In Memory – April 27, 2023

Member status key:

AVMA member | AVMA honor roll member | Nonmember

Jerry A. Bird

Dr. Bird (California-Davis ’72), 76, Danville, California, died December 26, 2022. He owned and served as a partner at Livermore Veterinary Hospital in Livermore, California, prior to retirement in 2009. Earlier, Dr. Bird worked in San Bruno, California; practiced in Campbell, California; and co-founded a practice in San Ramon, California.

He was a member of the California and Alameda County VMAs. Dr. Bird is survived by his wife, Brooke; a son and a daughter; and three grandchildren.

Lawrence E. Mehr

Dr. Mehr (Auburn ’67), 82, Southaven, Mississippi, died February 21, 2023. He owned a large animal practice in Memphis, Tennessee, prior to retirement. Following graduation, Dr. Mehr practiced in Sand Springs, Oklahoma. He subsequently moved to Longview, Texas, where he worked for Blackwatch Farms. Dr. Mehr later worked at Winrock Farms in Morrilton, Arkansas, before establishing his practice in Memphis.

He was a member of the American Association of Equine Practitioners. Dr. Mehr is survived by his wife, Donna; a daughter; two grandchildren; and two brothers. Memorials may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105, or Goodman Oaks Church of Christ, 1700 Goodman Road, Southaven, MS 38671.

Peter A. Prescott

Dr. Prescott (Michigan State ’57), 89, West Bloomfield, Michigan, died February 17, 2023. He owned a small animal practice in Utica, Michigan, for 25 years, subsequently serving as CEO of the Michigan VMA until retirement. Dr. Prescott was a past president of the Michigan VMA. In 1994, what is now known as the Veterinary Medical Association Executives named him Executive of the Year. Dr. Prescott received the MVMA Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award in 2001.

His wife, Lynn; two daughters; four grandchildren; and a brother survive him. Memorials may be made to the Michigan Animal Health Foundation, 2144 Commons Parkway, Okemos, MI 48864.

Kenneth H. Rockwood

Dr. Rockwood (Kansas State ’69), 82, Falmouth, Maine, died April 3, 2023. He owned a mixed animal practice in Farmington, Maine, for more than 40 years prior to retirement. Earlier, Dr. Rockwood worked in Kansas and Ohio. His wife, Marcia; two daughters; three grandchildren; and a brother survive him. Memorials may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, 8180 Greensboro Drive, Suite 400, McLean, VA 22102.

Richard W. Scott

Dr. Scott (Colorado State ’62), 85, Las Vegas, died March 22, 2023. Following graduation, he moved to Las Vegas, where he established a large animal practice. Dr. Scott also served as the veterinarian for what is now known as the Nevada Gaming Commission for 45 years. In 1985, Dr. Scott co-founded Sports Media Network. An avid horseman, he raised, owned, and raced Thoroughbreds.

Dr. Scott was a past president of the Nevada Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners and was a member of the Nevada VMA. He is survived by three daughters, a son, eight grandchildren, and a sister. Memorials may be made to Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, Fort Collins, CO 80523, or Spread the Word Nevada, an organization dedicated to advancing childhood literacy within low-income communities, and sent to 1065 American Pacific, Suite 160, Henderson, NV 89074.

Donald P. Smith

Dr. Smith (Michigan State ’61), 91, Hingham, Massachusetts, died February 17, 2023. He owned and served as managing partner of Hingham Animal Clinic, where he practiced small animal medicine until retirement in 2000. In 1983, Dr. Smith founded the New England Wildlife Center in South Weymouth, Massachusetts. He was a veteran of the Navy.

Dr. Smith is survived by his wife, Beverly; three daughters; five grandchildren; a great-grandchild; and a brother, Dr. Roy B. Smith (Oklahoma State ’62), also a veterinarian. Memorials may be made to the New England Wildlife Center, 500 Columbian St., South Weymouth, MA 02190.

Carl E. Ward

Dr. Ward (Oklahoma State ’65), 86, Claremore, Oklahoma, died December 24, 2022. Following graduation, he joined Claremore Veterinary Clinic, eventually taking ownership of the practice. Dr. Ward also served as state racetrack veterinarian with the Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission and founded Carl Cattle Company, breeding Chianina cattle.

He was a past president of the Oklahoma VMA and the Rogers County Cattlemen’s Association. Dr. Ward served in the Navy from 1955-58. His wife, David Ann; two sons; nine grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; and a great great-grandchild survive him.

A version of this story appears in the July 2023 print issue of JAVMA.

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