In Memory – Dec. 8, 2022

AVMA member

AVMA honor roll member


Raymond E. Applegate

Dr. Applegate (Ohio State ’64), 84, Mansfield, Ohio, died Oct. 14, 2022. Following graduation, he joined the Army as a first lieutenant, serving a year in Vietnam. Dr. Applegate earned several honors, including the Air Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, and Army Commendation Medal. Dr. Applegate subsequently co-established a practice in Mansfield. In 1980, he founded a mixed animal practice in Lexington, Ohio. Dr. Applegate went on to practice primarily small animal medicine in Mansfield, retiring in 2002.

His military service spanned more than 30 years, including assignments with the Army Reserve and the Ohio Army National Guard. During that time, Dr. Applegate was involved with food sanitation inspection at military facilities, provided veterinary services at Air Force bases, and served as a veterinary staff officer with the 112th Medical Brigade. He attained the rank of colonel.

Dr. Applegate was a member of the Ohio VMA. Having earned private and commercial pilot certification, he was a member of the Civil Air Patrol for more than 30 years and served as commander of the Mansfield Composite Squadron. Dr. Applegate’s wife, Virginia; two sons; two grandchildren; and a brother survive him.

Memorials may be made to The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine Class of 1964 Scholarship Fund, The Ohio State University Foundation, University Square North, 14 E. 15th Ave., Columbus, OH 43201, or made to the Tunnel to Towers Foundation, a nonprofit organization honoring members of the military and first responders, and sent to 2361 Hylan Blvd., Staten Island, NY 10306.

James R. Collins

Dr. Collins (Texas A&M ’56), 89, Crossville, Tennessee, died June 18, 2022. Following graduation, he served as a federal meat inspector in Fort Worth, Texas. Dr. Collins subsequently established a practice in Houston, where he worked until retirement. During his career, he was also an on-call veterinarian for the Houston Zoo.

Dr. Collins served on the Texas A&M University School of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences’ Development Council and initiated an endowed scholarship program at the veterinary school. He is survived by a daughter and a sister. Memorials may be made to West Houston Bible Church, 1500 W. Sam Houston Parkway N., Suite 104, Houston, TX 77043.

Mark L. Engelbreth

Dr. Engelbreth (Minnesota ’69), 78, Appleton, Wisconsin, died June 21, 2022. He owned Appanasha Pet Clinic in Menasha, Wisconsin, where he practiced for 40 years until retirement. Dr. Engelbreth’s wife, Barbara; four children; and 11 grandchildren survive him. Memorials may be made to the Boys’ and Girls’ Brigade, an organization dedicated to developing the positive potential of youth, and sent to 109 W. Columbian Ave., Neenah, WI 54956.

Gordon R. Esbeck

Dr. Esbeck (Iowa State ’53), 93, Tipton, Iowa, died July 15, 2022. Following graduation, he served as a first lieutenant in the Army during the Korean War. Dr. Esbeck subsequently worked in Gilman, Iowa. He later served as a partner in a mixed animal practice in Tipton. Dr. Esbeck was a past president of the Eastern Iowa Veterinary Association.

Active in his community, he served as mayor of Tipton, was a member of the Tipton School Board, served on the board of directors of the Iowa Valley Habitat for Humanity, and was a past president of the Gilman Lions Club and Tipton Rotary Club. He was also a member of the American Legion. Dr. Esbeck is survived by his wife, Janice; two sons; eight grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

Ram C. Purohit

Dr. Purohit, 83, Auburn, Alabama, died June 5, 2022. A 1962 graduate of Rajasthan University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences in India, he was a professor emeritus in the Department of Clinical Sciences at Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine. During his tenure of more than 30 years at the veterinary college, Dr. Purohit taught large animal clinical medicine, focusing on equine and food animal anesthesia, and conducted research on thermal imaging, neurovascular thermography, and thermology of skin dermatomes. He also served as an alumni professor for five years and was a member of several postgraduate and doctoral committees.

Dr. Purohit was a diplomate of the American College of Theriogenology. In 2001, he was awarded certification by the American Board of Thermology and the American Academy of Thermology. Dr. Purohit’s wife, Cynthia; a daughter and two sons; seven grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and two sisters survive him. Memorials may be made to the Alabama VMA, P.O. Box 803, Fayetteville, TN 37334, or Community Foundation of East Alabama, P.O. Box 165, Opelika, AL 36803.

John W. Whiteley

Dr. Whiteley (Colorado State ’57), 94, Salt Lake City, died June 3, 2022. He was the founder of Alta Veterinary Hospital in Sandy, Utah, where he practiced until retirement in 2008. During his career, Dr. Whiteley also provided veterinary services to the Salt Lake County K-9 unit and assisted with wildlife rehabilitation. Prior to establishing his practice, he was Utah state veterinarian. Dr. Whiteley served in the Marines during the Korean War. He is survived by six children, 17 grandchildren, and 38 great-grandchildren.

Kenneth T. Wright

Dr. Wright (Illinois ’62), 83, Blandinsville, Illinois, died Sept. 29, 2022. Following graduation, he became a partner at a practice in Blandinsville, focusing on food animal medicine. In 1972, Dr. Wright took over the practice, newly named the Blandinsville Veterinary Clinic. In later years, he co-owned swine units, operating sow farms and boar studs in Missouri and Illinois.

Dr. Wright served on the board of directors of the American Association of Swine Veterinarians, representing the association as its alternate delegate to the AVMA House of Delegates. In 1991, he was the inaugural recipient of the AASV Meritorious Service Award. Active in his community, Dr. Wright was a member of the Blandinsville Village Board, serving as a trustee and as village president. An avid supporter of higher education, he established endowed scholarships at Western Illinois University and the University of Illinois.

Dr. Wright is survived by his wife, Betty. Memorials may be made to the Blandinsville United Methodist Church, 220 W. Adams St., Blandinsville, IL 61420.

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; 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.

A version of this article appears in the February 2023 print issue of JAVMA.