Posted July 15, 2015
AVMA honor roll member
Robert L. Carson Jr.
Dr. Carson (Auburn ’73), 66, Waverly, Alabama, died March 31, 2015. A diplomate of the American College of Theriogenologists, he was a professor at the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine prior to retirement in 2014. During his 36-year tenure, Dr. Carson also served as head of the food animal medicine department, focusing on theriogenology. Early in his career, he was in private practice in North Carolina.
Dr. Carson raised beef cattle in Gold Hill, Alabama, and was active with the Alabama Cattlemen’s Association and Southeastern Livestock Expo. In 2002, he received what is now known as the Zoetis Distinguished Veterinary Teacher Award, and, in 2010, the Society for Theriogenology honored him with the David E. Bartlett Award. The AU CVM dedicated the beef cattle receiving barn at its large animal teaching hospital to Dr. Carson in 2006. In 2011, he was inducted into the Alabama Cattlemen’s Association Hall of Fame, and, in 2013, he received Auburn’s Wilford S. Bailey Distinguished Alumnus Award.
Dr. Carson was active with the 4-H Club and the National FFA Organization. He is survived by his wife, Karen; two daughters and a son; and a grandchild. His daughter, Dr. Kelly Barrett (Auburn ’08), and son-in-law, Dr. Jay Barrett (Georgia ’08), are small animal veterinarians in Georgia. Memorials may be made to the Robert L. Carson Jr. Memorial Fund, 317 S. College St., Auburn, AL 36849.
James F. Christensen
Dr. Christensen (Michigan State ’63), 80, Buchanan, Michigan, died April 4, 2015. He owned Christensen Animal Hospital, a small animal practice in Scottdale, Michigan, prior to retirement in 2013. Dr. Christensen also raised sheep and llamas. Early in his career, he worked in Ionia, Michigan. He was a past board member of the Michigan VMA and was active with the Berrien County Animal Control. He was a veteran of the Army.
Dr. Christensen is survived by his wife, Ann; two sons and a daughter; and five grandchildren. His brother-in-law, Dr. Fred Shiery (Michigan State ’65), is a veterinarian in Camden, Michigan. Memorials may be made to Berrien County Animal Control, 9204 Huckleberry Road, Berrien Center, MI 49102; or Hospice at Home, 4017 Chamberlain Road, Buchanan, MI 49107.
Ralph E. Day
Dr. Day (Minnesota ’57), 86, Platteville, Wisconsin, died April 28, 2015. He practiced mixed animal medicine at Platteville Veterinary Clinic prior to retirement. Dr. Day was a member of the Wisconsin VMA. He was active with the Boy Scouts of America, Elks Club, and Jaycees. A military veteran of the Korean War, Dr. Day was also a member of the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars. His four sons and three daughters, 13 grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren survive him.
Engler (California-Davis ’15), 27, Davis, California, died March 27, 2015. She was a member of the University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine student chapter of the AVMA. Engler served as fundraising coordinator for the Mercer Veterinary Clinic for the Pets of the Homeless, a nonprofit organization that provides free medical care to companion animals of the homeless. President-elect of UC-Davis’ Behavior Medicine Club, she participated in the Students Training in Advanced Research program and received a Veterinary Student Research Award from the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists in 2014 for her work on the effects of music on pets and owners in a veterinary hospital setting. Engler also received awards and scholarships from the Westminster Kennel Foundation and American Humane Association. Memorials toward a scholarship fund in her honor may be made to the UC-Davis Foundation, School of Veterinary Medicine, Office of the Dean, P.O. Box 1167, Davis, CA 95617.
Robert T. Handel
Dr. Handel (Kansas State ’43), 94, Napa, California, died May 2, 2015. He practiced in Napa for 40 years prior to retirement in 1986. During World War II, Dr. Handel served in the Army Veterinary Corps. He was a member of the Napa Elks Lodge for more than 70 years. Dr. Handel’s wife, Verna; two sons; and two grandchildren survive him. Memorials may be made to the Queen of the Valley Hospital Foundation, 1000 Trancas St., Napa, CA 94558.
Louis W. Heavner Jr.
Dr. Heavner (Oklahoma State ’58), 83, Navarre, Florida, died May 2, 2015. A mixed animal veterinarian, he moved to New Orleans in 1967 and established Aurora Animal Hospital, where he practiced until retirement in 1999. Dr. Heavner also co-founded three outpatient clinics on the Westbank of New Orleans and helped establish the Westbank Pet Emergency Clinic. Early in his career, he owned Purcell Veterinary Hospital in Purcell, Oklahoma, and was a partner at Norman Veterinary Hospital in Norman, Oklahoma. From 1972-1982, he served two weeks each year as the practicing veterinarian at Cayman Veterinary Practice in the Cayman Islands. In retirement, he worked part time as track veterinarian at Ebro Greyhound Park in Ebro, Florida.
A past president of the Oklahoma State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners and Southeast Louisiana Veterinary Association, Dr. Heavner was a director emeritus of the American Animal Hospital Association and a member of the Louisiana VMA and Miracle Strip VMS. His wife, Mary; two sons and a daughter; and 11 grandchildren survive him. Memorials may be made to Greyhound Pets of America/Emerald Coast, P.O. Box 64, Gonzalez, FL 32560.
Mahlon B. Huffman
Dr. Huffman (Texas A&M ’49), 97, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, died Dec. 26, 2014. Prior to retirement in 1997, he worked for the Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service in Bismarck, North Dakota, as veterinarian in charge of North Dakota, South Dakota, and Montana. Earlier in his career with the USDA, Dr. Huffman worked in tuberculosis and brucellosis eradication; served as assistant veterinarian in charge of Kentucky, Louisiana, and Ohio; was chief staff veterinarian for technical and professional development; and served as chief veterinarian for health inspection and identification. He was a member of the National Association of Federal Veterinarians. Dr. Huffman served in the Army during World War II, attaining the rank of major. In later years, he was a lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserve. Dr. Huffman’s wife, Margaret; a daughter and a son; two grandchildren; and a great-grandchild survive him. Memorials toward the Texas A&M Foundation may be made to the Director of Development, Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, 4461 TAMU, College Station, TX 77843.
James E. Humphries
Dr. Humphries (Texas A&M ’52), 88, Yantis, Texas, died Jan. 1, 2015. He worked for the Department of Agriculture prior to retirement. Early in his career, Dr. Humphries practiced in Dallas. A Marine Corps veteran of World War II, he received a Purple Heart. Dr. Humphries is survived by two daughters, five grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.
Don A. Hyde
Dr. Hyde (Purdue ’64), 78, Keenesburg, Colorado, died April 16, 2015. Following graduation, he practiced briefly in Rising Sun, Indiana. Dr. Hyde subsequently moved to Colorado, where he began working for Monfort Feedlot in Greeley. He later bought a practice in Keenesburg and established County Line Animal Hospital in Brighton, practicing mixed animal medicine in the area. Dr. Hyde also taught at the Bel-Rea Institute of Animal Technology in Denver, was a contract surgeon at the Denver Dumb Friends League, and served as veterinarian for The Wild Animal Sanctuary. Dr. Hyde’s wife, Lauren; four daughters; seven grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren survive him. Memorials may be made to The Wild Animal Sanctuary, 1946 County Road 53, Keenesburg, CO 80643.
John A. La Belle
Dr. La Belle (Ohio State ’63), 83, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, died May 11, 2015. A small animal practitioner, he owned Okemos Animal Hospital in Okemos, Michigan, from 1965-2002. Dr. La Belle was a past president of the Ingham County VMA. He was a veteran of the Army. Dr. La Belle’s wife, Janet; two daughters; and two grandchildren survive him. Memorials may be made to St. Martha’s Catholic Church, 1100 W. Grand River Ave., Okemos, MI 48864.
Charles W. Monsees
Dr. Monsees (Missouri ’54), 85, Columbia, Missouri, died April 15, 2015. A mixed animal veterinarian, he was a partner at Sedalia Veterinary Center in Sedalia, Missouri. From 1983-1986, Dr. Monsees served as Missouri state veterinarian. A past president of the Missouri VMA, he received the Honorary Membership Award of the Missouri Academy of Veterinary Practice in 2008. Dr. Monsees volunteered with the Christian Veterinary Mission and Heifer International and served on the Sedalia School Board. He was a veteran of the Army Veterinary Corps. Dr. Monsees is survived by his wife, JoAn; two daughters and a son; six grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren. Memorials may be made to Alzheimer’s Association, P.O. Box 96011, Washington, DC 20090; Heifer International, 1 World Ave., Little Rock, AR 72202; or Lenoir Benevolent Fund, Lenoir Woods, 3710 S. Lenoir St., Columbia, MO 65201.
Douglas E. Peters
Dr. Peters (Ohio State ’75), 66, Blanchester, Ohio, died March 17, 2015. He owned The Animal Hospital in Blanchester for 37 years, initially practicing mixed animal medicine, and, later, focusing on small animals. Early in his career, Dr. Peters served in the Army for three years, attaining the rank of captain. He is survived by his wife, Penny; a son and a daughter; and seven grandchildren.
George P. Pierson
Dr. Pierson (Kansas State ’62), 81, Fort Myers, Florida, died May 24, 2015. He began his career practicing mixed animal medicine in Indiana. From 1963-1989, Dr. Pierson worked for the Department of Agriculture. During that time, he served as a veterinary medical officer and district veterinarian in Indiana; as a brucellosis epidemiology leader in North Dakota and Minnesota; as chief staff veterinarian for import birds and poultry in Maryland; as assistant director for the North-Central region with the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s Veterinary Services; and as director of the Northern region. Dr. Pierson briefly directed the Western region before leaving the USDA in 1989, then worked as a staff veterinarian for the state of Maryland until retirement in 1998. Dr. Pierson’s wife, Donna; a daughter and a son; five grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren survive him.
Lynn D. Reno
Dr. Reno (Washington State ’66), 75, Bakersfield, California, died Dec. 6, 2014. He owned Mount Vernon Veterinary Hospital in Bakersfield, where he practiced mixed animal medicine for 48 years. Dr. Reno is survived by two sons, two daughters, and 12 grandchildren. His son Dr. Shane J. Reno (Mississippi State ’94) practices at Mount Vernon Veterinary Hospital. Memorials may be made to the John Wayne Cancer Institute
, 2200 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90404.
Frank C. Riley
Dr. Riley (Illinois ’58), 80, Mendota, Illinois, died Jan. 8, 2015. He owned West Chicago Animal Hospital, a small animal practice in West Chicago, Illinois, for 37 years. A past president of the West Chicago and Mendota Rotary clubs, Dr. Riley was a Paul Harris fellow. He was also a past president of the West Chicago Public Library Board and a member of the Mendota Historical Society. Dr. Riley is survived by his wife, Jo Anne; two daughters and two sons; 16 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. Memorials may be made to First United Methodist Church, Mendota, IL 614342; or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.