AVMA honor roll member
Richard A. Barta
Dr. Barta (Kansas State ’68), 76, Independence, Kansas, died Jan. 12, 2021. Following graduation, he began working in Independence, where in 1972 he established Barta Animal Hospital. In the late 1980s, Dr. Barta founded The Pet Shop in Independence. He also helped establish the Animals With Our Love Humane Society in Independence.
Dr. Barta served on the advisory board for the veterinary technology program at Independence Community College. He also served on the Kansas Pet Animal Advisory Board and the Kansas Board of Veterinary Examiners. A member of the Kansas VMA, Dr. Barta received its President’s Award in 2006 and Distinguished Service Award in 2012.
His wife, Joy; two sons; three grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and a sister survive him. Memorials toward the AWOL Humane Society, Friends of Riverside Park and Zoo, or the Kansas State University Foundation (designated to the Dr. Richard A. Barta Memorial Fund), may be sent c/o Webb & Rodrick Funeral Home, 306 W. Main St., Independence, KS 67301.
Terry L. Blasdel
Dr. Blasdel (Texas A&M ’80), 70, Houston, died Feb. 17, 2021. She started her career at the Houston Zoological Gardens, where she headed the zoo’s research program. In 1986, Dr. Blasdel began working at what was known as the University of Texas Medical School at Houston. She later joined the University of Houston, where she served as director of animal care operations and as veterinarian for an institutional animal care and use committee. Dr. Blasdel also worked part-time at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, training the International Space Station crew members on how to handle mice and serving on the NASA Flight Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee. In later years, she was devoted to the support of animal sanctuaries that accept nonhuman primates that are retired from research facilities. Dr. Blasdel is survived by her husband, Chris, and three siblings.
Cassie Lee Duffer Burleson
Dr. Burleson (Oklahoma State ’82), 64, Burkburnett, Texas, died Jan. 7, 2021. Following graduation, she worked in Topeka, Kansas. In 1984, Dr. Burleson established Animal Medical Clinic in Burkburnett, initially practicing mixed animal medicine and later focusing on small animals. She was a member of the Oklahoma VMA. Dr. Burleson is survived by her husband, Connie; a daughter and a son; her parents; and a brother and two sisters. Her daughter, Dr. Cayley Burleson Webster (Texas A&M ’18), now owns Animal Medical Clinic. Memorials may be made to the Parks Cemetery Fund, c/o Grace Wilson, CVS, P.O. Box 1, Loco, OK 73442.
Royal T. Carver
Dr. Carver (Washington State ’59), 92, Logan, Utah, died March 6, 2021. Following graduation, he practiced small animal medicine at Adobe Veterinary Hospital in Sacramento, California, and worked for the state of California in the tuberculosis program in Merced. In 1962, Dr. Carver joined the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s Veterinary Services, where he worked for 33 years until retirement.
Dr. Carver served as president of the Utah VMA from 1985-86. He was a veteran of the Army and Army Reserve Veterinary Corps, retiring with the rank of colonel after 35 years of active and reserve service. His wife, Norma; three sons and two daughters; 21 grandchildren; 41 great-grandchildren; and a sister survive him. Memorials toward the Missionary Fund or the Humanitarian Aid Fund may be made to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 325 Lauralin Drive, Logan, UT 84321.
Robert W. Dellers
Dr. Dellers (Cornell ’54), 91, Blacksburg, Virginia, died March 1, 2021. A diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Microbiologists, he worked at the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory in Madison prior to retirement. Earlier in his career, Dr. Dellers worked at Cornell University and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. His four daughters, two sons, 11 grandchildren, and a great-grandchild survive him. Memorials may be made to Medi Home Health and Hospice, 319 N. Washington Ave., Pulaski, VA 24301, or Alzheimer’s Association, National Capital Area Chapter, 8180 Greensboro Drive, Suite 400, McLean, VA 22102.
William E. Disque
Dr. Disque (Purdue ’66), 78, St. Simons Island, Georgia, died Feb. 18, 2021. At the time of his death, he was working at Integrity Animal Hospital in Kingsland, Georgia. Following graduation, Dr. Disque practiced small animal medicine in Indianapolis. He subsequently owned Disque Animal Clinic in Brunswick, Georgia, for 18 years. After selling his practice, Dr. Disque served as veterinarian for Glynn County Animal Services for a few years.
He volunteered his services with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Coastal Resources Division, helping with stranded marine animals. Dr. Disque was a member of the Georgia VMA. In 1995, Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine honored him with a Distinguished Alumnus Award.
Dr. Disque was active with the Alcoholics Anonymous program, serving as a counselor at a halfway house in Brunswick, named Doc’s Place in his honor. His wife, Gayle; a daughter and a son; three grandchildren; and a brother and a sister survive him. Memorials may be made to Doc’s Place, 1312 Newcastle St., Brunswick, GA 31520.
John N. Eischen
Dr. Eischen (Oklahoma State ’56), 88, El Reno, Oklahoma, died March 29, 2021. He was the founder of Canadian Valley Animal Hospital in El Reno, also founding the Big Red Dog Food Co. In later years, Dr. Eischen worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He was a member of the Elks Lodge and Knights of Columbus. Dr. Eischen is survived by his wife, Anita; three daughters and two sons; 16 grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; and four brothers and three sisters. Memorials may be made to Saint Katharine’s Endowment Fund, 301 West Wade St., El Reno, OK 73036.
John T. Ervin
Dr. Ervin (Georgia ’64), 87, Quitman, Georgia, died Feb. 17, 2021. Following graduation, he joined the Army Veterinary Corps. During his 28-year military service, Dr. Ervin conducted research, served as a staff officer, commanded medical units, and was assigned to the Pentagon. He also served as staff veterinarian for the Navy Resale and Services Support program and traveled to naval facilities worldwide as a member of the Navy inspector general’s team. Dr. Ervin retired as director of veterinary services at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri and Fort Ord in California with the rank of colonel.
He received several military honors, including two Legions of Merit, five Meritorious Service Medals, two Army Commendations, an Army Achievement Medal, and a Navy Good Conduct Medal. After retiring from the Veterinary Corps, Dr. Ervin moved to Florida, where he worked several years for Pinellas County Animal Services, was assistant director of an animal shelter in St. Petersburg, and served as an adjunct professor in the veterinary technology program at St. Petersburg College.
Dr. Ervin served in the Navy during the Korean War. He was a member of the Association of the United States Army. Dr. Ervin’s two brothers and four sisters survive him.
Charles W. Froneberger
Dr. Froneberger (Texas A&M ’80), 76, Ira, Texas, died Jan. 11, 2021. He owned a practice in Colorado City, Texas. Dr. Froneberger also raised Longhorn cattle. He is survived by his wife, Lynda; two daughters; two grandchildren; and a sister and a brother. Memorials may be made to Second Chance Dog Rescue, P.O. Box 674, Snyder, TX 79550.
Peter R. Hall
Dr. Hall (Cornell ’62), 83, The Villages, Florida, died Oct. 6, 2020. During his career, he owned an equine practice in New Jersey, served as a racetrack veterinarian in New Jersey and Florida, and in later years worked as a yearling inspector at Keeneland Racetrack in Lexington, Kentucky. Dr. Hall was a member of the American Association of Equine Practitioners and the New Jersey VMA. He is survived by his wife, Patricia; his children; and his grandchildren. Memorials may be made to Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance, c/o The Jockey Club, 821 Corporate Drive, Lexington, KY 40503.
James M. Hensley
Dr. Hensley (Texas A&M ’88), 63, Luling, Texas, died Jan. 6, 2021. He practiced in Laredo, Texas, and Luling for 20 years. Dr. Hensley is survived by his wife, Jennifer; two children; and two brothers and a sister.
Wallace D. Houser
Dr. Houser (Kansas State ’63), 83, Carl Junction, Missouri, died March 8, 2021. A diplomate of the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine, he served as chief veterinarian and headed veterinary services at the Wisconsin National Primate Research Center in Madison from 1968-95. Dr. Houser later practiced small animal medicine in Webb City, Missouri, until retirement in 2001.
Following graduation, he served in the Air Force for three years during the Vietnam War. During that time, Dr. Houser took care of the sentry dogs, operated a small animal clinic for pets on the base, and served as base food inspector. He attained the rank of captain. Dr. Houser subsequently worked for Woodard Asiatic Corp. in California, which imported monkeys from India.
He is survived by his wife, Betty; two sons and a daughter; three grandchildren; and a sister. Memorials toward the American Cancer Society may be sent c/o Hedge-Lewis-Goodwin Funeral Home, 301 W. Broadway St., Webb City, MO 64870.
Robert G. Little Jr.
Dr. Little (Cornell ’55), 91, Cogan Station, Pennsylvania, died Oct. 5, 2020. He practiced at Little’s Veterinary Hospital in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Dr. Little was a past president of the Pennsylvania VMA and served on the Pennsylvania State Board of Veterinary Medicine. He was also a past president of the Rotary Club of Williamsport and Dunwoody Big Bear Fish and Game Club. Dr. Little is survived by his wife, Rita; two daughters and a son; six grandchildren; and a sister. His son, Dr. Robert G. Little III (Kansas State ’90), practices at Little’s Veterinary Hospital.
Eugene F. Lynch
Dr. Lynch (California-Davis ’62), 83, Petaluma, California, died Feb. 4, 2021. He practiced small animal medicine at Balboa Pet Hospital in San Francisco. In later years, Dr. Lynch served as a relief veterinarian throughout Northern California. He was a founding member of the Redwood Empire Bonsai Society, teaching workshops and serving on the board of directors for many years. Dr. Lynch is survived by his wife, Rebecca; a daughter; and a brother.
Michael A. Maynard
Dr. Maynard (California-Davis ’17), 39, Eugene, Oregon, died Feb. 14, 2021. Following graduation, he completed an internship in shelter medicine at the Humane Society of Boulder Valley in Boulder, Colorado. Dr. Maynard then joined Greenhill Humane Society in Eugene, where he led the surgery department.
While at veterinary school, he was president of the surgery club and camelid medicine club and was a founding member and webmaster for the Broad Spectrum Veterinary Student Association. Dr. Maynard is survived by his mother. Memorials may be made to Greenhill Humane Society, 885 Greenhill Road, Eugene, OR 97402.
Dianne M. Nail
Dr. Nail (Oklahoma State ’65), 79, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, died Feb. 5, 2021. In 1970, she co-established a small animal practice in Broken Arrow with her husband, Dr. Nicholas A. Nail (Oklahoma State ’62). Earlier, Dr. Nail practiced in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She was a past president of the Oklahoma VMA and active with the Oklahoma Veterinary Medical Foundation. In 2003, Dr. Nail was named Oklahoma Veterinarian of the Year.
She was active with the Broken Arrow Parent Teacher Association, Oklahoma 4-H Foundation, and Tulsa Garden Center. An avid gardener, Dr. Nail became a Tulsa County Master Gardener in retirement and was dedicated to the Broken Arrow Rose Festival in recent years. She is survived by her husband, two daughters and a son, six grandchildren, and a brother.
Memorials may be made to Tulsa County Master Gardeners, 4116 E. 15th St., Tulsa, OK 74112, or to the Broken Arrow Rose Garden, c/o Keep Broken Arrow Beautiful, P.O. Box 3255, Broken Arrow, OK 74012.
Edward J. Nowak
Dr. Nowak (Cornell ’66), 78, Hamburg, New York, died Nov. 9, 2020. A small animal veterinarian, he owned Boston Veterinary Clinic in Boston, New York, for more than 40 years prior to retirement in 2012. Dr. Nowak is survived by his family. Memorials may be made to St. Vincent De Paul Society, SS Peter & Paul’s Roman Catholic Church, 66 East Main St., Hamburg, NY 14075.
Rodney F. Taylor
Dr. Taylor (Washington State ’66), 80, Edgewood, New Mexico, died Feb. 27, 2021. Following graduation, he served in the Army during the Vietnam War. Dr. Taylor earned a Bronze Star for his service. In 1969, he joined Kamloops Veterinary Clinic, a mixed animal practice in Kamloops, British Columbia, where he worked as an associate veterinarian until 1972. Dr. Taylor then returned to Washington State University to further his education, earning a master’s in veterinary pathology and immunopathology in 1974. He subsequently completed a residency in veterinary pathology at the University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and joined a veterinary laboratory in Abbotsford, British Columbia, serving as senior veterinary pathologist.
From 1978-85, Dr. Taylor was an associate professor of veterinary pathology at Michigan State University and senior veterinary pathologist with the MSU Animal Health Diagnostic Laboratory. He then worked for Hoechst Roussel Agri-Vet Company for 14 years. During that time, Dr. Taylor served as senior research scientist, senior professional services veterinarian, and technical services veterinarian. In 1999, he established Taylor Veterinary Consulting Service, consulting for animal health companies, cattle feed yards, and cow-calf operations throughout the western United States and Mexico.
From 2002-11, Dr. Taylor served as director of the New Mexico Department of Agriculture’s Veterinary Diagnostic Services Division. He then worked part time as a veterinary pathologist for the NMDA until 2015. Dr. Taylor most recently served as a relief veterinarian in New Mexico and as a test barn veterinarian for the New Mexico Racing Commission.
He was a member of the Academy of Veterinary Consultants and New Mexico VMA. In 2010, the NMVMA honored him with a Distinguished Service Award. Dr. Taylor authored and co-authored articles and chapters in publications for several organizations, including the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians, Equine Veterinary Journal, Journal of Equine Veterinary Science, Compendium on Continuing Education for the Practicing Veterinarian, and Third International Symposium of the World Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians.
He is survived by his wife, R. Holly; a daughter and a son; a grandchild; and a sister and a brother. A nephew, Dr. Thomas F.T. Linfield (Colorado State ’83), and a niece, Dr. Jocelyn M. Whitworth (Cornell ’13), are also veterinarians.
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 newsavma [dot] org (news[at]avma[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.