Published on December 18, 2009
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AVMA member

AVMA honor roll member


Henry J. Abramowicz

Dr. Abramowicz (GSN '53), 84, South St. Paul, Minn., died May 2, 2009. A small animal practitioner, he moved to South St. Paul in 1960 and founded the South St. Paul Animal Hospital, where he practiced for more than 40 years. Earlier in his career, Dr. Abramowicz practiced small animal medicine in New York, working with the Bideawee organization and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. He is survived by his wife, Sharon, and six children. Dr. Abramowicz's son, Dr. David M. Abramowicz (MIN '90), practices at the South St. Paul Animal Hospital.

Galen H. Adkins

Dr. Adkins (MIN '67), 68, Pine River, Minn., died Oct. 4, 2009. He owned Ye Old Country Doc Veterinary Clinic, a small animal practice in Pine River. Following graduation, Dr. Adkins practiced small animal medicine in Miami for a year. He then owned a mixed animal practice in Pine River for five years. Dr. Adkins went on to serve as state veterinarian for the Minnesota Board of Animal Health for 31 years. He was a member of the Minnesota VMA, Minnesota Deer Breeders Association, and Minnesota Draft Horse Association. Dr. Adkins is survived by his wife, Kathryn; five sons; and three daughters. One son, Kyle Adkins, is a fourth-year veterinary student at the University of Minnesota.

James A. Botta Jr.

Dr. Botta (AUB '62), 71, Frisco City, Ala., died Oct. 23, 2009. He was the founder of Toxicology Pathology Services Inc. in Mount Vernon, Ind. During his career, Dr. Botta also served as a member of the veterinary faculties at Auburn and Purdue universities. His wife, Jarilyn; five sons; and a daughter survive him. Memorials toward a senior center in Frisco City may be made to Golden Inc., P.O. Box 105, Frisco City, AL 36445.

Walter C. Bowie

Dr. Bowie (KSU '47), 84, Tuskegee, Ala., died Oct. 25, 2009. He was the third dean of the Tuskegee University School of Veterinary Medicine, from 1972-1990.

In 1947, Dr. Bowie joined Tuskegee's faculty. He served as a teacher, research scientist, head of the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, and associate dean for academic affairs before becoming dean.

Much of Dr. Bowie's research focused on cardiovascular physiology. He worked with Edward W. Hawthorne, MD, of Howard University to establish a Large Animal Cardiovascular Center at Tuskegee in 1964. The center brought leading cardiovascular specialists and scientists to Tuskegee. Dr. Bowie also established a comparative cardiovascular laboratory and created a heart-lung bypass machine for horses.

While serving as dean of the Tuskegee veterinary school, Dr. Bowie raised funds to support the school's development and expansion. During his tenure, the school garnered more than $50 million in grants from the federal government and private sector, including financial support from the National Institutes of Health.

Dr. Bowie initiated the development of audiovisual and autotutorial programs and innovative physical facilities at the Tuskegee veterinary school. He started summer enrichment programs for students with bachelor's degrees who showed intellectual ability and promise but who lacked some of the skills needed to tackle the challenging pace of the veterinary curriculum.

Dr. Bowie's international contributions included a commitment to improving veterinary care in developing countries. He helped provide an education to veterinary students from these countries, and they returned home to offer veterinary care and establish veterinary schools.

The establishment of Tuskegee's Center for the Study of Human-Animal Interdependent Relationships, in 1997, resulted in no small part from Dr. Bowie's initial leadership and fundraising. In 2005, the Alabama VMA named the Bowie-Heath Humanitarian Award after Dr. Bowie and Auburn University's Dr. M.K. Heath in recognition of their work on the human-animal bond.

The Tuskegee veterinary school honored Dr. Bowie and his predecessor, Dean Theodore S. Williams, in 2002 by renaming the Food Animal Production, Research, and Service Center as Williams-Bowie Hall.

Dr. Bowie also received recognition from the many professional organizations in which he was involved. Among other positions, he served a term as president of the American Association of Veterinary Physiologists and Pharmacologists.

Dr. Bowie served as a founder and president of the Association of Minority Health Professions Schools. Louis W. Sullivan, MD, the association's founding president and former secretary of health and human services, said Dr. Bowie also was instrumental in the creation of the NIH National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities. The mission of the 10-year-old center is to promote minority health and lead, coordinate, support, and assess the NIH effort to reduce and ultimately eliminate health disparities.

After retirement, Bowie continued to provide fundraising guidance and input on professional issues. He recently was co-chairman of the Dean's Advisory Board at Tuskegee's College of Veterinary Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health.

Dr. Bowie is survived by his wife, Cornelia, and three children. Memorials toward the Walter C. Bowie Scholarship Fund may be made to Tuskegee University School of Veterinary Medicine, Attn: Angela Smith-Bascomb, Office of the Dean, Tuskegee, AL 36088.

Robert R. Brown

Dr. Brown (COR '62), 83, Viola, Ark., died June 17, 2009. Prior to retirement in 1987, he served as regional brucellosis epidemiologist for the Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service in Little Rock, Ark. Following graduation, Dr. Brown practiced small animal medicine in Buffalo, N.Y. He joined the USDA in 1963. During his tenure, Dr. Brown served as veterinary medical officer, veterinarian-in-charge, and epidemiologist-in-charge. He was a member of the Arkansas VMA, National Association of Federal Veterinarians, United States Animal Health Association, and Wildlife Disease Association. Dr. Brown served in the Army during World War II.

He is survived by his wife, Bonnie; a daughter; and a son. Memorials may be made to Salem Cumberland Presbyterian Church, P.O. Box 55, Salem, AR 72576; or Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine, Auburn University, AL 36849.

Kathy Christian

Dr. Christian (TEX '95), 52, Edgewood, Texas, died June 3, 2009. She practiced mixed animal medicine at the Animal Healthcare Clinic of Southlake in Southlake, Texas, where she also served as hospital manager. Dr. Christian was a founding member of the Animal Emergency Hospital of North Texas and a member of the Texas and Tarrant County VMAs. Her son and daughter survive her. Memorials toward a scholarship fund in Dr. Christian's name at Texas A&M University may be made to First National Bank of Edgewood, P.O. Box 8, Edgewood, TX 75117.

William T. Christy

Dr. Christy (IL '75), 62, Colorado Springs, Colo., died Sept. 19, 2009. He co-owned Ridgewood Animal Hospital, a small animal practice in Colorado Springs, with his wife, Dr. Janet L. Christy (IL '75), for 30 years. Earlier in his career, Dr. Christy practiced in Michigan at Lansing and Grand Blanc. He was an Air Force veteran of the Vietnam War. Dr. Christy is survived by his wife; a daughter; and a son. His nephew, Dr. Timothy L. Koors (IL '05), is a veterinarian in St. Louis.

Memorials may be made to the University of Illinois Foundation (with memo line notated to Vet Med Class of 1975), College of Veterinary Medicine, Office of Advancement, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 3505 Veterinary Medicine Basic Sciences Building, 2001 South Lincoln Ave., Urbana, IL 61802; or Lutheran Valley Ranch, P.O. Box 1352, Colorado Springs, CO 80903.

Robert E. Gibbs

Dr. Gibbs (UP '44), 88, Lakeland, Fla., died May 10, 2009. Prior to retirement, he served as a poultry pathologist for the Department of Agriculture. Earlier in his career, Dr. Gibbs conducted large animal research at the University of Maryland; worked for Whitmoyer Laboratories in Myerstown, Pa.; and served as a member of the extension veterinary faculty at Pennsylvania State University.

He was an Army veteran of World War II. Dr. Gibbs is survived by a son and a daughter. Memorials may be made to Alzheimer's Association Florida Gulfcoast, 520 S. Florida Ave., Lakeland, FL 33813; or American Cancer Society, 809 S. Florida Ave., Lakeland, FL 33813.

Don F. Gilmore

Dr. Gilmore (ISU '42), 94, Excelsior Springs, Mo., died Aug. 3, 2009. Prior to retirement in 1979, he served as a district inspector for the Department of Agriculture in the Covington area of Kentucky. Earlier in his career, Dr. Gilmore practiced large animal medicine in Brookville, Ind. He served in the Army Veterinary Corps during World War II, attaining the rank of captain. Dr. Gilmore is survived by two sons.

James A. Horan

Dr. Horan (IL '70), 71, Billings, Mont., died Oct. 24, 2009. He owned The Animal Hospital, a small animal practice in Billings, for 20 years prior to retirement in 1995. Earlier in his career, Dr. Horan practiced at Moore Lane Veterinary Hospital in Billings. He was a veteran of the Army. Dr. Horan's wife, Marilyn, and a daughter survive him. Memorials may be made to Yellowstone Public Radio, 1500 N. 30th, Billings, MT 59101.

Arvin D. Hullinger

Dr. Hullinger (COL '63), 73, Orem, Utah, died Oct. 22, 2009. Prior to retirement in 2008, he practiced small animal medicine in Provo, Utah. During his 45-year career, Dr. Hullinger also practiced in California. His wife, Annette; four sons; and five daughters survive him. Memorials toward the Missionary Fund of the Latter Day Saints Church may be made c/o Mrs. Arvin D. Hullinger, 503 W. 650 S., Orem, UT 84058.

Charles W. Livingston

Dr. Livingston (TEX '55), 85, San Angelo, Texas, died June 16, 2009. A diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Microbiologists, he taught and conducted research at Texas A&M University until retirement in 1989. During his tenure, Dr. Livingston worked with the Texas Agricultural Experiment stations in Sonora, College Station, and San Angelo. His research focused on infectious diseases affecting sheep and goats, including bluetongue, mycoplasmal, and chlamydial diseases. Active in civic life, Dr. Livingston was a member of the Rotary Club. His daughter survives him.

John F. Long

Dr. Long (OSU '55), 85, Columbus, Ohio, died July 20, 2009. He was professor emeritus at The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine since 1998. Following graduation, Dr. Long served as a diagnostic pathologist at the Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory in Reynoldsburg, Ohio. In 1966 he joined OSU, where he taught anatomic pathology and diagnostic histopathology. Dr. Long's research interests included viral encephalitis and Alzheimer's disease. In 1999, he received a Distinguished Alumnus Award from the OSU-CVM.

Dr. Long's wife, Sarah; two sons; and three daughters survive him. Memorials toward the Pathology Graduate Program may be made to the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Veterinary Biosciences, 1925 Coffey Road, Columbus, OH 43210.

Jackson Minar

Dr. Minar (COL '48), 89, La Canada Flintridge, Calif., died Sept. 25, 2009. Following graduation, he established a practice in Burns, Ore., focusing on large animal medicine. Dr. Minar was a past president of the Oregon VMA and a past member of the Oregon Veterinary Medical Examining Board.

Clifton M. Monahan

Dr. Monahan (COL '85), 55, Columbus, Ohio, died Sept. 15, 2009. He was a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine at The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine, where he taught parasitology. Dr. Monahan traveled regularly to Africa, working to improve the lives of animals and people through enhanced agricultural methods. In 2001, he was the recipient of a Carl J. Norden Distinguished Teaching Award.

Memorials may be made to Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, Development Department, 9900 Riverside Drive, Powell, OH 43065; WOSU Stations, Attn: Development, 2400 Olentangy River Road, Columbus, OH 43210; or Dr. Clifton Monahan Student Scholarship, College of Veterinary Medicine, 125 VMAB, 1900 Coffey Road, Columbus, OH 43210.

John L. Pitts

Dr. Pitts (CAL '70), 68, Quilcene, Wash., died Oct. 28, 2009. Prior to retirement in 2006, he owned and served as president of Bellwether Consulting Inc., an aquaculture consulting company in Quilcene. Dr. Pitts began his career practicing mixed animal medicine at Shelton Veterinary Hospital in Shelton, Wash. From 1977-1981, he owned Belfair Animal Hospital, a mixed animal practice in Belfair, Wash. Dr. Pitts then served as Jefferson County commissioner in Townsend, Wash. During his tenure, he began research into aquaculture.

Dr. Pitts went on to serve as aquatic farm program manager for the Washington State Department of Agriculture in Olympia from 1986-1993, and he co-founded the National Association of State Aquaculture Coordinators. During that time, he established Bellwether Consulting Inc. Dr. Pitts served as one of the initial members of the AVMA committee that later became the Aquatic Veterinary Medicine Committee, from 1993-1999. In that position he assisted the development an AVMA policy that still serves as a guideline for developing and applying federal and state aquatic animal health regulations and disease control programs. Dr. Pitts played an influential role representing the interests of the veterinary profession and the pet industry during the development of the Minor Use and Minor Species Act of 2004. His innovative thinking led to the FDA incorporating the concept of "indexing" drugs that would otherwise never be available to minor species into the MUMS Act and subsequent FDA regulation.

Dr. Pitts was a member of the American Association of Human-Animal Bond Veterinarians, served for many years on the Pet Care Trust Foundation, and has contributed to many Student AVMA programs.

He received several honors, including two Directors Annual Merit Awards from the Washington State Department of Agriculture and the World Wide Pet Industry Association's Jiro Matsui Person of the Year Award. In 2006, SAVMA established the Dr. John Pitts Distinguished Service Award in his honor, recognizing his efforts as chairman of the committee formed in 1969—when he was president-elect of the University of California-Davis student chapter—that was instrumental in creating SAVMA.

Dr. Pitts is survived by his wife, Madelyn, and a son. His brother, Dr. Clyde L. Pitts (CAL '64), is a small animal veterinarian in Studio City, Calif.

Neal C. Ralston

Dr. Ralston (UP '85), 56, Hookstown, Pa., died Sept. 28, 2009. He owned Animal Medical Clinic, a mixed animal practice in Hookstown. Dr. Ralston was a member of the Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia VMAs. Memorials may be made to the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania, Development Office, New Bolton Center, 382 W. Street Road, Kennett Square, PA 19348.

Laddie B. Rasi

Dr. Rasi (OSU '41), 92, Dennison, Ohio, died Aug. 17, 2009. A small animal practitioner, he practiced at Boston Heights Veterinary Hospital in Hudson, Ohio, until 1979. Earlier in his career, Dr. Rasi practiced at Bedford Veterinary Hospital in Bedford, Ohio. He is survived by his wife, Christine; three sons; and a daughter. Memorials may be made to Hospice of Tuscarawas County, 201 W. 3rd St., Dover, OH 44622.

Helen F. Reiley

Dr. Reiley (WSU '41), 91, Olympia, Wash., died July 3, 2009. During her career, she worked for the Washington State Department of Agriculture, researching poultry diseases. Dr. Reiley's son and two daughters survive her. Memorials may be made to Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Pullman, WA 99164.

John F. Ryff

Dr. Ryff (MSU '35), 95, Fort Thomas, Ariz., died Sept. 16, 2009. Prior to retirement in 1971, he served as founding director and head of the Wyoming State Veterinary Laboratory for 24 years. Early in his career, Dr. Ryff taught bacteriology at Michigan State University and the University of Wyoming, served as resident deputy state veterinarian for Montana, was commissioned as deputy state veterinarian in Wyoming, and worked as a veterinary livestock inspector in tuberculosis eradication and brucellosis control. Dr. Ryff was a life member and past president of the Wyoming VMA. He authored the segment on diseases of the horse for the Encyclopedia Britannica. Dr. Ryff's two sons and two daughters survive him.

Donald K. Shaffner

Dr. Shaffner (WSU '49), 89, Dillon, Mont., died Oct. 25, 2009. He owned a mixed animal practice in Dillon until 1979. Dr. Shaffner was a past president of the Montana and Intermountain VMAs. He was a member of the Southwest Montana Stockmen's Association and Montana Stockgrower's Association. In 1988, Dr. Shaffner was named SMSA's Stockman of the Year.

Active in civic life, he served on the board of directors of Barrett Hospital, was a charter member of the Barrett Hospital Foundation, helped organize the Beaverhead 4-H Foundation, and was a member of the Elks. In 1996, Dr. Shaffner received the Beaverhead Chamber of Commerce's Agriculture Award. His two daughters survive him. Dr. Dale L. Kurtz (COL '72), the son of Dr. Shaffner's cousin, is a veterinarian in Scottsbluff, Neb.

Memorials may be made to Barrett Hospital Foundation, 235 E. Sebree St., Dillon, MT 59725; Beaverhead County 4-H Foundation, c/o Beaverhead County Extension, 2 S. Pacific, Dillon, MT 59725; or The Dillon Junior Fiddlers, 4275 Bloody Dick Road, Dillon, MT 59725.

Jimmy B. Smith Sr.

Dr. Smith (TEX '58), 74, Denham Springs, La., died May 21, 2009. Prior to retirement in 1999, he owned Dodge City Veterinary Hospital, a mixed animal practice in Denham Springs. Earlier in his career, Dr. Smith practiced at Zachary Animal Hospital in Zachary, La., and owned Denham Springs Animal Hospital. He was a member of the Louisiana and Baton Rouge Area VMAs. Dr. Smith was a veteran of the Air Force. He is survived by his wife, Mary; three daughters; and two sons. One son, Dr. Scott F. Smith (LSU '97), owns Dodge City Veterinary Hospital.

Carrie R. Washburn

Dr. Washburn (LSU '09), 27, Fraser, Mich., died Sept. 11, 2009. Memorials toward a scholarship in her name may be made to the LSU Foundation (memo line to be notated to the Carrie Washburn Memorial Scholarship), c/o Dr. David Senior, School of Veterinary Medicine, Louisiana State University, Skip Bertman Drive, Baton Rouge, LA 70803.

Stanley C. Wasman

Dr. Wasman (AUB '44), 87, Bay Harbor Islands, Fla., died July 1, 2009. During his career, he practiced in Miami Beach. Dr. Wasman was a life member of the Florida VMA. He is survived by his wife, Milly; a son; and two daughters.

Richard E. Whitmire Jr.

Dr. Whitmire (TEX '60), 72, San Antonio, died Sept. 12, 2009. A diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists, he served as a pathologist with the Army Veterinary Corps for 26 years, retiring in 1990 as a colonel. During that time, Dr. Whitmire served in Vietnam and Thailand and was commanding officer of a medical research unit in Nairobi, Kenya. In retirement, Dr. Whitmire served as a relief veterinarian. His wife, Margaret, and four children survive him. Memorials may be made to Wounded Warriors, Warrior Family Support Center, Attn: Judith Markelz, 2010 Stanley Road, Suite 95, Fort Sam Houston, TX 78234.