January 15, 2018



AVMA member
AVMA honor roll member

Henry T. Fairleigh

Dr. Fairleigh (Auburn '58), 97, Louisville, Kentucky, died Aug. 26, 2017. A small animal veterinarian, he began his career in St. Matthews, Kentucky, later establishing practices in Louisville, including an emergency clinic. Dr. Fairleigh was a past president of the Greater Louisville VMA, a past vice president of the Kentucky VMA, and a past chair of the Kentucky Humane Society. He served in the Army Air Corps during World War II. Dr. Fairleigh was active with the Rotary Club. He is survived by three sons and three grandchildren. 

Richard A. Fussell

Dr. Fussell (Washington State '60), 83, Lake Forest, California, died May 29, 2017.  

Penelope A. Holt

Dr. Holt (Michigan State '66), 74, Orlando, Florida, died May 23, 2017. She was a small animal veterinarian.  

Douglas C. Maplesden

Dr. Maplesden (Guelph '50), 97, Santa Fe, New Mexico, died July 24, 2017. He served as dean of the University of Guelph Ontario Veterinary College from 1980 until retirement in 1984. As dean, Dr. Maplesden helped establish the farm service clinic, providing inexpensive services to local farmers and firsthand experience to fourth-year students. He was also involved in the planning of a new curriculum, implementation of an integrated information management system for the veterinary hospital, and construction of a new clinical studies and biomedical sciences facility.

Following graduation, Dr. Maples­den was in general practice for a year in Seaforth, Ontario. He then served two years as herd veterinarian at Flat Top Ranch in Walnut Springs, Texas. In 1953, Dr. Maplesden joined the faculty of Ontario Veterinary College, subsequently serving as the first head of the college's ambulatory clinic. After obtaining his master's in nutrition and biochemistry from the University of Toronto in 1957 and his doctorate in nutrition and physiology from Cornell University in 1959, he became a full professor at OVC.

In 1960, Dr. Maplesden was named veterinary director, and, later, vice president of technical services at Stevenson, Turner, and Boyce, a veterinary pharmaceutical and biological company in Guelph. He moved to the United States in the early 1960s to serve as director of animal health research for Ciba Corporation in Summit, New Jersey. Dr. Maplesden eventually served as general manager of its animal health division. The company was later acquired by E.R. Squibb & Sons, and he directed animal health research and development for the company, also serving as associate director of the Squibb Institute for Medical Research. Dr. Maplesden then returned to his alma mater to serve as dean.

He was the first business manager of the Canadian Veterinary Journal and served as editor-in-chief from 1962-63. Dr. Maplesden authored the "Handbook of Nutrition" and "The Universal Diet." He was a Royal Canadian Air Force veteran of World War II.

Dr. Maplesden is survived by his wife, Joan; three daughters, a son, a stepdaughter, and a stepson; eight grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren. Memorials may be made to the Memorial Forest Program, University of Guelph Arboretum, College Ave. East, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1, Canada. 

Bedros N. Nersessian

Dr. Nersessian (Utrecht '77), 68, Fort Wayne, Indiana, died May 22, 2017. A poultry veterinarian, he owned ProViand, a veterinary consulting company in Fort Wayne. Dr. Nersessian began his career practicing small animal medicine in the Netherlands. He subsequently worked for Intervet International, a pharmaceutical company based in the Netherlands. After earning his doctorate in medical microbiology from the University of Georgia in 1988, Dr. Nersessian began working for the poultry industry in the United States, retiring from the Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service as a supervisory veterinary medical officer in 2014. A member of the American Association of Avian Pathologists, he was a past recipient of the AAAP Reed Rumsey Student Award for advancement in avian medicine.

Dr. Nersessian is survived by his wife, Claire; a daughter and a son; and a grandchild. 

Lowell L. Patterson

Dr. Patterson (Minnesota '54), 90, Whitehall, Wisconsin, died Nov. 4, 2017. A dairy veterinarian, he founded Whitehall Veterinary Service in 1959, retiring in 1989. Earlier in his career, Dr. Patterson practiced in Arcadia, Wisconsin. He was a member of the American Association of Bovine Practitioners. Dr. Patterson served in the Marines in the Pacific theater immediately following World War II.

His wife, Shirley; five daughters and a son; 10 grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren; and a sister and a brother survive him. Dr. Patterson's son-in-law, Dr. James A. Jackson (Illinois '80), is an industrial veterinarian in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and his granddaughter, Dr. Asheley Harrison Wathen (Oklahoma State '05), practices laboratory animal medicine in De Soto, Kansas. Memorials may be made to First Baptist Church, 36185 Abrams St., Whitehall, WI 54773, or Parkinson's Disease Foundation, 1359 Broadway, Suite 1509, New York, NY 10018. 

Bill J. Pearce

Dr. Pearce (Texas A&M '68), 74, El Paso, Texas, died July 25, 2017. He was the founder of Coronado Animal Clinic in El Paso, where he practiced small animal medicine until retirement in 2001. Dr. Pearce later participated in spay/neuter programs in Texas and New Mexico and volunteered with Compassion Without Borders. He was a veteran of the Navy. Dr. Pearce is survived by his life partner, Colleen Gavin, and a sister. Memorials may be made to Loyal Duke's Dog Park, c/o Salida Dog Club, P.O. Box 1106, Salida, CO 81201. 

William O. Smith

Dr. Smith (Ohio State '56), 85, Dayton, Ohio, died June 18, 2017. He was the co-founder of Gettysburg Animal Clinic and North Main Animal Clinic in Dayton, and Clayton Animal Hospital in Clayton, Ohio. Dr. Smith retired in 1998. He volunteered at Aullwood Audubon Nature Center, caring for injured animals. Dr. Smith was a past president of the former Dayton VMA and a lifetime member of the Miami Valley VMA.  He served in the Army Reserve, attaining the rank of captain. Dr. Smith is survived by his wife, Christine; two sons and a daughter; and four grandchildren. 

J. Neil Utkov

Dr. Utkov (Araneta '86), 58, Memphis, Tennessee, died July 15, 2017. A graduate of De La Salle Araneta University in Malabon, the Philippines, he was the founder of Pet Health Center in Arlington, Tennessee, where he practiced small animal and wildlife medicine. Dr. Utkov served as a volunteer rehabilitator with the Tennessee Wildlife Animal Resource Agency and worked six months as a staff veterinarian with the Wildlife Rescue Organization in Valdez, Alaska, during the Exxon oil spill. He was a member of the Tennessee and Memphis/Shelby County VMAs.

Dr. Utkov is survived by his wife, Jennilyn; two sons; and two brothers and two sisters. Memorials may be made to the Humane Society of Memphis and Shelby County, 935 Farm Road, Memphis, TN 38134.