandchildren. Memorials may be made to Dutton Christian School Foundation, 6729 Hanna Lake SE, Caledonia, MI 49316; or Spectrum Health Hospice, 100 Michigan St. NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503.

William R. Morton
Dr. Morton (UP ’67), 73, Edmonds, Wash., died Sept. 4, 2013. He owned and served as chairman of Paris NHP, a consulting service for biomedical research in Edmonds since 2005. Dr. Morton began his career practicing mixed animal medicine in Dover, N.H. From 1968-1973, he served as veterinarian at what is now known as the Washington National Primate Research Center. Dr. Morton then established a practice in South Paris, Maine. In 1976, Dr. Morton returned to the WNPRC as a supervisory veterinarian. From 1995-2005, he directed the WNPRC and served as a professor in the Department of Comparative Medicine at the University of Washington. During this part of his career with the WNPRC, he also owned and managed the Seattle Emergency Veterinary Hospital for seven years and traveled several times to Indonesia in his role as a professor in the primate program at Bogor Agricultural University.
Dr. Morton was a past member of the Institute for Laboratory Animal Research Council and a past treasurer of the Association of Primate Veterinarians. From 1996-1999, he served on the editorial board of the Journal of Medical Primatology. Dr. Morton’s wife, Jackie; two sons and a daughter; and six grandchildren survive him. Memorials may be made to the Department of Neurology, University of Washington Medical Center, 1100 NE 45th St., Suite 405, Seattle, WA 98105.

Harry P. O’Connor
Dr. O’Connor (COR ’68), 70, Lowville, N.Y., died Oct. 2, 2013. A large animal veterinarian, he practiced at what is now known as Countryside Veterinary Clinic in Lowville for more than 40 years. Dr. O’Connor also served as public health officer and rabies coordinator in Lowville. Earlier in his career, he worked in Burrville, N.Y. Dr. O’Connor was a member of the American Association of Bovine Practitioners and a past president of the New York State Association of Agricultural Fairs and the Lewis County Fair board of directors. He was also a lifetime member of the Lowville Elks Lodge. Dr. O’Connor’s wife, Donna; three sons and a daughter; and nine grandchildren survive him. Memorials may be made to Lowville Rural Cemetery Association, c/o E.S.K. Merrell, 7624 N. State St., Lowville, NY 13367; or LACS Business Office, Attn: Dr. Harry P. O’Connor Scholarship Fund, 7668 N. State St., Lowville, NY 13367.

M. Joan Parent
Dr. Parent (ONT ’45), 90, Foley, Minn., died Oct. 4, 2013. She practiced mixed animal medicine with her late husband, Dr. Murray X. Parent (ONT ’45), and father-in-law, Dr. Joseph X. Parent, in Foley until the late 1940s. Dr. Parent later became very active in civic life. She served on the Foley School Board for 30 years and was a past president of the Minnesota School Boards Association board of directors, Minnesota State High School League board of directors, and National School Boards Association. Dr. Parent advocated for girls and women to be able to participate equally in sports. She is survived by a son and a daughter; six grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.

Margaret M. Saari
Dr. Saari (CAL ’72), 74, New York, died Aug. 4, 2013. A small animal veterinarian, she worked for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in New York prior to retirement in 2001. Dr. Saari also bred Cocker Spaniels and was active with the American Spaniel Club, serving as the club’s national record keeper and as health chair in 2006. Dr. Saari was elected to the ASC Hall of Fame in 2011.

Donald H. Scarbrough
Dr. Scarbrough (TEX ’78), 59, Palestine, Texas, died Aug. 9, 2013. A small animal practitioner, he owned Brookhollow Veterinary Clinic in Palestine for 34 years. Dr. Scarbrough’s son survives him. Memorials may be made to Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, KS 66675.

James H. Steele
Dr. Steele (MSU ’41), 100, Houston, died Nov. 10, 2013.

The man known as “the father of veterinary public health” was commended 25 years ago by resolution of the AVMA Council on Public Health and Regulatory Veterinary Medicine for 50 years of universal contributions to the veterinary profession and veterinary public health.

And for another quarter-century, Dr. Steele would continue to personify the one-health movement and advance the veterinary public health field, all the while inspiring and mentoring generations of students and veterinarians to carry on the work.

Dr. Steele dedicated his career to investigating zoonotic diseases and the connections between human and animal health. His influence was international. Since 1983, he was a professor emeritus at the University of Texas School of Public Health, part of the UT Health Science Center at Houston.

As a veterinary student in the Michigan State University class of ’41, he saw many classmates contract brucellosis, prompting him to intern at the Michigan Health Department to learn more about zoonoses. In 1942, at Harvard University, he became one of the first veterinarians to receive a Master of Public Health.

Dr. Steele was commissioned in 1943 as a sanitarian in the U.S. Public Health Service in Chicago, well before other Commissioned Corps positions for veterinarians were established.

In 1947, the veterinary public health program Dr. Steele initiated at the USPHS was approved and a veterinary medical officer category was created. That year, the veterinary public health program became the Veterinary Public Health Division of the Communicable Disease Center (now the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) in Atlanta, and he was appointed chief of the division, the first in any government in the world. In 1949, he was named veterinary adviser to the U.S. surgeon general.

Dr. Steele was also a motivating force behind establishment of veterinary public health programs in many state and local health departments, and a leader in the control of foodborne diseases.

In 1968, he was named the first assistant surgeon general for veterinary affairs, a one-star rank, and continued to serve as chief of veterinary public health for the CDC. In his role as assistant surgeon general, Dr. Steele consulted for, and collaborated with, the World Health Organization, United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), and many countries to establish programs in veterinary public health. In 1970, Dr. Steele attained the two-star rank of admiral on his appointment as deputy assistant secretary for health and human services.

Retiring from the CDC in 1971, Dr. Steele joined the faculty at the UTHealth School of Public Health. As a professor of environmental health, he continued to advance understanding of zoonoses. He compiled and edited the world’s first comprehensive series on zoonotic diseases, the CRC Handbook Series in Zoonoses.

In the 1980s, he founded the American Veterinary Epidemiology Society. He was a co-founder and honorary diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine and a co-founder of the Conference of Public Health Veterinarians.

Retirement came in 1983, but Dr. Steele went on mentoring students and lecturing for many years. The James H. Steele Lecture Series was established in his honor in 1992. Friends from as far as Africa and Europe came to his lecture series this past April to help him celebrate his 100th birthday.

Dr. Steele was a member of the first WHO Expert Committee on Zoonoses in 1950 and a driving force behind the WHO program for control of zoonoses. He consulted for the Pan American Health Organization, FAO, U.S. Agency for International Development, World Bank, White House Office of Science and Health Planning, and State and Defense departments.

In 2006, Dr. Steele became one of only a few veterinarians to receive the Surgeon General’s Medallion.

The OIE Medal of Merit was presented to him in 2012. He was an honorary member of the World Veterinary Association. This past September, the WVA presented him with the John Gamgee Award, given to only five other veterinarians in 50 years.

Other notable honors include the U.S. Military Forces Service and Victory medals, Cuba’s Carlos Finlay Medal, the USPHS Meritorious Service Medal, the Karl F. Meyer Gold Headed Cane Award of the AVES, and the Centennial Award of the American Public Health Association.

Dr. Steele was a member of the AVMA throughout his 72-year career, gaining honor roll status in 1986. In 1941, as AVMA student chapter president at MSU, he visited Association headquarters in Chicago, where Executive Secretary John Hardenbergh encouraged his pursuit of a public health career. In 1984, the AVMA presented its XII International Veterinary Congress Prize to Dr. Steele. And, in a videotaped message played at the 2013 AVMA Annual Convention, he congratulated the Association on its 150th anniversary, noting it was only 50 years old when he was born.

Dr. Steele is survived by his wife, Brigitte; three sons; and three granddaughters and one grandson.

Memorial contributions may be directed to the James H. Steele Professorship or the James H. Steele Lecture Series, both at UTHealth, Office of Development, P.O. Box 301413, Dallas, TX 75303; or to the American Veterinary Epidemiology Society, P.O. Box 11093, Lexington, KY 40512, to support the Karl F. Meyer–James H. Steele Gold Headed Cane Award and establish student awards.

In addition, all proceeds from sales of Dr. Steele’s biography, “One Man, One Medicine, One Health: The James H. Steele Story,” by Dr. Craig N. Carter will go to the Steele endowments at UTHealth. The book is available on Amazon.

James P. Thomas Jr.
Dr. Thomas (CAL ’54), 84, La Mesa, died April 24, 2013. A small animal practitioner, he established Parkway Pet Hospital in La Mesa in 1960, retiring in 1988.

Earlier in his career, Dr. Thomas served as a first lieutenant in the Army Veterinary Corps. His wife, Marilynn; seven children; and eight grandchildren survive him. Memorials may be made to Project Wildlife, 887 Sherman St., San Diego, CA 92110.

Conrad L. Williams
Dr. Williams (GA ’56), 83, Jacksonville, Fla., died June 25, 2013. He was the founder of Beaches Animal Clinic in Jacksonville. Dr. Williams was a member of the Rotary Club. He is survived by his wife, June; four children; two grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren. Memorials may be made to Jacksonville Humane Society, 8464 Beach Blvd., Jacksonville, FL 32216.

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