In Memory – March 16, 2023

Member status key:

AVMA member | AVMA honor roll member | Nonmember

Garrett S. Dill Jr.

Dr. Dill (Ohio State ’61), 89, Columbus, Ohio, died November 15, 2022. From 1976 until retirement in 1998, he worked at Battelle Memorial Institute in Columbus and West Jefferson, Ohio, where he was initially a pathologist and later an executive manager. Earlier in his career, Dr. Dill was in private practice for seven years in northern Indiana and served in the Army. While in the Army, he studied veterinary pathology at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases in Fort Detrick, Maryland, and at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in Washington, D.C. He retired as a colonel from the Army Reserve.

Dr. Dill was a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists. He is survived by his wife, Sidney Ann; a daughter and two sons; and seven grandchildren. Dr. Dill’s daughter, Dr. Laura Dill Morton (Ohio State ’84), is also a veterinarian.

Edward J. Drobish

Dr. Drobish (Michigan State ’56), 94, Stanton, Michigan, died January 20, 2023. Following graduation, he served in the Army Veterinary Corps. Dr. Drobish subsequently owned a mixed animal practice in Michigan, with locations in Stanton and Greenville. His three sons, two daughters, 16 grandchildren, and 11 great-grandchildren survive him.

Everett Fleming

Dr. Fleming (Ohio State ’55), 95, Indianapolis, died August 31, 2022. He was the founder of Allisonville Animal Hospital in Fishers, Indiana, where he practiced until retirement in 1989. Dr. Fleming gave advice as the Pet Vet on WTHR 13, a television station in Indianapolis, and in the pet column “Pet Peeves” in the Indianapolis News.

A past president of the Indiana and Central Indiana VMAs, he was named Indiana VMA Veterinarian of the Year in 1997. Dr. Fleming was a past president of the Lions Club in Nora, Indiana, and the Marion County Master Gardener Association. He served in the Army during World War II.

Dr. Fleming is survived by two sons, two daughters, a stepson, two stepdaughters, 10 grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, and his stepgrandchildren and stepgreat-grandchildren. Memorials may be made to Leader Dogs for the Blind, 1039 S. Rochester Road, Rochester Hills, MI 48307.

Ronald G. Gardner

Dr. Gardner (Texas A&M ’64), 88, Metairie, Louisiana, died February 19, 2023. He practiced in the New Orleans area for more than 35 years. Dr. Gardner is survived by his wife, Patricia; two daughters and a son; and six grandchildren. Memorials may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.

Theodore M. Hayes

Dr. Hayes (Ohio State ’61), 88, Angola, Indiana, died November 7, 2022. He owned Southtown Veterinary Hospital in Fort Wayne, Indiana, for more than 40 years. Dr. Hayes is survived by two sons, a daughter, a stepson, nine grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren. Memorials may be made to the Community Humane Shelter of Steuben County, P.O. Box 204, Angola, IN 46703.

Kent T. Kay

Dr. Kay (Cornell ’57), 89, Millerton, New York, died January 12, 2023. He owned Millerton Veterinary Hospital for 55 years, concentrating initially on dairy medicine and focusing later on equine and small animal medicine. Dr. Kay was a member of the American Association of Equine Practitioners, New York State Veterinary Medical Society, and Hudson Valley VMA. He was also a member of the steering committee developing a regional rail trail in the Harlem Valley of New York.

Dr. Kay served on the Millerton Village Board. His wife, Marilyn; three sons; and six grandchildren survive him. One son, Dr. Clinton Kay (Kansas State ’90), is also a veterinarian. Memorials may be made to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, 322 8th Ave., 16th Floor, New York, NY 10001, or Church of St. John’s in the Wilderness, 261 NY-344, Copake Falls, NY 12517.

Alan J. Nixon

Dr. Nixon, 67, Waldo, Florida, died March 1, 2023. A 1978 veterinary graduate of the University of Sydney in Australia, he retired in 2020 as a professor emeritus of orthopedic surgery from Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine.

Following graduation from veterinary school, Dr. Nixon completed a large animal surgery residency at Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences followed by five years on the faculty at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine. He became a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons in 1985.

In 1988, Dr. Nixon joined the faculty at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. During his tenure, he was involved in clinical orthopedics and neurosurgery, serving as chief of surgery from 2002-06. Dr. Nixon also directed Cornell’s Comparative Orthopaedics Laboratory and JD Wheat and ML Wheat Equine Sports Medicine Laboratory. He was the inaugural chief medical officer at Cornell Ruffian Equine Specialists, located near the Belmont Park racetrack in New York.

Following his retirement from Cornell, he was appointed adjunct professor at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, taught courses on AO Vet fracture repair and equine arthroscopy in the United States and Europe, and served as a consultant to private practices domestically and abroad.

Dr. Nixon was known for his expertise in orthopedic surgery and musculoskeletal research, the latter focusing on targeted cell and gene therapy for joint disease. He authored more than 200 manuscripts on equine orthopedic disease and surgery, with a special interest in minimally invasive surgery, cartilage injury and repair, and regenerative medical approaches to joint disease in racing and sport horses.

Dr. Nixon was the editor and a contributing author of the book Equine Fracture Repair and co-authored the third and fourth editions of Diagnostic and Surgical Arthroscopy in the Horse. He served on the ACVS Board of Regents, was a member of the ACVS Examination Committee and ACVS Research Committee, and served on the editorial review board for the ACVS journal, Veterinary Surgery.

In 2009, Dr. Nixon was inducted into the University of Kentucky Equine Research Hall of Fame. In 2015, the ACVS honored him with the Founders’ Award for Lifetime Career Achievement.

Dr. Nixon is survived by his wife, Dr. Sally DeNotta (Oregon State ’08), a member of the veterinary faculty at the University of Florida; two daughters and a son; and two brothers. Memorials may be made to the American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 6704, Hagerstown, MD 21741.

Thomas A. Richard

Dr. Richard (Texas A&M ’56), 91, Houma, Louisiana, died February 2, 2023. He was the founder of Bayou Cane Veterinary Hospital in Houma, where he practiced until retirement. Earlier in his career, Dr. Richard served in the Air Force and worked at Walther Animal Clinic in Houma. He was a founding member and served on the board of directors of Terrebonne ARC, a community organization creating opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Dr. Richard is survived by two daughters, two sons, a foster daughter, 14 grandchildren, and 16 great-grandchildren. Memorials may be made to Terrebonne ARC, No. 1 McCord Road, Houma, LA 70360; Covenant Church of Houma, 4863 W. Park Ave., Houma LA 70364; or Campers on Mission, P.O. Box 311, Alexandria, LA 71309.

Robert S. Scherer

Dr. Scherer (Ohio State ’54), 92, Shelby, Ohio, died February 9, 2023. From 1958 until retirement in 1997, he owned a practice in Shelby. A veteran of the Army, Dr. Scherer was a member of the American Legion in Shelby. His two sons, four grandchildren, and a great-grandchild survive him. Memorial contributions may be made to the Humane Society of Richland County, 3025 Park Ave. W., Mansfield, OH 44906.

Joseph R. Terry

Dr. Terry (Iowa State ’52), 95, Galena, Illinois, died January 3, 2023. He practiced small and exotic animal medicine at Terry Animal Hospital in Wilmette, Illinois, for 40 years. Dr. Terry also volunteered at the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago. He was active with the Lions Club and Rotary International and was a Paul Harris Fellow. Dr. Terry’s wife, Patricia; a daughter and two sons; 11 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren survive him.

John D. Vater

Dr. Vater (Missouri ’65), 89, Moberly, Missouri, died December 20, 2022. From 1969 until retirement in 2017, he owned a practice in Moberly. Earlier in his career, Dr. Vater worked in Nashville, Tennessee, and Memphis, Missouri. He was a past president of the Northeast district of the Missouri VMA. Dr. Vater was a veteran of the Navy. He is survived by his wife, Carol Sue; a daughter and a son; and two sisters.

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