Obituaries

Published on September 26, 2018

AVMA member

AVMA honor roll member

Nonmember

Student

Leonard N. Berdan

Dr. Berdan (Cornell '43), 100, Schoharie, New York, died May 15, 2018. Following graduation, he served in the Army Veterinary Corps for three years during World War II, attaining the rank of captain. Dr. Berdan subsequently established a mixed animal practice in Middleburgh, New York. From 1949 until retirement in 1982, he practiced in Schoharie. In the 1970s, Dr. Berdan also served for a period of time as an assistant director in the Division of Animal Industry at the New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets. He was active with the Rotary and Kiwanis clubs and was a past member of the Schoharie School Board.

Dr. Berdan is survived by three sons, five grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. Memorials may be made to Schoharie Reformed Church, P.O. Box 635, Schoharie, NY 12157.

Carlos H. Contag

Dr. Contag, 87, New Ulm, Minnesota, died April 29, 2018. A 1954 veterinary graduate of the Central University of Ecuador in Quito, he practiced mixed animal medicine in New Ulm for 38 years. During that time, Dr. Contag also taught in the veterinary technology program at the University of Minnesota in Waseca for five years and served as a federal veterinarian at turkey plants in Minnesota at Butterfield and Madelia. He was a life member of the Minnesota VMA. Dr. Contag's wife, Ann; five children; 13 grandchildren; and a sister survive him.

Edwin L. Davis

Dr. Davis (Ohio State '51), 94, Lebanon, Ohio, died May 10, 2018. He began his career practicing primarily large animal medicine in Ohio, first in Oxford and later in Waynesville. In 1957, Dr. Davis moved to Springfield, Ohio, where he practiced small animal medicine at Northside Veterinary Clinic for 21 years. He subsequently worked for the Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration. Dr. Davis served on the board of trustees of The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine for several years and was a past president of the Humane Society of Clark County. He was active with the Kiwanis Club of Springfield and Lebanon Kiwanis Club and was a member of the Masonic Lodge.

Dr. Davis served with the Marine Corps during World War II, receiving two Purple Hearts and a Silver Star. He was also a veteran of the Army Veterinary Corps, serving as a second lieutenant. Dr. Davis is survived by his wife, Barbara; a son and a daughter; and a brother. Memorials may be made to Warren County Humane Association, 230 Cook Road, Lebanon, OH 45036; National Alliance on Mental Illness Ohio, 1225 Dublin Road, Suite 125, Columbus, OH 43215; or Alzheimer's Association National Capital Area Chapter, 8180 Greensboro Drive, Suite 400, McLean, VA 22102.

John W. Ellis

Dr. Ellis (Colorado State '54), 87, Omaha, Nebraska, died June 15, 2018. He owned Saddle Creek Veterinary Clinic in Omaha, where he practiced small animal medicine until retirement in 2000. Dr. Ellis was a veteran of the Army. His wife, Kathleen; four children; and six grandchildren survive him. Memorials may be made to the Lutheran Church of the Master, 2617 S. 114th St., Omaha, NE 68114, or Nebraska Humane Society, 8929 Fort St., Omaha, NE 68134.

Gwenn L. Freitag

Dr. Freitag (Missouri '81), 62, Cape Girardeau, Missouri, died April 17, 2018. A small animal veterinarian, she was the founder of LaCroix Pet Hospital in Cape Girardeau. Dr. Freitag was a past vice president of the Humane Society of Southeast Missouri. Her father and sister survive her. Memorials may be made to the Humane Society of Southeast Missouri, 2536 Boutin Drive, Cape Girardeau, MO 63701, or Mac's Mission (a special needs dog rescue organization), P.O. Box 444, Cape Girardeau, MO 63702.

Ashley M. Gasiorowski

Gasiorowski (Kansas State '21), 22, Olathe, Kansas, died July 10, 2018. She had completed her first year at the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine. Gasiorowski worked at the veterinary college's Veterinary Health Center. She was a member of the student chapter of the AVMA and the veterinary college's surgery club. Gasiorowski is survived by her parents and a sister.

Max G. Graehl

Dr. Graehl (Colorado State '59), 89, Dallas, died July 21, 2018. From 1965 until retirement in 1989, he owned Beach City Animal Hospital, a small animal practice in Huntington Beach, California. Earlier in his career, Dr. Graehl practiced mixed animal medicine in Bend, Oregon; worked in meat inspection for the Department of Agriculture in Salt Lake City; and practiced small animal medicine in Los Angeles. He was an honorary life member of the Sierra VMA and a sponsor for Ducks Unlimited. Dr. Graehl served in the Army during the Korean War. He is survived by his wife, Janice; two sons; a grandchild; and two sisters and a brother.

Edward T. Greenstein

Dr. Greenstein (Cornell '52), 95, Jamestown, Rhode Island, died June 4, 2018. He was a diplomate of the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine. Dr. Greenstein is survived by his family.

John O. Harris

Dr. Harris (Illinois '58), 88, Naples, Florida, died May 12, 2018. A small animal veterinarian, he was a former co-owner of Glen Ellyn Animal Hospital in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. Dr. Harris is survived by a son, a daughter, three grandchildren, and two sisters. Memorials may be made to First Congregational Church of Glen Ellyn, 535 Forest Ave., Glen Ellyn, IL 60137; American Veterinary Medical Foundation, 1931 N. Meacham Road, Suite 100, Schaumburg, IL 60173; or BrightFocus Foundation, 22512 Gateway Center Drive, Clarksburg, MD 20871

Mary A. Herron

Dr. Herron (Purdue '67), 75, Round Rock, Texas, died June 12, 2018. She was professor emeritus in the Department of Veterinary Integrative Biological Sciences and former associate dean for professional programs at the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences. Dr. Herron began her career practicing small animal medicine in Mishawaka, Indiana. She subsequently joined the veterinary faculty at TAMU, where she earned her doctorate in reproductive anatomy and physiology in 1972. Dr. Herron is survived by a daughter and her brother and sister. Her late husband, Dr. Michael R. Herron (Purdue '66), was professor emeritus in the Department of Small Animal Medicine and Surgery at the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (see obituary, Dec. 15, 2015, page 1357). Dr. Herron's brother-in-law, Dr. Alan Herron (Purdue '75), is a professor of pathology at the Baylor University College of Medicine.

Johnny F. Jones

Dr. Jones (Texas A&M '63), 83, Winfield, Louisiana, died June 3, 2018. A mixed animal veterinarian, he was the former owner of Cenla Animal Clinic in Pineville, Louisiana. Dr. Jones was a past president of the Central Louisiana VMA. His wife, Mona; two daughters and a son; 15 grandchildren; and 12 great-grandchildren survive him. Memorials may be made to the Calvary Baptist Church Cemetery Fund, 2888 US-84, Winnfield, LA 71483.

Lorna J. Marke

Dr. Marke (Cornell '90), 53, Arlington, Virginia, died Feb. 23, 2018. She practiced small animal medicine in Washington, D.C. During her career, Dr. Marke also worked in Costa Rica, India, Croatia, Vietnam, and Lithuania. Her husband, Robert Silberstein; two sons; her mother; and a sister and a brother survive her. Memorials may be made to the LUNGevity Foundation, 228 S. Wabash Ave. #700, Chicago, IL 60604.

Carol L. Melton-Mayer

Dr. Melton-Mayer (California-Davis '86), 57, Thousand Oaks, California, died June 11, 2018. Following graduation, she began a career in small animal medicine at Studio City Animal Hospital in Studio City, California. Dr. Melton-Mayer later practiced at Conejo Valley Veterinary Hospital in Thousand Oaks before retiring from veterinary medicine in 1992. She went on to serve as a middle school science teacher in the Los Angeles Unified School District. Dr. Melton-Mayer is survived by her husband, Jim Mayer; a son and a daughter; her parents; and two brothers. Memorials may be made to World Vision Inc., P.O. Box 9716, Federal Way, WA 98063. Please specify Carol Mayer in the memo line of checks and online in the "Fundraiser Search" box.

Frederic A. Nichols

Dr. Nichols (Ohio State '44), 97, Alexandria, Ohio, died June 16, 2018. Following graduation, he served in the Army during World War II, attaining the rank of captain. In 1947, Dr. Nichols established Alexandria Animal Clinic, where he initially practiced large animal medicine, focusing later on small animals. Dr. Nichols retired in 1988. He was a member of the Ohio VMA and Alexandria Community Council, and he helped found the Alexandria Museum. Memorials may be made to Alexandria Museum, 23 W. Main St., Box 96, Alexandria, OH 43001.

Roland C. Olson

Dr. Olson (Minnesota '57), 85, Arden Hills, Minnesota, died June 8, 2018. Following graduation, he practiced for a year in Minnesota at Fairmont and Blooming Prairie. Dr. Olson then worked as a field veterinarian for the Minnesota State Livestock Sanitary Board. In 1959, he joined the Air Force Veterinary Corps, retiring in 1981 as a colonel. Dr. Olson served as chief of the veterinary service for military dogs at the Lackland Air Force Base in Texas, chief of veterinary services at the Clark Air Force Base hospital in the Philippines, and chief of veterinary services at the U.S. Air Force hospital in Wiesbaden, Germany. He was command veterinarian of the U.S. Air Force Academy and command veterinarian of Pacific Air Forces in Hawaii. He also earned a master's of public health in 1967 from the University of Michigan, became a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine in 1968, and consulted for the U.S. Air Force surgeon general for military public health in 1981. Dr. Olson received a Legion of Merit, two Meritorious Service medals, and an Air Force Commendation Medal for his military service.

Following his retirement from the Air Force Veterinary Corps, he worked two years for Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner & Smith. Dr. Olson then practiced at Feist Animal Hospital in St. Paul, Minnesota, until 1985, when he switched to part-time practice at the St. Paul Humane Society. From 1987 until retirement in 2002, he served as executive director of the Minnesota Board of Veterinary Medicine, continuing to practice part time at the humane society until 1992. A past president of the University of Minnesota Veterinary Medicine Alumni Society, Dr. Olson helped establish the Minnesota Veterinary Historical Museum at the university. He was a member of what is now known as the American Association of Public Health Veterinarians and a life member of the Minnesota VMA. In 2001, the MVMA honored Dr. Olson with an Outstanding Service Award.

He is survived by his wife, Muriel J. Bebeau; two daughters and two stepdaughters; and seven grandchildren. Memorials may be made to the Minnesota Veterinary Historical Museum, c/o University of Minnesota Foundation, Discretionary Fund #1216, 1365 Gortner Ave., St. Paul, MN 55108.

Ben L. Russell

Dr. Russell (Texas A&M '47), 95, Clovis, New Mexico, died March 31, 2018. Following graduation, he began his career in Portales, New Mexico, where he practiced mixed animal medicine until 1966. Dr. Russell later switched to small animal medicine, selling his practice in 1979. He then joined the Department of Agriculture, working part time as a meat inspector. Active in his community, Dr. Russell was a past campaign chair for United Way of Curry County and a past president of the Clovis Rotary Club. He was named Citizen of the Year by the Clovis Board of Realtors in 1970 and named a Paul Harris Fellow in 1973 by Rotary International. Dr. Russell served in the Navy during World War II. His son and sister survive him. Memorials may be made to New Mexico Baptist Children's Home, P.O. Box 629, Portales, NM 88130.

Dennis M. Sundbeck

Dr. Sundbeck (Texas A&M '73), 69, Round Rock, Texas, died April 15, 2018. He owned a small animal practice in Round Rock for more than 35 years prior to retirement in 2014. Earlier, Dr. Sundbeck worked in Texas at Houston and Austin. He was active with the Christian Veterinary Mission for 20 years and was a past chair of its board of directors. Dr. Sundbeck's wife, Rebecca; four daughters; seven grandchildren; his father; and a sister survive him. Memorials may be made to Christian Veterinary Mission, 19303 Fremont Ave. N., Seattle, WA 98133, or Kairos Prison Ministry, 100 DeBary Plantation Blvd., DeBary, FL 32713.

Ceylon M. Sutherland

Dr. Sutherland (Cornell '54), 87, DeRuyter, New York, died March 4, 2018. He retired as a supervising veterinarian with the Department of Agriculture. Dr. Sutherland was a former member of the DeRuyter Central School Board of Education and Boards of Cooperative Educational Services. His four sons, three daughters, 21 grandchildren, 22 great-grandchildren, and two brothers survive him. Memorials may be made to the Hospice of Central New York, 990 7th N. St., Liverpool, NY 13088.

Elizabeth F. Trainor

Dr. Trainor (Pennsylvania '49), 91, Oxford, Massachusetts, died March 22, 2018. She began her career practicing small animal medicine at Angell Memorial Animal Hospital in Boston and Abbott Animal Hospital in Worcester, Massachusetts. Dr. Trainor later focused on educating dog breeders on responsible breeding and became a judge with the American Kennel Club. She was active with the New England Sporting Group Association, several Portuguese Water Dog clubs, and Ladies' Dog Club. She is survived by her son, daughter, five grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren. Memorials may be made to the Canine Health Foundation, P.O. Box 900061, Raleigh, NC 27675, or Alzheimer's Association, 309 Waverly Oaks Road, Waltham, MA 02452.

Please report the death of a veterinarian promptly to the JAVMA News staff via a toll-free phone call at 800-248-2862, ext. 6754; email at newsatavma [dot] org; or fax at 847-925-9329. For an obituary to be published, JAVMA must be notified within six months of the date of death.