August 01, 2016



Posted July 13, 2016

AVMA member
AVMA honor roll member

Claude E. Barton 

Dr. Barton (Auburn ’52), 87, Nashville, Tennessee, died May 14, 2016. Following graduation, he served in the Air Force for three years, including a year in Germany during the Korean War. Dr. Barton subsequently joined the Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, working primarily in brucellosis eradication. He retired in 1999 after serving as director of the service’s national brucellosis eradication program.

Dr. Barton was a past president of the Tennessee VMA and served on the United States Animal Health Association Committee on Brucellosis. In 1980, he received the TVMA Veterinary Award, and, in 2008, he was awarded the USDA APHIS Administrator’s Award. Dr. Barton is survived by his wife, Barbara Ann; three daughters; four grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. Memorials may be made to Hillcrest United Methodist Church, 5112 Raywood Lane, Nashville, TN 37211. 

George L. Beckvermit

Dr. Beckvermit (Colorado State ’59), 81, Lakewood, Colorado, died March 22, 2016. He was the founder of Alameda Veterinary Clinic, a small animal practice in Lakewood. Dr. Beckvermit served as president of the Denver Area VMS from 1968-1969 and was a member of the Colorado VMA. He is survived by his wife, Judy; a daughter, a son, and two stepsons; seven grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. Memorials may be made to Donor Alliance Inc., 720 S. Colorado Blvd., #800n, Denver, CO 80246, or St. James Presbyterian Church, 3601 W. Belleview Ave., Littleton, CO 80123.

Stanley C. Benbrook

Dr. Benbrook (Iowa State ’49), 96, Ames, Iowa, died Jan. 20, 2016. He served in the Army Veterinary Corps from 1950-1971, retiring as a lieutenant colonel. Dr. Benbrook received an Army Commendation Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Force Unit of Commendation, and Reserve Medal for his service. He was also a Navy veteran of World War II. Dr. Benbrook’s daughter, two grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren survive him. Memorials may be made to Ten Mile Lake Association, P.O. Box 412, Hackensack, MN 56452, or Green Hills Memorial Fund, Green Hills Retirement Community, 2200 Hamilton Drive, Ames, IA 50014.

Jacqueline S. Cowan

Dr. Cowan (Colorado State ’92), 51, Santa Fe, New Mexico, died April 1, 2016. A mixed animal veterinarian, she most recently worked at Gruda Veterinary Hospital in Santa Fe. Earlier in her career, Dr. Cowan practiced in Oroville, Washington. She was a member of the New Mexico VMA. Dr. Cowan is survived by two children. Memorials toward an educational fund for her children may be made to The Sophia Fund, Santa Fe Preparatory School, 1101 Camino de la Cruz Blanca, Santa Fe, NM 87505.

Charles W. Dickie

Dr. Dickie (Colorado State ’57), 88, Rocky Ford, Colorado, died April 8, 2016. Following graduation, he worked seven years for the California Department of Food and Agriculture in the animal disease laboratory system. Dr. Dickie was then appointed director of the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory of Colorado State University-Fort Collins in Rocky Ford, serving in that capacity until retirement in 2002. He was a member of the American Association of Avian Pathologists and Colorado VMA. Dr. Dickie served in the Navy during World War II. His wife, Marjorie; a son and two daughters; and six grandchildren survive him.

Diane L. Finch

Dr. Finch (Purdue ’90), 55, Fort Wayne, Indiana, died Jan. 26, 2016. An equine veterinarian, she co-founded CFK Equine Hospital in Columbia City, Indiana, in 2009. Earlier, Dr. Finch served as a staff veterinarian at the International Equine Podiatry Center in Versailles, Kentucky, and owned Midwest Equine Veterinary Service in Fort Wayne and Roanoke, Indiana. Her son survives her. Memorials may be made to the Anna Yoder Multiple Sclerosis Fund, Indiana University School of Medicine, 2101 E. Coliseum Blvd., Fort Wayne, IN 46805; St. Mary’s Soup Kitchen, 1101 Lafayette St., Fort Wayne, IN 46802; or Turnstone (a nonprofit that addresses the needs of people with physical disabilities), 3320 N. Clinton St., Fort Wayne, IN 46805.

Robert E. Froehlich

Dr. Froehlich (Iowa State ’66), 73, Littleton, Colorado, died May 23, 2016. He was the co-founder of Summit Veterinary Advisors in Lakewood, Colorado, consulting for general and specialty veterinary practices worldwide. Following graduation, Dr. Froehlich served two years in the Army Veterinary Corps. He subsequently went into private practice, owning Grafton Small Animal Hospital in Milwaukee for 15 years.

In 1989, two years after earning his MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management in Chicago, Dr. Froehlich sold his practice to join the American Animal Hospital Association staff in Denver as its first director of management services, helping to develop its Veterinary Management Institute program and Veterinary Management School. He later became an adjunct faculty member of Purdue University and an affiliate faculty member of the Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences. Dr. Froehlich went on to co-establish Summit Veterinary Advisors in 1998.

He was a charter member and a past president of VetPartners and a past chair of the management section of the North American Veterinary Community Conference. Dr. Froehlich authored “Successful Financial Management for the Veterinary Practice,” and, in 2010, was awarded the VetPartners Distinguished Life Member Award for noteworthy and outstanding contributions to the practice of veterinary business consulting. He is survived by his wife, Virginia; a daughter and two sons; and four grandchildren. Memorials may be made to Freedom Service Dogs, 2000 W. Union Ave., Englewood, CO 80110, or Porter Adventist ICU & Palliative Care, 2525 S. Downing St., Denver, CO 80210.

Alvin L. Griffith

Dr. Griffith (Texas A&M ’56), 88, Houston, died Feb. 1, 2016. A small animal veterinarian, he was a co-founder of Oak Forest Veterinary Hospital in Houston. Dr. Griffith is survived by his family. 

E. Charles Hendricks

Dr. Hendricks (Illinois ’63), 83, Anaheim, California, died May 1, 2016. He owned Ana Brook Animal Hospital in Anaheim, where he practiced small animal medicine for 36 years. Dr. Hendricks was a past president of the Southern California VMA, a past regional director with the American Animal Hospital Association, and a past councilor of the California VMA. He was also a 50-year member of the Lions Club. Dr. Hendricks served in the Army as a second lieutenant. He is survived by a son and a daughter, six grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

Clinton B. Hyatt

Dr. Hyatt (Auburn ’56), 88, Warminster, Pennsylvania, died March 4, 2016. Following graduation, he established Elkins Park Veterinary Hospital & Kennel in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, where he practiced primarily small animal medicine for 45 years. Dr. Hyatt served in the Army Air Corps during World War II. His wife, Corinne; four daughters and three sons; 10 grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; and a great-great-grandchild survive him.

Donald W. Lackey

Dr. Lackey (Pennsylvania ’46), 94, Lenoir, North Carolina, died Dec. 1, 2015. Following graduation, he established a practice in Lenoir, where he initially practiced mixed animal medicine, later focusing on small animals. Dr. Lackey retired in 1977. He helped found Caldwell County Fair, serving as director and volunteering veterinary services for several years. Dr. Lackey was a past president of the North Carolina VMA, served on the North Carolina Veterinary Medical Board and North Carolina Veterinary Medical Foundation, and helped establish the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine. He was also twice appointed to the North Carolina Board of Health.

In 1989, the NCVMA honored Dr. Lackey with the Distinguished Veterinarian Award. He was a past president of the Lenoir Rotary Club, served on the Lenoir City School Board and Caldwell Community College board of trustees, and was active with the Caldwell County Chamber of Commerce. Dr. Lackey received the chamber’s L.A. Dysart Award in 1991 for service to his community. He is survived by three daughters, a son, six grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. Dr. Lackey’s nephew, Dr. John E. Lackey III (Georgia ’76), is a retired veterinarian in Burlington, North Carolina. Memorials may be made to the North Carolina Veterinary Medical Foundation Inc., Campus Box 8401, Raleigh, NC 27607, or Lenoir Rotary Club, P.O. Box 1834, Lenoir, NC 28645.

Charles A. Payton

Dr. Payton (Auburn ’68), 72, Oneonta, Alabama, died April 27, 2016. Following graduation, he moved to Oneonta, where he bought the Animal Hospital, a mixed animal practice that served Blount County and surrounding areas. Dr. Payton retired in 2005. He served on the Alabama Veterinary Medical Examiners Board from 1997-2006, was a life member of the Alabama VMA, and was active with the Christian Veterinary Mission, In 1998, the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine honored Dr. Payton with the El Toro Award for Excellence in Food Animal Medicine, and, in 2008, he was the recipient of the Wilford S. Bailey Distinguished Alumnus Award. He is survived by his wife, Anne; a daughter and a son; and three grandchildren. Dr. Payton’s brother, Dr. Kenneth R. Payton (Auburn ’72), is a mixed animal veterinarian in Blakely, Georgia. Memorials may be made to The Gideons International, P.O. Box 658, Cleveland, AL 35049.

James E. Pearson

Dr. Pearson (Iowa State ’66), 81, Ames, Iowa, died April 3, 2016. He served as director of the Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Laboratories from the mid-1990s until retirement in the late 1990s. Following graduation, Dr. Pearson practiced in Fort Madison, Iowa, for a few years. In 1968, he joined the National Animal Disease Center in Ames as a research virologist. Dr. Pearson subsequently began his 30-year career at the NVSL. During that time, he also served as head of the avian, equine, and ovine viruses section and was chief of the Diagnostic Virology Laboratory. Following his retirement as director of NVSL, Dr. Pearson moved to Paris, where he worked with the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), heading its Scientific and Technical Department and serving as vice president of an OIE standards commission.

He received several honors, including the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians’ E.P. Pope Award in 1995 and an AAVLD Lifetime Membership Award in 2002. Dr. Pearson was also the recipient of the Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine’s Stange Award in 2006. He served in the Air Force and Iowa National Guard, retiring from the latter as a lieutenant colonel in 1984. Dr. Pearson’s wife, Patricia; two daughters and a son; two stepdaughters and a stepson; 14 grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren survive him. Memorials may be made to Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Ames, IA 50011.

Rujuta C. Raichura

Dr. Raichura (Tuskegee ’96), 49, North Potomac, Maryland, died March 26, 2016. In 2013, she co-established Holistic Veterinary Healing in Germantown, Maryland. Earlier, Dr. Raichura practiced at Veterinary Holistic Care in Bethesda, Maryland. She is survived by her wife, Cecelia Bonfils.

J. Robert Saunders

Dr. Saunders (Guelph ’54), 84, Langley, British Columbia, died April 29, 2016. In 1965, he joined the University of Saskatchewan Western College of Veterinary Medicine as an associate professor of veterinary microbiology, retiring as a professor in 1993. Earlier, Dr. Saunders practiced mixed animal medicine in Earl Grey, Saskatchewan. He was an emeritus member of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists. Dr. Saunders’ wife, Evelyn; three sons and a daughter; and six grandchildren survive him.

Lyle L. Scott

Dr. Scott (Colorado State ’76), 71, Salem, Oregon, died April 8, 2016. He owned Salem Park Veterinary Clinic, a mixed animal practice in Salem, for 34 years prior to retirement in 2011. Dr. Scott is survived by his wife, Linda; two daughters; and three grandchildren. Memorials may be made to Freedom Dogs (a nonprofit organization serving wounded members of the military), 3639 Midway Drive #376, San Diego, CA 92110.

David N. Shell

Dr. Shell (Oklahoma State ’70), 70, Houston, died May 6, 2016. A small animal veterinarian, he owned Memorial-610 Hospital for Animals in Houston prior to retirement in 2009. Earlier, Dr. Shell worked in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He is survived by his wife, Carmen; three children; and five grandchildren. Memorials may be made to Reach Unlimited (an organization that provides support services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities), 12777 Jones Road, Suite 103, Houston, TX 77070.

Owen R. Stevens Jr.

Dr. Stevens (Guelph ’56), 85, Rollinsford, New Hampshire, died March 31, 2016. A past treasurer of the AVMA and a candidate for AVMA president-elect in 1993, he owned South Berwick Veterinary Clinic in South Berwick, Maine, where he practiced mixed animal medicine for several years. Dr. Stevens was a past president of the New England and Maine VMAs, served on the Maine Board of Veterinary Medicine, and was a member of the New Hampshire VMA. He was also a past director of the American Veterinary Medical Foundation, served on the AVMA Group Health & Life Insurance Trust, and chaired the AVMA Facilities Planning Committee during his six years as AVMA treasurer. 

In 2000, Dr. Stevens received the AVMA Award for distinguished contributions to the advancement of veterinary medical organizations. Active in his community, Dr. Stevens was a past chair of the Maine Board of Environmental Protection and a 50-year member of the Rotary Club. His wife, Margaret; a son and a daughter; and four grandchildren survive him.

Robert E. Wise

Dr. Wise (Iowa State ’66), 77, Elgin, Illinois, died April 6, 2016. He owned an equine practice in Elgin for 46 years. Dr. Wise served on School District U-46 Board of Education for 12 years and was a member of the Kiwanis Club. His wife, Trudy; a son and a daughter; and eight grandchildren survive him. Memorials toward the Carroll A. and Addiene Wise PhD Scholarship may be made to Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, 2121 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60201, or Wesley United Methodist Church, 1070 South St., Elgin, IL 60123.  



For an obituary to be published, JAVMA must be notified within six months

of the date of death via a toll-free phone call to 800-248-2862, ext. 6754;

email to; or fax to 847-925-9329.