In Memory – February 15, 2024

Member status key:

AVMA member | AVMA honor roll member | Nonmember

Arthur J. Bahme

Dr. Bahme (Texas A&M ’68), 83, San Antonio, died December 2, 2023. He practiced in San Antonio for several years. Dr. Bahme participated in vaccination events for pets belonging to the homeless. He also volunteered with the San Antonio Police Department and the Meals on Wheels program. Dr. Bahme’s wife, Myra; three daughters; and three grandchildren survive him. Memorials may be made to the Morris Animal Foundation, 720 S. Colorado Blvd., Suite 174A, Denver, CO 80246, or Hillel at Texas A&M University, 800 George Bush Drive, College Station, TX 77840.

William M. Burriss

Dr. Burriss (Auburn ’43), 101, Anderson, South Carolina, died September 8, 2023. Following graduation, he served in the Army Veterinary Corps during World War II. Dr. Burriss subsequently took over Burriss Animal Hospital, a practice established by his father, Dr. Theo L. Burriss, in Anderson. He worked there until 1982, during which time he also served for a period as a captain in the Army Veterinary Corps during the Korean War. 

Dr. Burriss helped establish and served several years as president of the Anderson County Humane Society. He also helped found the animal shelter in Anderson County, where he operated the spay and neuter clinic, retiring in 2009. A member of the South Carolina Association of Veterinarians (SCAV), Dr. Burriss received the SCAV Humanitarian of the Year Award in 1995 and was named SCAV Distinguished Veterinarian of the Year in 2006. In 2012, he received an Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine’s Wilford S. Bailey Distinguished Alumni Award.

Active in his community, Dr. Burriss was a past chair of the Anderson School District 5 board of trustees and served as a delegate for the South Carolina School Boards Association. In 2012, the United Way of Anderson County named him Communitarian of the Year. Dr. Burriss is survived by his daughter, three grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren. Memorials may be made to the Anderson County Humane Society, 407 Pearman Dairy Road, Anderson, SC 29625.

William G. Cummings

Dr. Cummings (Auburn ’66), 81, Paducah, Kentucky, died December 28, 2023. He owned a mixed animal practice in Paducah. Dr. Cummings is survived by two daughters, five grandchildren, and a sister. Memorials may be made to the National Park Foundation, Attn: Gift Processing, P.O. Box 17394, Baltimore, MD 21298.

LaVerne S. Dann

Dr. Dann (Cornell ’53), 93, Marathon, New York, died July 9, 2023. During his career, he was in general practice and worked as a field veterinarian for the New York State Division of Animal Industry. Dr. Dann served in the Army Reserves during the Korean War. He was a member of the Masonic Lodge and Lions Club. Dr. Dann is survived by five sons, 17 grandchildren, 26 great-grandchildren, two brothers, and a sister. Memorials may be made to the Marathon Presbyterian Church, 3 Park St., Marathon, NY 13803, or Marathon Area Volunteer Ambulance Corps, P.O. Box 132, Marathon, NY 13803.

Charles V.L. Elia

Dr. Elia (Texas A&M ’43), 102, Garden Ridge, Texas, died September 13, 2023. From 1972-76, he served as the 15th chief of the Army Veterinary Corps, retiring as a brigadier general. During his more than 33-year career with the Corps, Dr. Elia worked as an animal and meat inspector, served as a veterinary medical officer, and was a consultant to the Greek army and to the U.S. Civil Administration of the Ryukyu Islands in Japan.

He received several military honors, including the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit with one oak leaf cluster, Defense Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster, American Defense Service Medal, World War II Victory Medal, and the National Defense Service Medal with one oak leaf cluster. A diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine (ACVPM), Dr. Elia received the ACVPM Distinguished Diplomate Award in 1994.

He was a member of several organizations, including the American Public Health Association, VMA of Bexar County, District of Columbia VMA, Association of Military Surgeons of the United States, Texas Public Health Association, and American Association of Food Safety and Public Health Veterinarians. Dr. Elia was also a founding member of the Army Medical Department Museum Foundation.

His wife, Barbara, survives him. Memorials may be made to the Army Medical Department Museum Foundation, P.O. Box 8294, San Antonio, TX 78297; Uniformed Veterinary Medicine Association, Caisson Horse Replacement Initiative, P.O. Box 341123, Fort Sam Houston, TX 78234; or Texas A&M Foundation, 401 George Bush Drive, College Station, TX 77840 (with the memo line of the check designated to the Brigadier General (Ret) Charles V.L. Elia ’43 Endowed Scholarship in Veterinary Medicine).

Richard T. Flanders

Dr. Flanders (California-Davis ’58), 89, Bend, Oregon, died December 29, 2023. He practiced small animal medicine for 30 years at Flanders Animal Hospital in Sacramento, California. Dr. Flanders was a past president of the Sacramento Valley VMA and a life member of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. His wife, Suzanne; two daughters and a son; two grandchildren; and a sister survive him. Memorials may be made to Zero Prostate Cancer, 201 N. Union St., Mailbox 110, Alexandria, VA 22314.

Phillip D. Garrett

Dr. Garrett (Missouri ’61), 94, Auburn, Alabama, died October 31, 2023. Following graduation, he worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in Missouri. Dr. Garrett subsequently taught veterinary anatomy and served as a medical illustrator at the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine for 10 years. He then worked at a practice in Jackson, Missouri, before rejoining the USDA. From 1977 until retirement in 1995, Dr. Garrett taught veterinary anatomy and served as a medical illustrator at Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine. 

In the 1970s, Dr. Garrett volunteered with an economic development project on Mactan Island in the Philippines. He also volunteered with Habitat for Humanity in retirement. Dr. Garrett’s wife, Marilyn; a son; and two grandchildren survive him.

Carl W. Seemann

Dr. Seemann (Colorado State ’48), 100, Bemidji, Minnesota, died January 4, 2024. Following graduation, he practiced in Bagley, Minnesota. In 1956, Dr. Seemann established Hilltop Animal Hospital, a mixed animal hospital in Bemidji. During his career, he developed a lateral approach for thoracolumbar disc fenestration. Dr. Seemann was a past president of the Arrowhead VMA. He served in the Navy during World War II. Dr. Seemann is survived by a daughter, a son, and seven grandchildren.

Virgil C. Voigt

Dr. Voigt (Minnesota ’73), 83, Hutchinson, Minnesota, died December 25, 2023. Following graduation, he worked a year at Glencoe Veterinary Clinic in Glencoe, Minnesota. Dr. Voigt subsequently joined Hutchinson-Stewart Veterinary Clinic in Hutchinson, where he practiced mixed animal medicine for several years. He later established Crow River Veterinary Clinic in Hutchinson, focusing on small animals.

Dr. Voigt was a past president of the Hutchinson Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism and served on the McLeod County Fair Board and City of Hutchinson Tree Board and Charter Commission. An avid conservationist, he was also a past president of the McLeod County Pheasants Forever and Gopher Campfire Wildlife Sanctuary Board and converted his family farm to a permanent wildlife conservation area.

Dr. Voigt was a veteran of the Navy and retired from the Naval Reserves as a lieutenant commander. He is survived by his wife, Kay; two sons and two daughters; seven grandchildren; and two sisters. Memorials may be made to St. Anastasia Catholic Church, 460 Lake St. S.W., Hutchinson, MN 55350; Pheasants Forever, 1783 Buerkle Circle, St. Paul, MN 55110; or Gopher Campfire Wildlife Sanctuary, P.O. Box 336, Hutchinson, MN 55350.

A version of this story appears in the April 2024 print issue of JAVMA

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