Dr. Carl A. Osborne, a luminary in the field of veterinary nephrology and urology admired as much for his compassion, faith, and humility as for his considerable professional accomplishments, died March 5 of complications from Parkinson’s disease. He was 76.
Born in Pittsburgh on Sept. 17, 1940, Dr. Osborne moved with his family to Richfield, Indiana, when he was 9 years old. He received his DVM degree from Purdue University in 1964, joined the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine faculty that year, and would remain there for 53 years.
In an Oct. 17, 2011, interview for the University of Minnesota’s Academic Health Center Oral History Project, Dr. Osborne recalled that his love for animals, demonstrated early in life and supported by parents Andrew and Ella, led him to a career in veterinary medicine. “I can never remember wanting to do anything else,” he said. “Helping others is my passion, and I don’t want to change.”
During the 1960s, the U of M veterinary college was among a handful that offered a doctorate in clinical disciplines. At first resistant to the idea of additional training, Dr. Osborne relented and chose as his research focus the upper and lower urinary tracts, reasoning he could help more animals by elucidating the causes of renal and urinary tract disorders than by specializing in one species.
“I’m not going to choose between an ugly pig and a beautiful dog. They’re all precious. In fact, if somebody asked me, and they often do, what species do you like best? I say, ‘I’m not a species racist’,” he said in the Oral History Project interview. In 1970, Dr. Osborne was awarded a doctorate by U of M for his thesis on percutaneous biopsy of the kidney.
Dr. Osborne helped in 1972 to found the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine, which was awarded probationary approval by the AVMA the following year. A charter diplomate of the ACVIM, Dr. Osborne served as president from 1973-1974 and was twice elected chair of the specialty college’s board of regents (1974-1975, 1976-1977). Additionally, he was president of the World Small Animal Veterinary Association from 1982-1984.
Arguably, Dr. Osborne’s greatest professional achievement came in 1976 when he was appointed chair of the U of M CVM Small Animal Clinical Sciences Department, a position he held until 1984. Three years earlier, he had begun the Minnesota Urolith Center at the college. The center has analyzed more than a million stones from around the world and continues to research diseases of the urinary system in companion animals, led by Dr. Jody Lulich, a professor of veterinary clinical sciences and former colleague of Dr. Osborne.
“My fondest memory of Carl is from an internal medicine meeting in San Diego,” Dr. Lulich said. “We were walking to find a place for dinner. We passed a homeless man begging. His clothes were soiled, the hair on his head and face disheveled, unkempt, and filled with debris. Carl asked if he was hungry. When the man said yes, we walked him back to our hotel and Carl treated him to dinner in the fanciest restaurant.
“The veterinary profession—no, the world—is smaller today.”
Dr. Osborne was one of the veterinary college’s one-health pioneers and innovators in comparative medicine. In the 1970s, he held a joint appointment at the university’s School of Medicine working with the pediatric nephrology division. His revolutionary work in the dissolution of urinary stones in dogs, cats, and humans began with funding from the Paralyzed Veterans of America.
“At that time, paralyzed veterans had indwelling catheters, and they developed urinary tract infections that led to the formation of stones,” he said in a 2012 interview about one health in “Profiles,” the college magazine. “We first developed the model in dogs, but once you can dissolve stones in one species, it opens up the dissolution of stones in all species.”
Over his storied career, Dr. Osborne received over 50 teaching and research awards, including honorary Doctor of Science degrees from Purdue University and the University of Ghent in Belgium. The college established the Osborne-Hills Chair in Nephrology and Urology in 1998, and the first Robert R. Shomer Award was given to Dr. Osborne in 2005 for his achievements in veterinary ethics.
Dr. Osborne is survived by his wife of 52 years, Lynn; sons Andy and David; daughter Amy Meyer; and four grandchildren.
Memorials sent to his family will be donated toward veterinary research and education.
AVMA honor roll member
Ralph E. Ayers
Dr. Ayers (Georgia ’55), 89, Daleville, Virginia, died March 4, 2017. He founded Valley Animal Hospital in Roanoke, Virginia, where he practiced mixed animal medicine until retirement in 1995. Dr. Ayers was a founding member of Emergency Veterinary Services of Roanoke. He is survived by two sons, a daughter, six grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.
Danny D. Cole
Dr. Cole (Texas A&M ’77), 65, Weatherford, Texas, died Nov. 26, 2016. He owned Alta Mesa Animal Clinic, a small animal practice in Fort Worth, Texas, for 33 years. Dr. Cole is survived by his wife, Kay; two daughters; and a son. Memorials may be made to the Small Animal Heart Trust Fund, Veterinary Medicine Development, 4461 TAMU, College Station, TX 77843.
Lloyd H. Elliott
Dr. Elliott (Tennessee ’92), 50, Franklin, Kentucky, died Feb. 13, 2017. He co-owned Crocker Animal Hospital in Franklin, where he practiced mixed animal medicine with a special interest in orthopedic surgery. Dr. Elliott traveled on mission trips to eastern Kentucky and Nicaragua, volunteering veterinary services while there. He is survived by his wife, Laura, and two sons. Memorials may be made to Sulphur Spring Baptist Church, P.O. Box 462, Franklin, KY 42135, or Baptist Medical and Dental Mission International, 11 Plaza Drive, Hattiesburg, MS 39402.
Gordon G. Goodband
Dr. Goodband (Michigan State ’46), 94, Walpole, Massachusetts, died Dec. 15, 2016. He co-owned Bruce Animal Hospital in Dedham, Massachusetts, with his brother, the late Dr. G. Clifford Goodband (Michigan State ’43), practicing mixed animal medicine for 30 years.
Dr. Goodband also organized and held annual rabies clinics in Walpole and served several years as the town’s animal control officer. He was in the Air Force from 1953-1955, attaining the rank of captain.
Dr. Goodband’s three sons, a daughter, seven grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren survive him.
Winifred M. Morenz
Dr. Morenz (Wisconsin ’88), 56, East Swanzey, New Hampshire, died Jan. 23, 2017. She was the founder of Park Place Veterinary Hospital, a mixed animal practice in Keene, New Hampshire.
Dr. Morenz is survived by her husband, Edward; two daughters; and a son. Memorials may be made to Unbound (a nonprofit organization providing assistance to the poor), 1 Elmwood Ave., Kansas City, KS 66103, or Catholic Charities of New Hampshire Inc., 215 Myrtle St., Manchester, NH 03104.
Gavin E. Peck
Dr. Peck (St. George’s ’09), 37, Wilsall, Montana, died Nov. 15, 2016. He co-owned Sage Trail Veterinary Clinic, a mixed animal practice in Wilsall, where he focused on large animal medicine.
Dr. Peck is survived by three children.
Kenneth R. Storck
Dr. Storck (Missouri ’65), 78, Sherry, Wisconsin, died Feb. 27, 2017. Following graduation, he worked in Huntley, Illinois, for a year, before moving to Seattle, where he practiced small animal medicine. In 1970, Dr. Storck returned to Huntley to practice large animal medicine. He later became co-owner of Bovis Veterinary Services, originally located in Rudolph, Wisconsin, and subsequently located in Auburndale, Wisconsin. During the 1970s, Dr. Storck also served as a partner at a practice on Grand Cayman Island. He retired in 1998.
Dr. Storck was a member of the American Association of Bovine Practitioners and the Missouri, Northern Illinois, Washington State, and Wisconsin VMAs. He was also a member of Lions International and his Elks Lodge, receiving the Lions Club Melvin Jones Fellowship in 1987. Dr. Storck was a Sherry volunteer firefighter and served on the Blenker-Sherry Sanitary Sewer District Board. His wife, Sally; two sons and a daughter; and two grandchildren survive him. Memorials may be made to the Wisconsin Lions Camp, 3834 County A, Rosholt, WI 54473, or Elks Scholarship Fund, 113 E. 2nd St., Marshfield, WI 54449.
Werner H. Weiseth
Dr. Weiseth (Kansas State ’46), 99, Ashland, Nebraska, died Jan. 29, 2017. He owned a practice in Plainview, Nebraska, for several years. In retirement, Dr. Weiseth volunteered in the community, most recently with Carol Joy Holling Camp near Ashland. He was a member of the American Legion.
Dr. Weiseth is survived by four children, nine grandchildren, and 19 great-grandchildren. Memorials may be made to Carol Joy Holling Camp, 27416 Ranch Road, Ashland, NE 68003, or WELCA, American Lutheran Church, 1941 Silver St., Ashland, NE 68003.