In Memory – Jan. 5, 2023

Member status key:

AVMA member | AVMA honor roll member | Nonmember | Student

William E. Bates

Dr. Bates (Ohio State ’56), 91, Naples, Florida, died July 4, 2022. He owned a mixed animal practice in Harrison, Ohio, for 38 years prior to retirement. Dr. Bates was a member of the Ohio and Cincinnati VMAs. He served in the Army during the Korean War. Dr. Bates’ four children and eight grandchildren survive him.

Joseph W. Bitter

Dr. Bitter (Texas A&M ’64), 83, Edna, Texas, died Oct. 21, 2022. Following graduation, he served in the Air Force. Dr. Bitter subsequently worked in Pearsall, Texas, prior to establishing Edna Veterinary Clinic, a mixed animal practice. He was a past director of the American Association of Bovine Practitioners and Texas VMA and was a member of the American Association of Equine Practitioners and Beefmaster Breeders United.

In 1984, Dr. Bitter received the Jackson County Top Producer Award for Beef Cattle. In 1986, he was honored with the TVMA President’s Award. Active in his community, Dr. Bitter was a past director of the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce & Agriculture and was a past president of the Edna Independent School District board of trustees. Active with the Jackson County 4-H Club, he received its Outstanding Leader Award in 1983 and was named Upper Coast Distinguished Leader in 1984.

Dr. Bitter is survived by his wife, Mary Ann; 13 children; 33 grandchildren; and a sister and a brother. One son, Dr. John Bitter (Texas A&M ’97), is also a veterinarian. Memorials toward the Sursum Corda Foundation, a charitable trust established by Dr. Bitter, may be sent to 446 County Road 115, Edna, TX 77957.

James R. Duncan

Dr. Duncan (Ohio State ’61), 89, Hinckley, Ohio, died Oct. 6, 2022. He established Brookview Animal Hospital in Parma, Ohio, where he practiced small animal medicine for 50 years prior to retirement. Dr. Duncan also helped found an animal emergency clinic in Cleveland.

He bred, raised, showed, and judged Cocker Spaniels. Dr. Duncan was a member of the Ohio VMA and was active with the American Spaniel Club and the Cocker Spaniel Club of Northern Ohio. In the Cleveland area, he was also active with the former Brooklyn YMCA and the North Royalton Family YMCA and the Kiwanis Club of Brooklyn.

Dr. Duncan was a veteran of the Army. He is survived by his wife, Laurabeth; three sons and a daughter; and eight grandchildren.

Frankee P. Eliot

Dr. Eliot (Colorado State ’56), 91, Albuquerque, New Mexico, died July 22, 2022. Following graduation, she co-established a practice with her late husband, Dr. Theodore S. Eliot Jr., in Los Alamos, New Mexico. Dr. Eliot subsequently co-owned practices in New Mexico at Las Cruces, Silver City, and Santa Fe. During her career, she also taught at several universities and helped develop and taught in the veterinary technology program at Central New Mexico Community College.

In semi-retirement, Dr. Eliot served as a relief veterinarian, worked at racetracks, practiced part time at veterinary clinics in the area, and served as an inspector and investigator for the New Mexico Board of Veterinary Medicine. She was a past president of the former Women’s Veterinary Medical Association and was a member of the New Mexico VMA. In 2004, the NMVMA honored Dr. Eliot with a Distinguished Service Award.

She is survived by a son, two daughters, 14 grandchildren, 28 great-grandchildren, and a sister.

Peter H. Franz

Dr. Franz (Minnesota ’59), 88, Edina, Minnesota, died Oct. 23, 2022. Following graduation, he practiced in Austin, Minnesota, focusing on large animals. Dr. Franz subsequently moved to Edina, where he worked for International Multifoods Corp. and Zinpro. He later established TechMix, developing BlueLite, an electrolyte used for pigs and cows.

Dr. Franz’s wife, Marion; two sons and two daughters; four grandchildren; and a sister survive him. Memorials may be made to the Veterinary Medical Center, University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine, 1365 Gortner Ave., St. Paul, MN 55108.

Richard J. Fuchs

Dr. Fuchs (Auburn ’56), 92, Louisville, Kentucky, died Aug. 29, 2022. Following graduation, he served two years in the Air Force, attaining the rank of captain. Dr. Fuchs subsequently established what is now known as Shively Animal Clinic & Hospital in Louisville. He is survived by three sons and two daughters. Both daughters, Drs. Mary Jane Fuchs (Auburn ’87) and Joyce Fuchs (Auburn ’88), and two sons, Drs. David Fuchs (Auburn ’89) and Joseph Fuchs (Auburn ’89), are also veterinarians. Memorials may be made to the National Parkinsons Institute, P.O. Box 4474, Louisville, KY 40204.

Daniel L. Heiden

Dr. Heiden (Iowa State ’67), 82, Minnetonka, Minnesota, died July 18, 2022. He owned Boulevard Animal Hospital in Minneapolis until 1985. Dr. Heiden later worked at several clinics in the area. Earlier in his career, he practiced in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and Omaha, Nebraska.

Dr. Heiden was a lifetime member of the Minnesota VMA. In 1985, he briefly served as a relief veterinarian in Haiti. He was active with the Boy Scouts of America, serving as a Boy Scout leader. Dr. Heiden is survived by his wife, Ruby; two sons and two daughters; 12 grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and two sisters. Memorials may be made to Global Health Ministries, 7831 Hickory St. NE, Fridley, MN 55432, or World Mission Prayer League, 232 Clifton Ave. #3497, Minneapolis, MN 55403.

Earl E. Maxwell

Dr. Maxwell (Iowa State ’49), 98, Moville, Iowa, died Aug. 19, 2022. He began his career in Elmwood, Illinois. In 1953, Dr. Maxwell moved to Moville, where he established a practice and Maxwell Farms. He served several terms as president of the Interstate VMA and was active with the Iowa State University Alumni Association. Dr. Maxwell was a member of the Masonic Lodge and served as a scoutmaster. He is survived by his wife, Helen; four children; and three grandchildren. Memorials may be made to the Moville United Methodist Church, 450 S. 1st St., Moville, IA 51039, or St. Croix Hospice, 5710 Sunnybrook Drive, Sioux City, IA 51106.

Richard J. Sheehan Sr.

Dr. Sheehan (Cornell ’63), 91, Mansfield, Massachusetts, died Sept. 30, 2022. An equine veterinarian, he practiced at racetracks across New England, also operating a practice out of his farm in Mansfield. Dr. Sheehan was known for his expertise in equine lameness and consulted with Thoroughbred owners nationwide. He was a past president of the American Association of Equine Practitioners and Massachusetts VMA and was a past member of the AVMA Council on Education.

In the 1970s, Dr. Sheehan served on a committee whose work resulted in the founding of the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University. He established an endowed award for a Tufts University veterinary graduate showing proficiency in equine medicine and surgery, also establishing a fund for an equine library at the veterinary school. In 1986, Dr. Sheehan received the MVMA Distinguished Service Award. He was also a past recipient of the New England Turf Writers Association’s Sam McKracken Award for Lifetime Achievement for his contributions to New England racing.

Dr. Sheehan’s wife, Jane; four daughters and a son; four grandchildren; and a sister and a brother survive him. His son, Dr. Richard J. Sheehan Jr. (Tufts ’88), is also a veterinarian. Memorials may be made to the Veterinary Scholarship Trust of New England, P.O. Box 3221, North Attleboro, MA 02761.

Yiannis Stathopoulos

Stathopoulos (Cornell ’24), 24, New York City, died July 5, 2022. He was a third-year student at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. Stathopoulos served as president of the Student AVMA chapter at Cornell. He had a special interest in wildlife and exotic animal medicine. Stathopoulos is survived by his family.

Larry O. Tadlock

Dr. Tadlock (Iowa State ’62), 89, Milan, Illinois, died Oct. 5, 2022. A small animal veterinarian, he owned Rock Island Animal Hospital in Rock Island, Illinois, prior to retirement in 2010. Following graduation, Dr. Tadlock worked in Moline, Illinois. From 1965-71, he served as a partner at a practice in Granite City, Illinois. Dr. Tadlock subsequently joined Rock Island Animal Hospital as a partner, eventually taking ownership of the practice. He also helped establish the Animal Emergency Center of the Quad Cities in Bettendorf, Iowa.

Dr. Tadlock was a longtime member of the Rotary Club, serving as president of the Rock Island Rotary Club and as chair of its Rotary Group Study Exchange Committee. He is survived by his wife, JoAn; three daughters; five grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; three great great-grandchildren; and a brother and two sisters. Memorials may be made to the Rock Island Rotary Club Foundation, P.O. Box 4514, Rock Island, IL 61204, or Friendship Manor, a nonprofit retirement community, and sent to 1209 21st Ave., Rock Island, IL 61201.

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.

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