In Memory – Aug 4, 2022

AVMA member

AVMA honor roll member


Gordon S. Bachman

Dr. Bachman (Pennsylvania ’57), 91, Bradenton, Florida, died April 26, 2022. He practiced small animal medicine in Mount Chestnut, Pennsylvania, for 40 years. Dr. Bachman was a past member of the Pennsylvania State Board of Veterinary Medicine. He volunteered with the Connoquenessing Meals on Wheels program. Dr. Bachman is survived by a son and a daughter; five grandchildren; and two brothers and a sister. Memorials may be made to the Trinity Memorial Fund, 120 Sunset Drive, Butler, PA 16001.

Ronald G. DeRhodes

Dr. DeRhodes (Ohio State ’60), 88, Homeworth, Ohio, died July 2, 2022. He owned a small animal practice in Canton, Ohio, for 37 years prior to retirement. Dr. DeRhodes was a member of the board of directors of the Stark County Humane Society for 45 years, serving as president from 1984-88. His two daughters and six grandchildren survive him. Memorials may be made to the Stark County Humane Society, P.O. Box 7077, Canton, OH 44705.

Wendell M. Kearney

Dr. Kearney (Texas A&M ’64), 88, Killeen, Texas, died Dec. 27, 2021. He was the former owner of Killeen Veterinary Clinic. Dr. Kearney was a past chair of the Killeen Chamber of Commerce and served on the board of directors of the Killeen Independent School District. His wife, Rexanna; a daughter and a son; four grandchildren; and a great-grandchild survive him.

Donald C. Lang

Dr. Lang (Illinois ’86), 66, Reno, Nevada, died June 26, 2022. He owned a small animal practice in Palatine, Illinois, for 14 years prior to retirement. Following graduation, Dr. Lang worked in Oahu, Hawaii. He then moved to Illinois, practicing in the lakeshore area and on the Northwest side of Chicago and in Lincolnshire. Dr. Lang’s wife, Maria; two sons; two grandchildren; and a brother survive him.

Nathaniel T. Messer IV

Dr. Messer (Colorado State ’71), 77, Columbia, Missouri, died June 7, 2022.  Following graduation, he joined the veterinary faculty at Colorado State University as an associate professor of equine medicine and surgery. Dr. Messer later served as director of internal medicine at what is now known as Littleton Equine Medical Center in Littleton, Colorado. He then moved to the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine as an associate professor of equine medicine and surgery, retiring in 2014 as a professor emeritus of veterinary medicine and surgery.

Dr. Messer was a diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners. From 2006-12, he served on the AVMA Animal Welfare Committee, representing the American Association of Equine Practitioners. Dr. Messer was also the liaison from the AVMA to the American Horse Council’s Unwanted Horse Coalition, served on several AAEP committees, and was a past president of the Colorado VMA. In 2001, he received the AAEP’s Distinguished Service Award. In 2012, Dr. Messer was named an AAEP Distinguished Life Member for his commitment to leadership, education, and welfare advocacy during his 38 years of volunteer service to the association. He was a life member of the American Quarter Horse Association and served on the AQHA Equine Research Committee.

Dr. Messer is survived by his wife, Penny; a son, a stepson, and a stepdaughter; and five grandchildren and four stepgrandchildren. Memorials may be made to The Foundation for the Horse, 4033 Iron Works Parkway, Lexington, KY 40511.

Gabriel G. Meza

Dr. Meza, 90, McGaheysville, Virginia, died May 23, 2022. A 1962 veterinary graduate of the University of Chile, he worked for the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services prior to retirement. Earlier, Dr. Meza worked for the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Known for his expertise in poultry virology and diagnostics, he was a member of the American Association of Avian Pathologists. Dr. Meza’s wife, Marta; two daughters and three sons; 13 grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren survive him. Memorials may be made to the McGaheysville Rescue Squad, 80 Stover Drive, McGaheysville, VA 22840.

Frank A. Serra

Dr. Serra (Oklahoma State ’60), 87, Overland Park, Kansas, died Dec. 18, 2021. Following graduation and after completing an internship at Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston, he began his 44-year career in Overland Park, focusing on small and exotic animals. Dr. Serra retired in 2005.

He bred and showed dogs and fancy pigeons and raised and showed Arabian horses. Dr. Serra is survived by his wife, Loretta Sue; a son and two daughters; seven grandchildren; and a sister. Memorials may be made to The Nature Conservancy, 4245 N. Fairfax Drive, Suite 100, Arlington, VA 22203.

Timothy D. Thies

Dr. Thies (Texas A&M ’77), 67, San Jose, California, died April 20, 2022. Following graduation, he worked in California at Campbell and Los Gatos before establishing a house call practice. In 2002, Dr. Thies bought Oak Grove Veterinary Hospital in San Jose, where he practiced small animal medicine prior to retirement. He is survived by his wife, Tammy, and his family.

A version of this article appears in the September 2022 print issue of JAVMA.