In Memory – August 31, 2023

Member status key:

AVMA member | AVMA honor roll member | Nonmember

George Bjotvedt

Dr. Bjotvedt (Pennsylvania '58), 93, Prescott Valley, Arizona, died July 15, 2023. Following graduation, he completed an internship in virology and biomedical research at the Wistar Institute in Philadelphia. Afterward, he joined the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, where he directed laboratory medicine and developed a program for the care and use of laboratory animals used in medical research. Dr. Bjotvedt subsequently directed the laboratory animal program and served as an assistant professor of surgery at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, now known as Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. During that time, he established that canine distemper was the cause of morbidity and mortality of nonconditioned laboratory dogs used in medical research. In 1969, Dr. Bjotvedt joined Arizona State University as a university veterinarian. While at ASU, he oversaw the use and care of laboratory animals used in the university's biomedical projects. Dr. Bjotvedt also served as a track veterinarian at the Greyhound racing park in Phoenix. He retired from ASU as director of biosciences and as an adjunct professor in bioengineering.

A diplomate of the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine, Dr. Bjotvedt helped establish the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International. An Army veteran of the Korean War, he oversaw the use of German Shepherds as scout dogs and received several honors for his service, including the Bronze Star and the Congressional Gold Medal. Dr. Bjotvedt's experiences with scout dogs and combat in Korea were highlighted in the TV series, M-A-S-H.

His wife, Gloria; a daughter and three sons; and six grandchildren survive him.

Christopher L. Bratcher

Dr. Bratcher (Missouri '77), 72, Rogers, Arkansas, died July 15, 2023. Following graduation, he practiced in Springfield, Missouri. In 1987, Dr. Bratcher joined the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). During his career with the FSIS, he served as a relief supervisory veterinary medical officer and an inspector-in-charge, trained veterinary medical officer interns, and served as a circuit supervisor and frontline supervisor. Dr. Bratcher was also a member of the FSIS administrator's Blue Ribbon Task Force, advising the administrator on the best use of veterinary medical expertise on matters relating to public health and food safety regulation.

Dr. Bratcher twice served as president of the National Association of Federal Veterinarians (NAFV) and was its delegate and alternate delegate to the AVMA House of Delegates. He also represented FSIS veterinarians on the NAFV board of directors for several terms. Dr. Bratcher is survived by his wife, Pamela; his mother; and a brother.

James E. Hertzog

Dr. Hertzog (Missouri '59), 88, Durham, North Carolina, died June 8, 2023. He was the founder of North Arkansas Veterinary Clinic in Ash Flat, Arkansas, where he focused on small animals. Dr. Hertzog previously owned a primarily large animal practice in Alton, Missouri. His wife, Sue; a son; a grandchild; and two brothers and a sister survive him. One brother, Dr. Robert Hertzog (Missouri '56), is also a veterinarian. Memorials may be made to Lee's Summit Historical Society, P.O. Box 83, Lee's Summit, MO 64063.

Ralph W. Levine

Dr. Levine (Michigan State '59), 88, Lexington, Massachusetts, died May 25, 2023. He owned a small animal practice in Burlington, Massachusetts, for more than 50 years. Dr. Levine's wife, Sandra; two sons and a daughter; and four grandchildren survive him. Memorials may be made to the MSPCA Animal Care and Adoption Center, 350 S. Huntington Ave., Jamaica Plain, MA 02130.

David C. McGrew

Dr. McGrew (Ohio State '72), 76, Oxford, Ohio, died June 23, 2023. Following graduation, he worked in Fair Haven, Vermont. In 1974, Dr. McGrew established a practice in Oxford. He also served as laboratory veterinarian at Miami University in Oxford and as veterinarian for the raptor rehabilitation center at Hueston Woods State Park in College Corner, Ohio.

Active with the Rotary Club, Dr. McGrew was a past president of the Rotary Club of Oxford. He is survived by his wife, Kathryn; two daughters and a son; two grandchildren; and two sisters. Memorials may be made to The Knolls of Oxford Future Care Fund, 6727 Contreras Road, Oxford, OH 45056; Oxford Community Adult Day Service, c/o Oxford Senior Citizens, 922 Tollgate Road, Oxford, OH 45056; or Hospice of Cincinnati, P.O. Box 633597, Cincinnati, OH 45263.

John C. Stoner

Dr. Stoner (Ohio State '60), 90, Rock Hill, South Carolina, died May 27, 2023. An industrial veterinarian for 37 years, he served as director of the commercial development department of Solvay prior to retirement. Earlier in his career, Dr. Stoner worked for American Cyanamid, Ciba, and E.R. Squibb & Sons. During that time, he served as company liaison to the Food and Drug Administration, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. In retirement, Dr. Stoner was a consultant for three years.

Active in organized veterinary medicine, he was a past president of the Northwest Jersey Veterinary Medical Society, was a past director of the American Association of Industry Veterinarians, and served as exhibits coordinator for the New Jersey VMA. Dr. Stoner also chaired several committees and task forces of the Animal Health Institute. In 1988, The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine named him a distinguished alumnus. Dr. Stoner was also named a fellow of the American Academy of Veterinary Pharmacology and Therapeutics.

His wife, Margery, and two sons survive him. Memorials may be made to The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine, 1900 Coffey Road, Columbus, OH 43210.

A version of this story appears in the November 2023 and December 2023 print issues of JAVMA

Please report the death of a veterinarian promptly to the AVMA News staff via a toll-free phone call at 800-248-2862, ext. 6754; email at newsatavma [dot] org (news[at]avma[dot]org); or fax at 847-925-9329. For an obituary to be published, AVMA News must be notified within six months of the date of death.