Obituaries

Published on August 28, 2019
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AVMA member

AVMA honor roll member

Nonmember

Student

James T. Ingram

Dr. Ingram (Colorado State '52), 94, Fort Collins, Colorado, died May 26, 2019. Following graduation, he practiced mixed animal medicine for five years in Saratoga, Wyoming. In 1957, Dr. Ingram joined Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, where he remained until retirement as professor emeritus in 1996. During his tenure, he worked as a surgeon in the large animal clinic. After taking a sabbatical studying veterinary neurology at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine in the early 1970s, he established the neurology service at CSU's veterinary college.

Known for his expertise in equine neurology, Dr. Ingram was named an honorary diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine in neurology in 1992. He was a lifetime member of the Colorado VMA, receiving the CVMA Outstanding Faculty Award in 1988. Dr. Ingram also received what is now known as the Zoetis Distinguished Veterinary Teacher Award in 1965 and 1992.

An Army veteran of World War II, he participated in the Battle of the Bulge and received a Purple Heart for his service. Dr. Ingram is survived by his wife, Peggy; three daughters and a son; three grandchildren; and a sister. Memorials may be made to Sky High Hope Camp, c/o Limb Preservation Foundation, 925 S. Niagara St., Suite 610, Denver, CO 80224, or Pathways Hospice, 305 Carpenter Road, Fort Collins, CO 80525.

Donald W. Johnson

Dr. Johnson (Minnesota '53), 89, Green Valley, Arizona, died April 4, 2019. Following graduation, he served two years in the Air Force during the Korean War. Dr. Johnson then joined the veterinary faculty of the University of Minnesota. While there, he taught large animal medicine and earned a doctorate in immunology and microbiology. From 1967-69, Dr. Johnson served on the veterinary faculty of the University of Missouri. He subsequently returned to the University of Minnesota as a professor.

In 1981, Dr. Johnson was named team leader for the Minnesota Project, a joint venture between the university and the U.S. Agency for International Development, supporting the Hassan II Institute of Agronomy and Veterinary Medicine in Rabat, Morocco. He remained in Morocco for several years prior to and during retirement, establishing a startup chicken vaccine enterprise and helping to reestablish the Village of Hope orphanage in Ain Leuh.

Dr. Johnson's wife, Rose; a son and a daughter; four grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; and a sister survive him. Memorials may be made to the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine, St. Paul, MN 55108.

Wendell J. Kopp

Dr. Kopp (Iowa State '43), 103, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, died April 16, 2019. Following graduation, he served as a captain in the Army Veterinary Corps during World War II. Dr. Kopp then established a clinic in Indianapolis, where he practiced small animal medicine for three years. He subsequently returned to Iowa, establishing a mixed animal practice in Lenox.

In 1973, Dr. Kopp joined the University of Tennessee Comparative Animal Research Laboratory, where he served as chief of animal services. He was later named a professor in the Department of Rural Practice at the veterinary college. He retired after 10 years with the university.

Active in his community, Dr. Kopp served on the Lenox Board of Education for nine years; was a member of the Southwestern Community College board of directors in Creston, Iowa, for six years; and volunteered with Habitat for Humanity.

He is survived by two daughters, two grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. Memorials may be made to First United Methodist Church, 1350 Oak Ridge Turnpike, Oak Ridge, TN 37830.

Arthur C. Lee

Dr. Lee (Colorado State '52), 95, Fort Collins, Colorado, died June 23, 2019. Following graduation, he practiced mixed animal medicine in Billings, Montana, for four years. In 1956, Dr. Lee joined Colorado State University's Radiological Health Laboratory, where his work focused on ophthalmology. While at CSU, he also received his master's in radiology and earned his doctorate in radiation and radiation biology.

A member of the Colorado VMA, Dr. Lee was honored by the association in 2002 for 50 years of service in veterinary medicine. He was an Army veteran of World War II. Dr. Lee's wife, Margaret; four daughters and a son; six grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and a brother survive him. Memorials may be made to Morris Animal Foundation, 720 S. Colorado Blvd., Suite 174 A, Denver, CO 80246, or Pathways Hospice, 305 Carpenter Road, Fort Collins, CO 80525.

Patricia A. Pillsbury

Dr. Pillsbury (Michigan State '90), 57, West Bloomfield, Michigan, died July 23, 2019. Following graduation, she began her career in small animal medicine on Long Island, New York. Dr. Pillsbury subsequently returned to Michigan, where she worked in Birmingham and Grosse Point. In 2000, she joined Oakland Animal Hospital in Rochester, Michigan.

Dr. Pillsbury had a special interest in feline and behavioral medicine. She was a member of the Southeast Michigan VMA. Dr. Pillsbury is survived by her husband, Alexi Neverovich; her parents; and two sisters. One sister, Dr. Nancy Pillsbury (Michigan State '93), is a veterinarian in Grosse Point. Memorials may be made to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, 424 E. 92nd St., New York, NY 10128, or Big Cat Rescue, 12802 Easy St., Tampa, FL 33625.

Theodoris A. Poelma

Dr. Poelma (Guelph '60), 88, Lodi, Wisconsin, died June 16, 2019. A mixed animal veterinarian, he practiced at Waunakee Veterinary Service in Waunakee, Wisconsin, prior to retirement in 1991. In retirement, Dr. Poelma volunteered with the U.S. Agency for International Development in Africa, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Russia. He also traveled annually to Honduras, where he vaccinated cattle.

A member of the Wisconsin and Dane County VMAs, Dr. Poelma was named Wisconsin Veterinarian of the Year in 1996. He is survived by his wife, Jane; a daughter and two sons; five grandchildren; and a brother.

Donn M. Simonson

Dr. Simonson (Iowa State '65), 80, Fullerton, Nebraska, died April 26, 2019. He owned a mixed animal practice in Fullerton. Dr. Simonson was a past district director with the Nebraska VMA and was a member of what is now known as the Nebraska Cattlemen. He was a past mayor of Fullerton and served on the board of directors of the Nance County Fair. Dr. Simonson's wife, Julia; two daughters; and five grandchildren survive him.

Donald S. Small

Dr. Small (Ohio State '59), 85, Cambridge, Ohio, died Feb. 16, 2019. He was the founder of Guernsey Veterinary Clinic in Cambridge. Dr. Small was a member of the Ohio VMA. His wife, Shirley; two daughters and a son; eight grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and a sister survive him. Memorials may be made to Center United Methodist Church, 11026 Cadiz Road, Cambridge, OH 43725, or Hospice of Guernsey, P.O. Box 1165, Cambridge, OH 43725.

Kyle R. Vesper

Vesper, 26, Columbus, Ohio, died May 27, 2019. He was a third-year student at The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine. Vesper served as a summer staff member at Camp Akita for several years. He is survived by his father and two sisters.

Vesper's father, Dr. Richard Vesper (Ohio State '77), and his sister, Dr. Kelsey Walker (Ohio State '08), practice at Avery Animal Hospital in Hilliard, Ohio. Memorials may be made to The Ohio State University Brain and Spine Center, c/o The James, 300 W. 10th Ave., Columbus, OH 43210, or Camp Akita, c/o First Community Church, 3777 Dublin Road, Columbus, OH 43221.

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; newsatavma [dot] org (email); or fax at 847-925-9329. For an obituary to be published, JAVMA must be notified within six months of the date of death.