AVMA News

In Memory – June 6, 2024

Member status key:

AVMA member | AVMA honor roll member | Nonmember

Gary B. Beard

Dr. Beard (Auburn ’59), 92, Kingwood, Texas, died March 9, 2024. From 1992 until retirement in 2008, he served as assistant dean for outreach at Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Beard previously practiced in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where he owned Perkins Road Veterinary Hospital and Goodwood Animal Hospital. He also served as a member of the adjunct faculties at Louisiana State University College of Veterinary Medicine and Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine.

A charter diplomate of the American Veterinary Dental College (AVDC), Dr. Beard helped establish the Academy of Veterinary Dentistry, serving as its first president. He served on the Louisiana Board of Veterinary Medicine and on the board of directors of the Louisiana VMA (LVMA). He was named LVMA Veterinarian of the Year in 1973 and, in 1995, Dr. Beard received the AVDC Peter Emily Service Award. He was also a recipient of the 2010 Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine’s Wilford S. Bailey Distinguished Alumni Award.

Dr. Beard served in the Air Force during the Korean War. He is survived by four daughters, five grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren. Memorials may be made to the Dr. Gary B. Beard Class of 1959 Endowed Scholarship, Auburn University Foundation, 317 South College St., Auburn, AL 36849.

Jerold B. Fullerton Sr.

Dr. Fullerton (Washington State ’63), 85, Roseburg, Oregon, died March 11, 2024. Following graduation, he served four years as a captain in the Air Force. Dr. Fullerton subsequently established Fullerton Veterinary Clinic in Roseburg, where he practiced for more than three decades. He also cared for livestock on ranches in the area, served as an onsite veterinarian for Schricker’s Livestock Auction, and took care of animals at the Wildlife Safari in Winston, Oregon. Dr. Fullerton is survived by a son, a daughter, and four stepchildren.

Gary B. Gibbons

Dr. Gibbons (Oklahoma State ’63), 90, Otsego, Minnesota, died February 25, 2024. Following graduation, he practiced small animal medicine in Minneapolis. Dr. Gibbons went on to own three practices in the state’s Twin Cities, retiring in 1995. He was a member of the Minnesota VMA and American Animal Hospital Association, a life member of the Oklahoma State University Alumni Association, and a charter member of the Golden Valley Rotary Club. Dr. Gibbons’ wife, Glenna; two sons, a daughter, two stepsons, and a stepdaughter; seven grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren survive him. Memorials may be made to Mount Carmel Ministries, P.O. Box 579, Alexandria, MN 56308; American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 6704, Hagerstown, MD 21741; or Animal Humane Society of Golden Valley, 845 Meadow Lane, Golden Valley, MN 55422.

Kristi J. Hulme

Dr. Hulme (Cornell ’12), 37, Bothell, Washington, died March 6, 2024. She most recently worked at My Pet’s Veterinary Urgent Care & Wellness in Kirkland, Washington. Earlier in her career, Dr. Hulme practiced at St. Francis Animal Hospital in Vancouver, Washington, and served nine years as an emergency clinician at Veterinary Specialty Center of Seattle. She is survived by a sister. Memorials may be made to Emerald City Pet Rescue, 20 S. Idaho St., Seattle, WA 98134; Pacific Science Center, 200 2nd Ave N., Seattle, WA 98109; or Colon Cancer Coalition, 2950 Xenium Lane N., Suite 102, Minneapolis, MN 55441.

George F. Lent

Dr. Lent (Georgia ’67), 81, Clayton, Georgia, died February 22, 2024. Following graduation, he worked in Atlanta and Savannah, Georgia. Dr. Lent subsequently moved to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, where he practiced for several years. He then worked in Clayton until early this year. During his time on Hilton Head Island, Dr. Lent served as the volunteer fire chief for eight years and was a member of the fire rescue squad and Rotary Club of Hilton Head Island. He is survived by his wife, Marywinn; five children; 17 grandchildren; and a great-grandchild.

Stephen A. Letzig

Dr. Letzig (Oklahoma State ’76), 72, Pryor, Oklahoma, died March 10, 2024. Following graduation, he joined Pryor Veterinary Hospital, a mixed animal practice, becoming a partner in 1978. Dr. Letzig was a member of the Oklahoma and Northeast Oklahoma VMAs. His two sons, a daughter, nine grandchildren, three great-grandchildren, and three sisters survive him.

Penelope A. Porter

Dr. Porter (Iowa State ’69), 81, Tucson, Arizona, died February 15, 2024. An avid advocate for animal welfare, she was the founder of Ajo Veterinary Clinic in Tucson. Dr. Porter was a member of the Southern Arizona VMA. She is survived by a sister. Memorials, toward the Dr. Penelope Porter Fund, may be made to Helping Every Animal Receive Treatment Southwest, P.O. Box 499, Marana, AZ 85653.

Gerald T. Slobojan

Dr. Slobojan (Washington State ’64), 83, Kalispell, Montana, died April 1, 2024. A past president of the Montana VMA, he co-owned LaSalle Veterinary Clinic in Kalispell until retirement. During his career, Dr. Slobojan also served several years as the veterinarian for the Northwest Montana Fair. He was a veteran of the Army. Dr. Slobojan’s wife, Diane; three sons and a daughter; eight grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and three sisters survive him. Memorials may be made to Legendary Lodge Catholic Summer Camp, P.O. Box 1729, Helena, MT 59624.

Benjamin F. Turner

Dr. Turner (Cornell ’64), 86, Skaneateles, New York, died February 9, 2024. He established what was known as Animal Barn Veterinary Clinic, a mixed animal practice in Cortland, New York. Dr. Turner also founded Maplelane Manor Farm, a dairy farm in Apulia Station, New York. He is survived by his wife, Carolyn; three daughters, two sons, two stepdaughters, and a stepson; 15 grandchildren; a great-grandchild; and three sisters 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 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.