October 15, 2014



Posted Oct. 1, 2014

AVMA member
AVMA honor roll member

T. Douglas Byars
Dr. Byars (California-Davis ’74), 70, Georgetown, Kentucky, died July 7, 2014. A diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine and American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care, he most recently served as an equine consultant and head veterinarian at Old Friends Equine Retirement Farm, a facility for retired Thoroughbreds in Georgetown. Dr. Byars began his career teaching at the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine.

In 1983, he joined what is now known as Hagyard Equine Medical Institute in Lexington, where he worked for 25 years. During that time, Dr. Byars served as head of equine medicine and was instrumental in efforts to fight mare reproductive loss syndrome in the state. He served on the Kentucky Governor’s Task Force on MRLS, Kentucky Equine Drug Research Council, and Kentucky Horse Council Health and Welfare Committee, also helping to establish the Equine Health and Welfare Alliance.

Dr. Byars represented the American Association of Equine Practitioners on the AVMA Clinical Practitioners Advisory Committee from 2003-2007. In 1996, he received the Equus Award from Equus Magazine for excellence in client education. Dr. Byars was the recipient of the AAEP Robert W. Kirk Award for professional excellence in 2007.
His wife, Susan; a daughter and a son; and a grandson survive him. Memorials may be made to Hospice of the Bluegrass, 2312 Alexandria Drive, Lexington, KY 40504; or Old Friends Equine Retirement Farm, 1841 Paynes Depot Road, Georgetown, KY 40324.

Stanwood B. Churchill
Dr. Churchill (Cornell ’57), 87, Orleans, Vermont, died June 11, 2014. Following graduation, he moved to northeast Vermont, where he initially practiced mixed animal medicine, later focusing on small animals until retirement in 2012. Dr. Churchill was also a partner at Vermont Farms and bred, raised, and raced Standardbred horses. He was a member of the Vermont VMA.

Active in civic life, Dr. Churchill was a past chair of the Lake Region School Board, served as director of the Orleans County Fair, and was a member of the Masonic Lodge. An Air Force veteran of World War II, he was also a member of the American Legion. Dr. Churchill is survived by two sons and two grandchildren. Memorials may be made to the Oncology Department, North Country Hospital, 189 Prouty Drive, Newport, VT 05855; or Orleans County Fair Association Harness Racing Program, Orleans County Fair, 278 Roaring Brick Road, Barton, VT 05822. 
William H. Edwards Jr.
Dr. Edwards (Auburn ’73), 69, West Point, Mississippi, died June 1, 2014. A mixed animal practitioner, he owned West Point Animal Clinic for several years. Dr. Edwards was a past president of the Mississippi VMA. He is survived by his wife, Jackie; two sons; and seven grandchildren. 
Robert W. Finch
Dr. Finch (Iowa State ’43), 92, Grimes, Iowa, died Aug. 1, 2014. He was a district state veterinarian in Carroll, Iowa, for 12 years prior to retirement. Earlier in his career, Dr. Finch served in the Army Veterinary Corps, attaining the rank of captain; owned a large animal practice in Marengo, Iowa; and practiced in Grimes for 28 years.

He was a member of the American Legion, Lions Club, and Masonic Lodge. Dr. Finch’s wife, Billie; a daughter and a son; three grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren survive him. Memorials may be made to First Presbyterian Church, 410 SE Third St., P.O. Box 289, Grimes, IA 50111; or American Veterinary Medical Foundation, Department 20-1122, P.O. Box 5940, Carol Stream, IL 60197. 
David McCracken
Dr. McCracken (Glasgow ’48), 88, Washington, D.C., died Feb. 24, 2014. He owned Oxford Animal Hospital, a small animal practice in Oxford, Massachusetts, from 1976 until retirement in 1999. Earlier in his career, Dr. McCracken practiced large animal medicine in Hereford, England. He was active with efforts to preserve endangered sea turtles in Mazunte, Mexico. Dr. McCracken is survived by three children and two grandchildren. His great-niece, Dr. Fiona Allan, a graduate of the University of Edinburgh Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, is a veterinarian in Cape Town, South Africa. 
Edward S. Murray
Dr. Murray (Colorado State ’62), 76, Spur, Texas, died June 12, 2014. In 1963, he founded Spur Animal Hospital, where he practiced mixed animal medicine until 2011. Dr. Murray also represented Superior Livestock Auctions, consigning cattle via video auctions to producers. Early in his career, he worked in Clarendon, Texas. Dr. Murray was a past president of the Texas State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners and American Association of Equine Practitioners and was a member of the American Association of Bovine Practitioners, Texas Equine Veterinary Association, and Texas VMA.

In civic life, he was active with the Spur Area Chamber of Commerce, Spur Independent School District, and Dickens County 4-H Livestock Association.
Dr. Murray’s wife, Joan; a son; and four grandchildren survive him. His brother, Dr. James C. Murray (Texas A&M ’74), is a veterinarian in Dallas. Memorials may be made to First United Methodist Church, 528 Burlington Ave., Spur, TX 79370; or American Association of Equine Practitioners Foundation, 4075 Iron Works Parkway, Lexington, KY 40511. 
Willard B. “Skip” Nelson
Dr. Nelson (Illinois ’64), 74, Kirkland, Washington, died Feb. 18, 2014. A small animal and exotic animal practitioner, he owned House Call Euthanasia since 2012. Prior to that, Dr. Nelson owned Central Way Veterinary Clinic, later known as the Exotic Pet and Bird Clinic, in Kirkland for 35 years. Early in his career, he served in the Army, retiring from the Army Reserve in 1999 as colonel; practiced in Seattle; and served as associate veterinarian for the Woodland Park Zoo.
Dr. Nelson was a past president of the Seattle-King County VMA and a past membership chair for the Washington State VMA. He served on the Washington Department of Health Veterinary Board of Governors, chairing it in 2007, and was a member of the American Association of Veterinary State Boards’ Program for the Assessment of Veterinary Education Equivalence Committee from 2006-2013. Dr. Nelson was also a member of the American Association of Avian Veterinarians, American Association of Zoo Veterinarians, International Association for Aquatic Animal Medicine, Wildlife Disease Association, American Society for Laboratory Animal Practitioners, and American Association of Feline Practitioners. His wife, Rosemary; three sons and a daughter; and three grandchildren survive him. Memorials may be made to Woodland Park Zoo, 601 N. 59th St., Seattle, WA 98103. 
Edward H. Park
Dr. Park (Cornell ’02), 38, Clovis, California, died May 27, 2014. A diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care, he was a criticalist at Fresno Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Center in Fresno, California. Earlier in his career, Dr. Park served as a staff emergency clinician and was an instructor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences at the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. He is survived by his wife, Lourdes, and his children.
Stephanie W. Parrish
Dr. Parrish (Michigan State ’83), 55, Westminster, South Carolina, died July 22, 2014. A diplomate of the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine, she most recently practiced small animal medicine in upstate South Carolina; worked as a clinical veterinarian for the Greenville Humane Society in Greenville, South Carolina; and provided spay-neuter services for low-cost clinics. Dr. Parrish began her career working in a dairy practice in Monsey, New York. She then practiced large animal medicine in New Berlin, New York, and worked in Westchester and Rockland counties. From 1986-1989, Dr. Parrish was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Michigan, subsequently working as a research fellow at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.  She served as a clinical veterinarian at the Warner-Lambert Company in Ann Arbor, Michigan, from 1990-1992.
Dr. Parrish then moved to the Washington, D.C. area, where she was the clinical veterinarian at Bioqual. She later spent a few years in Thailand, where she worked for McKesson BioServices, and then lived in Frederick, Maryland. During her years in Maryland, Dr. Parrish farmed, worked for the Henry M. Jackson Foundation, raised Barbados Blackbelly hair sheep and Dexter cattle, and served as a clinician at several practices. She moved to Westminster in 2006.
Dr. Parrish was a past treasurer of the American Blackbelly Sheep Association. She is survived by her husband, Dr. John H. Parrish (Auburn ’81), who is university and attending veterinarian at Clemson University’s Godley-Snell Research Center. Dr. Parrish is also survived by her son, three stepchildren, and a stepgrandchild. Memorials may be made to The Clearity Foundation, for improving treatment outcomes for ovarian cancer; 4365 Executive Drive, Suite 1500, San Diego, CA 92121. 
Richard J. Thomes
Dr. Thomes (Texas A&M ’60), 78, Irving, Texas, died May 30, 2014. He was a co-founder and a past vice president of National PetCare Centers. Earlier in his career, Dr. Thomes owned Animal Medical & Surgical Hospital in Irving. His wife, Bettye; three daughters and a son; 13 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren survive him. Memorials, with checks payable to the Texas A&M Foundation, may be made to the Richard J. Thomes DVM ’60 Memorial Scholarship, c/o Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, Attn: Dean’s Office, 4461 TAMU, College Station, TX 77843.

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