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March 01, 2021


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AVMA member

AVMA honor roll member


Don T. Balentine

Dr. Balentine (Texas A&M ’50), 93, Alvarado, Texas, died Nov. 11, 2020. He served as a federal veterinarian prior to retirement. In recent years, Dr. Balentine was a cattle rancher in Alvarado. He is survived by two daughters, a son, and his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Ernest R. Benner

Dr. Benner (Michigan State ’61), 83, Charles Town, West Virginia, died Nov. 14, 2020. Following graduation, he worked at mixed animal practices in Armada, Michigan, and West Chicago, Illinois. Dr. Benner subsequently taught equine medicine for a period of time at Oklahoma State University College of Veterinary Medicine. In 1966, he moved to Charles Town, where he established a large animal practice. In 1977, Dr. Benner co-founded what is now known as Valley Equine Associates in Ranson, West Virginia. In 1986, he taught equine medicine at the University of California-Davis. During retirement, Dr. Benner ran a beef cattle operation in White Post, Virginia, with his family.

A past president of the West Virginia Thoroughbred Breeders Association, he served on the board of directors of the West Virginia Breeders’ Classic. In 2003, the Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine Alumni Association honored Dr. Benner with a Distinguished Alumnus Award. Active in his community, he served on the planning commission and the board of zoning appeals for Jefferson County, West Virginia. Dr. Benner is survived by his wife, Barbara; two daughters and two sons; seven grandchildren; and two sisters and a brother. His nephew, Dr. Keith Berkeley (Tuskegee ’84), now owns Valley Equine Associates.

Memorial contributions may be made to Asbury United Methodist Church, 110 W. North St., Charles Town, WV 25414, or Animal Welfare Society of Jefferson County, P.O. Box 147, Charles Town, WV 25414.

N. Joel Edwards

Dr. Edwards (Cornell ’64), 80, Altamount, New York, died Oct. 15, 2020. A diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine in cardiology, he owned a specialty referral practice in Albany, New York, prior to retirement in 2010. Dr. Edwards began his career practicing mixed animal medicine, focusing on dairy cattle, in Cornwall, Vermont. He later practiced small animal medicine in Manhasset, New York, and co-owned Shaker Animal Hospital in Latham, New York, prior to establishing his referral practice. In retirement, Dr. Edwards served as a consultant for the Veterinary Information Network.

Active in organized veterinary medicine, he was a life member of the New York State Veterinary Medical Society and a distinguished life member of the Capital District Veterinary Medical Society. Dr. Edwards served on the ACVIM Examination Committee and the Capital District VMS’ Continuing Education Committee and helped establish the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners and the Capital District Animal Emergency Clinic. He was also a past area director of the American Animal Hospital Association. In 1979, Dr. Edwards was named AAHA Region 1 Practitioner of the Year. In 2011, the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine Alumni Association honored him with the Daniel Elmer Salmon Award for Distinguished Alumni Service.

Dr. Edwards was a founding member and a volunteer with Community Caregivers Inc., a nonprofit organization helping people remain in their own homes and avoiding and delaying institutional care. He served in the Army during the Vietnam War, attaining the rank of captain. Dr. Edwards was awarded a Bronze Star for his service. His wife, Cindy; a son and two daughters; five grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; and a sister survive him.

Memorials may be made to Community Caregivers Inc., 2021 Western Ave., Suite 104, Albany, NY 12203; Altamont Reformed Church, 129 Lincoln Ave., Altamont, NY 12009; or The N. Joel Edwards, DVM, Cardiac Resident Fund,  Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine, Alumni Affairs and Development, Cornell Veterinary Medicine, 930 Campus Road, Ithaca, NY 14853.

Jerry H. Johnson

Dr. Johnson (Georgia ’63), 81, Lexington, Kentucky, died Nov. 9, 2020. A diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons, he was in equine practice since 1979 in Lexington, focusing on Thoroughbreds. Dr. Johnson was known for his expertise in laser surgery of the throat in equines and for his efforts to prevent soring in Tennessee Walking Horses. Earlier in his career, he was in academia, teaching at the University of Pennsylvania, Iowa State University, Kansas State University, Auburn University, and the University of Missouri.

Dr. Johnson served on the Kentucky Equine Drug Research Council and on arbitration panels for Thoroughbred auction companies. He also served as an adviser to the Thoroughbred industry in Jamaica. In later years, Dr. Johnson became certified in equine acupuncture. He was a member of the American Association of Equine Practitioners, North American Association of Racetrack Veterinarians, Kentucky Association of Equine Practitioners, Kentucky VMA, and Thoroughbred Club of America.

Dr. Johnson was a veteran of the Army Reserves. His wife, Patricia; two daughters and an adopted daughter; and six grandchildren survive him. Memorials, notated to the Jerry H. Johnson, DVM, Memorial Fund, may be made to the UGA Foundation, Office of Development, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602.

George A. Kukor

Dr. Kukor (Ohio State ’57), 90, Westerville, Ohio, died Oct. 25, 2020. He was the founder of Hilliard Veterinary Hospital in Hilliard, Ohio, where he practiced small animal medicine until retirement in 2006. Dr. Kukor was a past president of the Columbus Academy of Veterinary Medicine.  A charter member of the Ohio VMA, he served as editor of its newsletter for several years. Dr. Kukor received a Distinguished Service Award from the Columbus Academy of Veterinary Medicine in 1977 and was honored with the Ohio VMA Leadership Award in 1978. In 1983, he was the recipient of the Ohio VMA Distinguished Service Award. In 1986, The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine honored him with the Alumni Service Award. Dr. Kukor was named Ohio Veterinarian of the Year in 2011.

He was active with the Columbus Area Humane Society and Pilot Dogs. Dr. Kukor is survived by his wife, Diana; four daughters, two sons, a stepson, and a stepdaughter; 12 grandchildren and a stepgrandchild; and two great-grandchildren. Memorials may be made to Pilot Dogs Inc., 625 West Town St., Columbus, OH 43215, or Hilliard Humane Society, 3015 Scioto Darby Executive Court, Hilliard, OH 43026.

Marjorie E. Losch

Dr. Losch (Illinois ’61), 87, Hagerstown, Maryland, died Sept. 30, 2020. Following graduation, she co-established Baraboo Veterinary Clinic with her then husband, Dr. William R. Losch (Illinois ’61), in Baraboo, Wisconsin. In 1978, Dr. Losch founded a second practice, Reedsburg Small Animal Clinic, in Reedsburg, Wisconsin. She also served as veterinarian for the Oschner Park Zoo in Baraboo, was a consulting veterinarian for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the International Crane Foundation, and conducted research on the role of furosemide in udder edema in dairy cattle.

In later years, Dr. Losch left clinical practice and began a career in veterinary consulting, initially working as a staff veterinarian for Edwards Agri-Sales and later as a manager at Equity Global Agri-Sales. In 1994, she was appointed to Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson’s export strategy commission. Dr. Losch retired in 1999. Active in organized veterinary medicine, she served on the Wisconsin Veterinary Examining Board from 1979-88, chairing the board from 1987-88. In 1983, the former Association of Women Veterinarians named Dr. Losch as Outstanding Woman Veterinarian of the Year.

She is survived by three daughters, three grandchildren, and a great-grandchild. Memorials may be made to the Circus World Museum, Wisconsin Historical Foundation, P.O. Box 260050, Madison, WI 53726, or International Crane Foundation, E11376 Shady Lane Road, P.O. Box 447, Baraboo, WI 53913.

Harry Madissoo

Dr. Madissoo, 96, East Syracuse, New York, died Nov. 7, 2020. A 1958 graduate of the University of Veterinary Medicine Hanover in Germany, he subsequently earned a degree in clinical veterinary pharmacology in Hanover before moving to the United States, where he began his career as a senior research scientist at Squibb Pharmaceuticals in New Brunswick, New Jersey. From 1965-90, Dr. Madissoo served as director of toxicology at Bristol-Myers Squibb in Syracuse, New York. He was later the company’s senior research adviser for drug safety in New Brunswick, serving in that capacity until retirement.

Dr. Madissoo is survived by his wife, Aili; a son and a stepdaughter; eight grandchildren; and a sister.

James H. Mallery

Dr. Mallery (Texas A&M ’71), 76, Huntsville, Texas, died July 3, 2020. Following graduation, he served two years in the Army. Dr. Mallery then established Mallery Veterinary Clinic in Huntsville, where he practiced small animal medicine for nearly 30 years prior to retirement in the early 2000s. He was a member of the Rotary Club of Huntsville and Sons of the American Revolution. Dr. Mallery’s wife, Jane; a son; and a grandchild survive him. Memorials may be made to Rita B. Huff Humane Society, 530 Bearkat Blvd., Huntsville, TX 77340.

David D. O’Neal Jr.

Dr. O’Neal (Auburn ’72), 77, Lexington, Kentucky, died Oct. 23, 2020. Following graduation, he moved to Lexington where he worked for several equine farms, including Eaton Farms, Meadow Haven Farms, and Brookside Farms, also helping to set up a Thoroughbred farm in Jamaica. Dr. O’Neal subsequently served as a partner in an equine practice in Lexington before establishing his own practice.

He was a past president of the Kentucky Association of Equine Practitioners and was a member of the American Association of Equine Practitioners and Kentucky VMA. In 1972, while a fourth-year veterinary student at Auburn University, Dr. O’Neal received an American College of Veterinary Surgeons Foundation’s Student Surgery Proficiency Award for proficiency in large animal surgery. He is survived by his wife, Sandra; a daughter and a son; and a grandchild. Memorials may be made to Mount Horeb Presbyterian Church, 2739 Iron Works Pike, Lexington, KY 40511; Bluegrass Care Navigators, 2312 Alexandria Drive, Lexington, KY 40504; or Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine, c/o Diana Turner, 104 Greene Hall, Auburn, AL 36849.

Richard L. Palmer

Dr. Palmer (Michigan State ’55), 90, Eleva, Wisconsin, died July 13, 2020. He practiced small animal medicine in Eleva prior to retirement in 2012. Earlier, Dr. Palmer practiced in Remus, Michigan. His wife, Diana; two sons and a daughter; and two grandchildren survive him.

Harold A. Waters

Dr. Waters (Colorado State ’52), 92, Carlsbad, New Mexico, died Dec. 2, 2020. Following graduation, he served as a captain in the Air Force in Saudi Arabia and Germany. Dr. Waters subsequently worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Oregon, New York, Missouri, and Washington, D.C. During that time, he served as veterinarian in charge for the port of New York and was chief staff veterinarian prior to retirement in 1982.  Dr. Waters later served as president of Animal Health International in Annandale, Virginia, consulting on animal health.

He was a member of the National Association of Federal Veterinarians and Animal Transport Association. In 1983, Dr. Waters was named a certified member of the American Society of Agricultural Consultants. He is survived by his wife, Margaret; two sons and a daughter; three grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and a brother. Memorials may be made to Lakeview Christian Home, 1905 W. Pierce St., Carlsbad, NM 88220, or Epworth United Methodist Church, 1406 W. Blodgett St., Carlsbad, NM 88220.

Beecher H. Watson Sr.

Dr. Watson (Pennsylvania ’58), 90, Church Road, Virginia, died Sept. 30, 2020. He owned Amelia Bovine Clinic in Church Road. Earlier in his career, Dr. Watson practiced in Virginia at Blackstone and Petersburg. He was a past member of the Virginia Board of Veterinary Medicine and Virginia Department of Health Professions. A member of the Virginia VMA, Dr. Watson was named Distinguished Virginia Veterinarian in 2012. He is survived by his son, Dr. Beecher H. Watson Jr. (Pennsylvania ’82), a small animal veterinarian in Fairfax, Virginia; two daughters; five grandchildren; and a great-grandchild. Memorials may be made to Second Presbyterian Church, 419 W. Washington St., Petersburg, VA 23803, or Trinity United Methodist Church, 4814 Courthouse Road, Church Road, VA 23833.