In Memory – Feb. 2, 2023
Member status key:
AVMA member | AVMA honor roll member | Nonmember
William N. Bendure
Dr. Bendure (Kansas State ’70), 84, Independence, Missouri, died Nov. 5, 2022. He owned Jackson County Animal Hospital and Animal Clinic of Susquehanna in Independence prior to retirement at the age of 80. Dr. Bendure is survived by his children, stepchildren, and grandchildren. Memorials may be made to the Morris Animal Foundation, 720 S. Colorado Blvd., Suite 174A, Denver, CO 80246, or the Drumm Farm Center for Children, 3210 S. Lee’s Summit Road, Independence, MO 64055.
John E. Cannon
Dr. Cannon (Washington State ’75), 76, Spokane, Washington, died Aug. 17, 2022. He owned Argonne Village Veterinary Clinic, a small animal practice in Spokane Valley, Washington, prior to retirement. Dr. Cannon was a past president of the Washington State and Inland Empire VMAs and served on the Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine’s Admissions Committee and the WSVMA Political Activity Committee.
He is survived by his wife, Dr. Sharon J. Cannon (Washington State ’76); four sons; and four grandchildren. Memorials may be made to Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Pullman, WA 99163, or the Vitalant Blood Bank, 210 W. Cataldo Ave., Spokane, WA 99201.
Jennifer L. Collins
Dr. Collins (Cornell ’98), 52, Robbinsville, New Jersey, died Nov. 29, 2022. She served as a relief veterinarian in several counties in New Jersey, including Mercer County. During her career, Dr. Collins also worked at local practices and owned a mobile practice. She is survived by her mother and a brother.
Richard L. Demmerle Jr.
Dr. Demmerle (Ross ’92), 56, Mansfield Center, Connecticut, died Dec. 14, 2022. He most recently practiced at Banfield Pet Hospital in Manchester, Connecticut. Dr. Demmerle previously owned a practice in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City. With a special interest in shelter medicine, he also volunteered at animal shelters for 15 years. Dr. Demmerle is survived by his wife, Andrea; his parents; and two sisters.
Amber L. Ducote
Dr. Ducote (Texas A&M ’08), 43, Arlington, Texas, died Oct. 3, 2022. From 2010-21, she practiced at Green Oaks North Pet Hospital in Arlington. Dr. Ducote had a special interest in clinical pathology and pocket pets. She previously worked in Irving, Texas, and served as a relief veterinarian in the Dallas and Fort Worth areas of Texas. Dr. Ducote is survived by her family.
Don B. Farrell
Dr. Farrell (Texas A&M ’48), 95, Arlington, Texas, died Oct. 12, 2022. From 1968 until retirement, he owned 303 Animal Clinic in Grand Prairie, Texas. Earlier in his career, Dr. Farrell co-owned Farrell Animal Hospital with his brother, the late Dr. J.M. Farrell Jr. (Texas A&M ’44), in Arlington.
Dr. Don Farrell was a past president of the Tarrant County VMA and served on the board of directors of the Texas VMA. He was a veteran of the Army and the Air Force Veterinary Corps. A member of the Rotary Club, he was a Paul Harris Fellow. Dr. Farrell’s wife, Elizabeth; two sons; two grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren survive him.
Ralph D. Fish
Dr. Fish (Guelph ’52), 94, Perth, Ontario, died Oct. 5, 2022. He was a co-founder of Tay-Perth Veterinary Clinic in Perth. Following graduation, Dr. Fish worked briefly in Oshawa, Ontario. In 1953, he moved to Perth, where he practiced mixed animal medicine for 25 years prior to co-founding the Tay-Perth Veterinary Clinic. Dr. Fish was a past president of the Central Canada Veterinary Association and the Veterinary Purchasing Co. He was also a past president of the Rotary Club of Perth and was a Paul Harris Fellow. Dr. Fish was a member of the Perth & District Chamber of Commerce. In 2012, he was awarded the Perth Medal for his contributions to the community.
Dr. Fish is survived by a son, two daughters, seven grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, and a brother. Memorials may be made to the Perth & District Community Foundation, 33 Lewis St., Perth, ON K7H 2R4, Canada, or the Great War Memorial Hospital Foundation, 33 Drummond St. W., Perth, ON K7H 2K1, Canada.
John A. Hermann
Dr. Hermann (Michigan State ’93), 53, Inkster, Michigan, died Dec. 4, 2022. Following graduation, he practiced at Kershaw Animal Hospital in Livonia, Michigan, for a few years. Dr. Hermann then worked at a practice in Saginaw, Michigan, before establishing a mobile veterinary clinic. During his career of nearly 30 years, he was also active with 4-H, rescue work, and pet vaccination drives in the community.
Dr. Hermann is survived by his parents and two brothers. Memorials may be made to Holy Ghost Preparatory School, 2429 Bristol Pike, Bensalem, PA 19020; St. Michael the Archangel Church, 11441 Hubbard, Livonia, MI 48150; Bed Bark & Beyond Animal Rescue, 15250 S. Huron River Drive, Romulus, MI 48174; Romulus Animal Shelter, 12300 Wayne Road, Romulus, MI 48174; Taylor Animal Shelter, 25555 Northline Road, Taylor, MI 48180; or Woodhaven and Trenton Animal Shelter, 21860 Van Horn Road, Woodhaven, MI 48183.
John H. Howard
Dr. Howard (Missouri ’72), 74, Warrensburg, Missouri, died Oct. 2, 2022. From 1986 until retirement in 2010, he owned B-B Veterinary Clinic in Warrensburg. Earlier in his career, Dr. Howard practiced in Stanberry, Missouri; owned a practice in Grant City, Missouri; and worked at Nodaway Veterinary Clinic in Maryville, Missouri.
He was a lifetime member of the Missouri VMA. Dr. Howard is survived by his wife, Janette; a daughter and a son; two grandchildren; and a sister. Memorials, designated toward the audio-visual fund, may be sent to First Christian Church, 101 E. Gay St., Warrensburg, MO 64093.
Sharon K. Jensen
Dr. Jensen (Washington State ’84), 68, Sequim, Washington, died Dec. 8, 2022. She most recently served as a relief veterinarian. Earlier in her career, Dr. Jensen owned Blue Mountain Animal Clinic in Sequim. Her husband, Bill, and two grandchildren survive her.
Paul G. Lillard
Dr. Lillard (Texas A&M ’64), 86, Santa Fe, New Mexico, died Nov. 29, 2022. Following graduation, he established Jacksboro Veterinary Clinic in Jacksboro, Texas, where he practiced mixed animal medicine until 2012. Dr. Lillard also helped found the Jacksboro Animal Shelter, where he volunteered his services. He was active with the Jacksboro chapter of the National FFA Organization and with local animal rescue groups, and he sponsored free rabies vaccination clinics every year in Jacksboro and surrounding communities.
Dr. Lillard served on the board of directors of the Jacksboro Chamber of Commerce and the Jacksboro Independent School District. He is survived by three daughters, a son, and nine grandchildren. Memorials may be made to the Friends of the Jacksboro Animal Shelter, Jacksboro, TX 76458.
Paul A. May
Dr. May (Purdue ’67), 84, Bradenton, Florida, died Jan. 3, 2023. Following graduation, he moved to Florida, where he initially worked at Bishop Animal Shelter in Bradenton. Dr. May subsequently owned Manatee Veterinary Clinic in Bradenton for more than 40 years. His three daughters, six grandchildren, and a great-grandchild survive him. Memorials may be made to The Gideons International, P.O. Box 140800, Nashville, TN 37214.
Robert E. Messersmith
Dr. Messersmith (Cornell ’54), 92, Hamilton, New Jersey, died Nov. 22, 2022. He worked for Hoffmann-La Roche prior to retirement in 1993. Earlier, Dr. Messersmith worked in Hopewell, New Jersey, and for American Cyanamid. His wife, Leone; three daughters; five grandchildren; a great-grandchild; and a brother survive him.
Lloyd B. Sells
Dr. Sells (Texas A&M ’60), 87, Adkins, Texas, died Oct. 21, 2022. He founded County Line Animal Hospital in Adkins and China Grove Veterinary Clinic in China Grove, Texas. Dr. Sells retired in 2012. Active in his community, he served on the board of trustees of the La Vernia Independent School District, was a member of the Lions Club, and served as a Cub Scout leader with the Boy Scouts of America. Dr. Sells was also active with the Knights of Columbus for 60 years, serving as a grand knight for several years.
His wife, Lois; three children; seven grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren survive him.
Steven G. Stoops
Dr. Stoops (Texas A&M ’69), 79, College Station, Texas, died Oct. 18, 2022. He worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service prior to retirement. Earlier in his career, Dr. Stoops was in private practice in Corpus Christi, Texas, and worked in epidemiology and public health. He was a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine.
Dr. Stoops’ wife, Gail; a daughter and a son; and two grandchildren survive him. Memorials may be made to Aggieland Humane Society, 5359 Leonard Road, Bryan, TX 77807; Van Stavern Small Animal Hospital, 3102 Texas Ave. S., College Station, TX 77845; or Brazos Valley Food Bank, 1501 Independence Ave., Bryan, TX 77803.
Richard K. Vance
Dr. Vance (Auburn ’88), 59, Bowling Green, Kentucky, died Oct. 14, 2022. He practiced mixed animal medicine in Horse Cave, Kentucky, for more than 30 years. Dr. Vance was a member of the American Association of Bovine Practitioners, American Association of Equine Practitioners, American Association of Small Ruminant Practitioners, Society for Theriogenology, Kentucky Cattlemen’s Association, Hart County Cattlemen’s Association, and Kentucky VMA. He was a founding member of Animal Rescue Kare, a nonprofit group in Hart County, and established the ARK foster program.
Active in his community, Dr. Vance was also a member of the Horse Cave Rotary Club, The Gideons International, Hart County Chamber of Commerce, and Cave City Chamber of Commerce. He is survived by his partner, Melody Chaney; a daughter; his mother; and a brother.
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 newsavma [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.