Posted Jan. 4, 2017
AVMA honor roll member
James A. Bergum
Dr. Bergum (California-Davis ’82), 61, Herald, California, died July 22, 2016. He owned Jim Bergum Veterinary Service, a mobile equine practice. Dr. Bergum is survived by his wife, Rhonda, and three children.
Neil F. Chapman
Dr. Chapman (Iowa State ’51), 96, Ruthven, Iowa, died July 5, 2016.
Following graduation, he practiced mixed animal medicine in Algona, Iowa, for several years. Dr. Chapman then rejoined the Air Force as a command veterinarian, having previously served in the Army Air Corps during World War II. During his military service, he was stationed in Japan and the United States. Dr. Chapman retired in 1973 with the rank of colonel. He was a member of the American Legion. Dr. Chapman’s son and two daughters, three grandchildren, and a great-grandchild survive him. Memorials may be made to Lost Island Nature Center, 3267 350th Ave., Ruthven, IA 51358.
Charles D. Cooke
Dr. Cooke (Purdue ’76), 64, Terre Haute, Indiana, died Sept. 2, 2016.
A small animal veterinarian, he co-founded Heritage Animal Hospital in Terre Haute with his wife, Dr. Patricia M. Cooke (Purdue ’76), in 1976. Dr. Cooke’s wife, a daughter and a son, and three grandchildren survive him. His daughter, Dr. Jessica L. Cooke (Purdue ’07), practices at Heritage Animal Hospital.
Robert L. Maahs
Dr. Maahs (Iowa State ’59), 81, Solvang, California, died Nov. 9, 2016. Following graduation, he moved to the San Francisco peninsula and established San Carlos Pet Hospital in San Carlos. Dr. Maahs subsequently founded several practices in the San Francisco area. After semiretiring, he practiced in the Palm Springs area for 15 years. In 1974, Veterinary Economics magazine honored the San Carlos Pet Hospital with its annual design award. Dr. Maahs was a past president of the San Carlos Rotary Club. He is survived by a son and a daughter, seven grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.
John W. Sample Jr.
Dr. Sample (Georgia ’58), 81, Charleston, South Carolina, died Sept. 2, 2016. Following graduation, he served two years in the Army, including service as post veterinarian at Fort Knox, Kentucky. Dr. Sample then established Ashley River Animal Hospital in Charleston, where he practiced small animal medicine for more than 40 years. He is survived by two sons, two daughters, and five grandchildren. Memorials may be made to Ridge Spring Community Cemetery Fund, c/o Betty Ann Cone, P.O. Box 365, Ridge Spring, SC 29129.
John S. Weems
Dr. Weems (Texas A&M ’81), 59, Sisters, Oregon, died Oct. 14, 2016.
An equine veterinarian, he owned Sisters Equine since 2013. Dr. Weems began his career practicing in Las Vegas. In 1984, he co-established Weems & Stephens Equine Hospital in Aubrey, Texas. In 2006, Dr. Weems moved to Sisters, where he began an ambulatory equine service serving central Oregon. His wife, Wendy, and two children survive him. Memorials may be made to Shiloh Ranch Cowboy Church, The 1017 Project-Scott Weems, P.O. Box 177, Powell Butte, OR 97753.
Ralph F. Ziegler
Dr. Ziegler (Illinois ’55), 84, San Antonio, died Oct. 23, 2016.
Following graduation, he served a year as a member of the large animal clinical staff at the University of Illinois. Dr. Ziegler then joined the Air Force, retiring in 1985 as chief of the Veterinary Sciences Division at the Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine in Texas with the rank of colonel.
During his military service, he earned a master’s in laboratory animal medicine at Texas A&M University, became a diplomate of the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine, and was assigned to several biomedical research laboratories for both the Air Force and the Navy. Dr. Ziegler also served in Thailand during the Vietnam War. He received a Legion of Merit. Dr. Ziegler is survived by two sons and three grandchildren. Memorials may be made to The Ralph F. and Norma L. Ziegler Endowment, The Farmhouse Foundation, 11020 NW Ambassador Drive, Suite 330, Kansas City, MO 64153, or Heifer International, P.O. Box 808, Little Rock, AR 72203.
Please report the death of a veterinarian promptly to the JAVMA News staff via a toll-free phone call to
800-248-2862, ext. 6754; email to email@example.com; or fax to 847-925-9329.
For an obituary to be published, JAVMA must be notified within six months of the date of death.