In Memory – June 23, 2022

AVMA member

AVMA honor roll member


Robert O. Bixby

Dr. Bixby (Cornell ’62), 83, South Colton, New York, died Jan. 28, 2022. Following graduation, he practiced small animal medicine for two years at Somerset Veterinary Hospital in Somerville, New Jersey. Dr. Bixby subsequently moved to Norfolk, New York, where he joined the practice of his father, Dr. Donald Bixby (Cornell ’35). He then established a practice in Norfolk, working there until retirement in the late 1990s.

Dr. Bixby was a member of the Norfolk Lions Club. His wife, Louise; two daughters; four grandchildren; and a sister and two brothers survive him. Memorials may be made to Help Sami Kick Cancer, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping families who have received a pediatric cancer diagnosis, and sent to 5905 CR 27, Canton, NY 13617.

Charles E. Blackbourn

Dr. Blackbourn (Minnesota ’60), 86, Winter Haven, Florida, died April 15, 2022. Following graduation, he began his career in southern Wisconsin, establishing Rock Veterinary Clinic in Janesville, where he practiced mixed animal medicine for more than 30 years. Dr. Blackbourn served on the board of directors of several field trial and kennel clubs. He is survived by two sons, two daughters, and six grandchildren. Memorials may be made to the American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation, 8051 Arco Corporate Drive, Suite 300, Raleigh, NC 27617.

John K. Cooper

Dr. Cooper (Texas A&M ’56), 88, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, died Jan. 13, 2022. Following graduation, he began his career in Baton Rouge. In 1965, Dr. Cooper established Sherwood Forest Animal Hospital, a small animal practice in Baton Rouge. He was a past president of the Louisiana VMA. Dr. Cooper is survived by his wife, Helen; two sons and two daughters; five grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. Memorials may be made to Catholic High School, 855 Hearthstone Drive, Baton Rouge, LA 70806, or Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, c/o Texas A&M Foundation, 401 George Bush Drive, College Station, TX 77840.

Joseph M. Day

Dr. Day (Oklahoma State ’77), 70, Perry, Oklahoma, died Jan. 17, 2022. During his career, he practiced in Oklahoma at Chickasha, Medford, and Perry. Dr. Day was a member of the Noble County Cattlemen’s Association, Mulhall-Orlando Livestock Booster Club, and Central Oklahoma Junior Rodeo Association. He was also a member of the board for Mulhall-Orlando Public Schools. Dr. Day is survived by his wife, Kathy; two sons; four grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and a brother. Memorials may be made to the Central Oklahoma Junior Rodeo Association, 405 N. 32nd St., Perry, OK 73077.

Frederic S. Julius

Dr. Julius (Kansas State ’78), 82, Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, died May 2, 2022. He served as a field veterinarian with Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine prior to retirement in 2000. Earlier in his career, Dr. Julius owned a mixed animal practice in western Kansas. His wife, Marcia, survives him.

Arnold J. Pals

Dr. Pals (Michigan State ’63), 84, Spring Lake, Michigan, died May 19, 2022. Following graduation, he served as a captain in the Army Veterinary Corps. During that time, Dr. Pals was a research support veterinarian at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. From 1965-68, he practiced companion animal medicine in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Dr. Pals subsequently joined Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine, where he helped establish the veterinary technology program and served as its first director. In 1972, he moved to Spring Lake, becoming a partner at Clarke Animal Hospital.

Dr. Pals established a scholarship to benefit students at Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine. He received special recognition at the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the college’s veterinary technology program. Dr. Pals is survived by his wife, Joanne; his son, Dr. William Pals (Michigan State ’97), and two daughters; six grandchildren; and a brother. Memorials may be made to Grand Haven Christian School, 1102 Grant Ave., Grand Haven, MI 49417; Western Michigan Christian High School, 455 E. Ellis Road, Norton Shores, MI 49441; or Ferrysburg Community Church, 17785 Mohawk Drive, Spring Lake, MI 49456.

John F. Quast

Dr. Quast (Minnesota ’66), 83, Williamsburg, Michigan, died March 20, 2022. Following graduation and after earning his doctorate in pathology from the University of Minnesota, he joined Dow Chemical Company in Midland, Michigan, where he worked in the toxicology department. As a senior associate scientist, Dr. Quast was known for his expertise on the safety of several chemicals used in agriculture and industry. He was a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists and led several studies aimed at protecting human health and the environment during his 25-year career. Dr. Quast worked with partners nationwide and in Brazil, Japan, China, and Europe. He retired in 1998.

Dr. Quast was a veteran of the Navy. He is survived by his wife, Mary; a daughter and a son; and five grandchildren. Memorials may be made to Christ the King Catholic Church, 3801 Shore Road, Williamsburg, MI 49690.

Ronald L. Sigler

Dr. Sigler (Purdue ’63), 84, Wickenburg, Arizona, died March 3, 2022. Following graduation, he practiced at Hinsdale Veterinary Clinic in Hinsdale, Illinois. Dr. Sigler subsequently served as a relief veterinarian in Phoenix and practiced part time in Payson, Arizona. He later established a practice in the Sunnyslope area of Phoenix and founded Sun City Animal Hospital in Sun City, Arizona. In 1977, Dr. Sigler became a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists. After that, he sold Sun City Animal Hospital and established Animal Eye Specialists in Phoenix. In 1995, Dr. Sigler sold his practice to Eye Care for Animals, continuing to work there until retirement in 2018.

A member of the Arizona VMA, he received its Distinguished Service Award in 1999, was named Veterinarian of the Year in 2015, and was inducted into the Arizona Veterinary Hall of Fame in 2017. Dr. Sigler volunteered with the Hassayampa River Preserve in Wickenburg. His wife, Patricia; two daughters; and a brother survive him. Memorials may be made to Adventist Development and Relief Agency, 12501 Old Columbia Pike, Silver Spring, MD 20904, or Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center, 27026 N. 156th St., Scottsdale, AZ 85262.

Ralph A. Smith

Dr. Smith (California-Davis ’55), 91, San Diego, died April 9, 2022. Following graduation, he began working in Lancaster, California. Dr. Smith subsequently established a small animal practice in Lancaster, where he practiced for 25 years. He then served as a relief veterinarian for several years in Southern California. In 1983, Dr. Smith moved to San Diego, where he owned a practice until retirement in 1994. He is survived by a daughter, a son, two grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.

A version of this article appears in the August 2022 print issue of JAVMA.