December 01, 2014



​Posted Nov. 19, 2014

AVMA member
AVMA honor roll member

John A. Blair
Dr. Blair (Michigan State ’62), 81, Brentwood, Tennessee, died July 14, 2014. He owned a small animal practice in West Lafayette, Indiana, prior to retirement in 1999. Dr. Blair authored the book “I Never Went to Work.” His three daughters and 11 grandchildren survive him. One daughter, Dr. Lisa B. Banker (Purdue ’88), is a small animal practitioner in West Lafayette. Memorials may be made to Heifer International, 1 World Ave., Little Rock, AR 72202.

Robert L. Byram
Dr. Byram (Michigan State ’46), 94, Juno Beach, Florida, died Sept. 14, 2014. He owned a mixed animal practice in Rockford, Michigan, prior to retirement in 1985. Dr. Byram was a member of the Michigan VMA and a former member of the Rockford City Council. A veteran of the Army, he was also a member of the American Legion. Dr. Byram’s wife, Nancy; a son and a daughter; two grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren survive him.

Catherine M. Hartley
Dr. Hartley (Texas A&M ’03), 50, Magnolia, Texas, died Aug. 2, 2014. A small animal practitioner, she most recently served as a relief veterinarian. During her career, Dr. Hartley worked at Prestonwood Animal Clinic in Houston; VCA Tomball Veterinary Hospital in Tomball, Texas; and Veterinary Emergency Referral Group Inc. in Houston. She also volunteered at Abandoned Animal Rescue in Tomball and was active with Montgomery Pet Partners.

Dr. Hartley was a past president of the Montgomery County VMA. Her husband, Douglas; a son; and three grandchildren survive her. Memorials may be made to the Dr. Catherine Hartley Memorial HOPE Fund, c/o VERGI, 8921 Katy Freeway, Houston, TX 77024.

Robert J. Hoyland III
Dr. Hoyland (Texas A&M ’64), 73, Bandera, Texas, died April 6, 2014. He owned a small animal practice in Spring, Texas, from 1969-1998. Dr. Hoyland also raised Boer goats. Earlier, he served in the Army, attaining the rank of captain. Dr. Hoyland was a member of the American Boer Goat Association. He served on the Spring Independent School District board of trustees from 1974-1983, and the Hoyland Elementary School was named in his honor.

Dr. Hoyland is survived by his wife, Sandra; three daughters and two sons; 13 grandchildren; and four great-gandchildren. Memorials may be made to Pipe Creek Community Church, 289 Racquet Club Drive, Pipe Creek, TX 78063; or American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 22718, Oklahoma City, OK 73123.

James L. Laurita
Dr. Laurita (Cornell ’89), 56, Hope, Maine, died Sept. 9, 2014. He was co-founder, curator, and elephant manager of Hope Elephants, a non-profit established in 2011 as a refuge for injured and ailing elephants and retired circus elephants.
Earlier in his career, Dr. Laurita was a partner at The Camden Hospital for Animals in Rockport, Maine, where he continued to practice as an associate until his death. His interest in elephants began even before veterinary school, when he served as an elephant handler for Carson & Barnes Circus and worked as head elephant trainer for a wildlife safari park in Oregon. During his time as a veterinary student, Dr. Laurita traveled to South India, where he studied captive elephants in Kerala and Tamil Nadu. His wife, Carrie, and two sons survive him. Memorials may be made to Hope Elephants, P.O. Box 2025, Hope, ME 04847.
Millard M. Mershon

Dr. Mershon (Pennsylvania ’55), 85, Lititz, Pennsylvania, died Aug. 3, 2014. He worked as a toxicologist and pharmacologist for the Army at the Edgewood Area of Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland for 33 years. During that time, Dr. Mershon conducted research focused on protection from the threats of chemical warfare. Earlier in his career, he practiced in western Maryland and was in charge of a veterinary laboratory for the University of Maryland. In retirement, Dr. Mershon conducted research for Science Application International Corporation on the impact of biological warfare, and reviewed and evaluated research on the treatment of certain kinds of cancer. He was awarded a patent for a chemical that dramatically stopped bleeding.

Dr. Mershon was a veteran of the Navy. He is survived by his wife, Joyce; two sons and a daughter; four grandchildren; and a great-grandchild.

Marvin S. Phillips
Dr. Phillips (Ohio State ’44), 93, Mansfield, Ohio, died Aug. 28, 2014. He practiced mixed animal medicine in Athens, Ohio, before retiring in the mid-1970s. Earlier, Dr. Phillips briefly worked in Indiana and served in the Army Medical Corps during World War II. During his career, he served on the Ohio Veterinary Medical Licensing Board.

Dr. Phillips is survived by his wife, LaVey; two sons and two daughters; 12 grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; and two great-great-grand­children. His son Dr. Steven Phillips (Ohio State ’72) and grandson Dr. Jordan Phillips (Iowa State ’12) practice small animal medicine in Mansfield. Memorials may be made to Feed My Starving Children, 401 93rd Ave. NW, Coon Rapids, MN 55433.