In Memory – August 3, 2023

Member status key:

AVMA member | AVMA honor roll member | Nonmember

Richard H. Coburn

Dr. Coburn (Cornell '63), 84, New York City, died November 5, 2022. He owned Montague Veterinary Hospital in Montague, New Jersey, for 50 years. Dr. Coburn was a past president of the New Jersey VMA and a member of the Milford Lions Club. He co-founded the charitable organizations Friends of Puerto Aventuras, dedicated to educating indigenous Mayan children and adults, and The India Group, providing education and health care to low-caste Indian families. Dr. Coburn is survived by his husband, Paul Ramsey, two sons, two daughters, and two stepsons. Memorials may be made to The India Group, c/o Michael Termini, 127 W. 96th St., Apt 9E, New York, NY 10025, or Friends of Puerto Aventuras.

Gary R. Johnston

Dr. Johnston (Washington State '74), 79, Corvallis, Oregon, died July 9, 2023. Following graduation and after completing an internship and residency at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine, he taught at the veterinary college, subsequently becoming a professor. From 1996-98, Dr. Johnston served as a professor of veterinary radiology at Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine. In 1999, he joined the faculty of the newly established veterinary college at Western University of Health Sciences (WesternU). During his tenure, Dr. Johnston taught veterinary imaging, established the library collection, and identified and recruited third-and fourth-year clinical sites. He retired in 2013.

Dr. Johnston was a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Radiology. In 2005, while at WesternU, he received what is now known as the Zoetis Distinguished Veterinary Teacher Award. Dr. Johnston served as a lieutenant in the Army during the Vietnam War. He is survived by his wife, Dr. Shirley Johnston (Washington State '74), also a veterinarian; a son and a daughter; two grandchildren; and a sister. Memorials may be made to the American Civil Liberties Union, c/o Gift Processing Department, 125 Broad St., 18th Floor, New York, NY 10004, or West End Shelter for Animals, 1010 E. Mission Blvd., Ontario, CA 91761.

Patricia Luedders

Dr. Luedders (California-Davis '65), 82, Hallsville, Missouri, died July 1, 2023. Following graduation, she joined Horton Animal Hospital in Columbia, Missouri. Dr. Luedders subsequently practiced at the former CENCO Veterinary Clinic in Columbia. She later established a partnership at Horton Animal Hospital-Northeast in Columbia. Dr. Luedders' two sons, a daughter, three grandchildren, and a brother survive her.

Edwin L. McLaughlin

Dr. McLaughlin (Illinois '65), 82, Murphysboro, Illinois, died July 2, 2023. He practiced in Murphysboro for 42 years prior to retirement in 2007. Dr. McLaughlin was a member of the Southern Illinois VMA. He was a past president of the Murphysboro Community Unit School District #186 board of directors and a member of the Elks Lodge. Dr. McLaughlin is survived by his wife, Jane; two sons and a daughter; six grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and three sisters and three brothers. Memorials may be made to St. Peters United Church of Christ, c/o Wilson's Funeral Home, P.O. Box 217, Steeleville, IL 62288.

Alan E. Painter

Dr. Painter (Purdue '74), 73, Hollister, California, died April 20, 2023. Following graduation, he joined Hollister Veterinary Clinic, eventually taking ownership of the practice. Dr. Painter also served as the veterinarian for California's San Benito County. He was a past director of the San Benito County Saddle Horse Association and was active with the Rotary Club of Hollister. Dr. Painter's wife, Sandy; two sons and a daughter; two grandchildren; and a brother and two sisters survive him. Memorials may be made to Pet Friends & Rescue, 2975 Buena Vista Road, Hollister, CA 95023, or Hollister Animal Lost and Found, 1331 South St., Hollister, CA 95023.

Irvin M. Schwalm

Dr. Schwalm (Kansas State '57), 89, Hiawatha, Kansas, died May 18, 2023. Following graduation, he worked two years in Palmyra, Missouri. Dr. Schwalm then moved to Hiawatha, where he practiced mixed animal medicine until retirement in 2010. A member of the Kansas VMA (KVMA), he received the KVMA Distinguished Service Award in 2015. Dr. Schwalm served on the Hiawatha Community Hospital board of directors and the Hiawatha City Commission. He is survived by his wife, Cleta; two sons and two daughters; his grandchildren and great-grandchildren; and two brothers. Memorials toward the Hiawatha United Methodist Church or Brown County Humane Society may be made c/o Chapel Oaks Funeral Home, 124 S. 7th St., Hiawatha, KS 66434.

Raymond F. Sis

Dr. Sis (Kansas State '57), 91, Bryan, Texas, died July 6, 2023. From 2003-13, he served as dean of St. George's University School of Veterinary Medicine in Grenada, West Indies. Dr. Sis was named dean emeritus in 2014. During his deanship, he led the veterinary school through the accreditation process with the AVMA Council on Education. The veterinary surgical laboratory at the school was named the Ray and Jan Sis Hall in honor of his and his wife's service to the university.

Following graduation, Dr. Sis served four years as a base veterinarian with the Air Force. He subsequently earned a master's in small animal surgery and a doctorate in veterinary anatomy from Iowa State University and joined Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences as a professor of anatomy. During his 35-year tenure, Dr. Sis served as head of the anatomy department and co-directed the aqua med and aquatic animal medicine continuing education programs. While in Texas, he also served as the official veterinarian for dolphins at Astro World in Houston.

Dr. Sis was a past president of the International Association for Aquatic Animal Medicine, American Association of Veterinary Anatomists, the Texas branch of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science, and Brazos Valley VMA, and was a past vice-president of the Texas Academy of Veterinary Practice. He served on the board of directors of the Texas VMA and American Association of Feline Practitioners. In 2013, Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine honored him with the Alumni Recognition Award.

Dr. Sis served as an environmental health officer in the Air Force Reserve for 25 years, retiring with the rank of colonel. In 1977, he received the Air Force Commendation Medal for his leadership in controlling Newcastle disease in California. Upon retirement from the Air Force, Dr. Sis was awarded the Air Force Meritorious Service Medal.

He is survived by his wife, Janice; three daughters and two sons; eight grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren. Memorials may be made to the Come to the Table Annual Fund, St. Joseph Catholic School, 600 S. Coulter, Bryan, TX 77803, or Aggieland Humane Society, 5359 Leonard Rd., Bryan, TX, 77807.

Robert L. Snider

Dr. Snider (Kansas State '64), 86, Los Lunas, New Mexico, died April 22, 2023. Following graduation, he worked in Hobbs, New Mexico, for a year. In 1966, Dr. Snider moved to Los Alamos, New Mexico, where he practiced until retirement in 2001. In retirement, he trained German Shorthaired Pointer and Wirehaired Pointer dogs belonging to his family for American Kennel Club field trials and hunt tests. Dr. Snider is survived by his wife, Dee; three sons; and two grandchildren.

Mark D. Stenzel

Dr. Stenzel (Guelph '97), 52, Largo, Florida, died June 13, 2023. He co-owned Clearwater Animal Clinic in Clearwater, Florida, with his wife, Dr. Judith Charpentier (Montreal '97). Dr. Stenzel was a member of the Florida and Pinellas County VMAs. His wife, a son, and a daughter survive him.

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

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