In Memory – March 2, 2023

Member status key:

AVMA member | AVMA honor roll member | Nonmember

Gerald F. Brancich

Dr. Brancich (Minnesota ’66), 81, Winona, Minnesota, died Nov. 14, 2022. Following graduation, he worked at Blue Cross Small Animal Hospital in Minneapolis. Dr. Brancich subsequently served as a senior veterinary medical officer with the U.S. Air Force in Turkey. In 1970, he established Itasca Pet Hospital in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, where he practiced until 1984. He then worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Dr. Brancich is survived by his wife, Alice; four children; four grandchildren; and a sister.

Adam N. Carr

Dr. Carr (Texas A&M ’07), 43, Santa Ana, California, died Dec. 24, 2022. He worked in Southern California, initially in equine practice, switching later to small animals. During that time, Dr. Carr worked for a period with Equine Veterinary Associates, an equine ambulatory practice in Orange County. His parents and a brother survive him. Memorials, designated to the Dr. Adam Carr DVM Endowed Memorial Scholarship, may be made to the Texas A&M Foundation, c/o Linzy Woolf, Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, Office of the Dean, 4461 TAMU, College Station, TX 77843.

James S. Chism

Dr. Chism (Auburn ’87), 66, Mount Vernon, Kentucky, died July 22, 2022. He owned Rockcastle Veterinary Clinic, a mixed animal practice in Mount Vernon. Dr. Chism was a veteran of the Marine Corps. His wife, Marcia; two daughters; and a brother and a sister survive him. Memorials may be made to Bluegrass Greyhound Adoption, 1229 Melody Lane, Lexington, KY 40514, or Tompkinsville United Methodist Church, 116 E. 3rd St., Tompkinsville, KY 42167.

William J. Fuller

Dr. Fuller (Michigan State ’50), 99, Warren, Michigan, died November 21, 2022. He practiced small animal medicine in the Detroit area for several years. Dr. Fuller was active in training working, personal protection, and tracking dogs, with a special interest in Schutzhunds. A past president of the Southeastern Michigan VMA, he was a member of the Michigan VMA. Dr. Fuller served in the Air Force, attaining the rank of captain. His son, a grandchild, and two great-grandchildren survive him.

Richard S. Funk 

Dr. Funk (Ohio State ’85), 76, Mesa, Arizona, died Aug. 26, 2022. During his career, he practiced small and exotic animal medicine in Mesa, served as an adjunct professor at Midwestern University College of Veterinary Medicine, and was a consulting veterinarian for the herpetology collections at Arizona State University, Mesa Community College, and Scottsdale Community College. Dr. Funk was a past president of the Association of Reptile and Amphibian Veterinarians and a past co-chair of its Legislative and Animal Welfare Committee. He is survived by his wife, Laura, and his family.

Thomas J. Kakuk

Dr. Kakuk (Michigan State ’63), 86, Kalamazoo, Michigan, died Jan. 16, 2023. A diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists, he worked several decades as a veterinary pathologist and toxicologist in pharmaceutical research. Dr. Kakuk spent a majority of his career at Pharmacia & Upjohn in Kalamazoo, serving as a research pathologist, research head, and research manager. He also served 30 years as an adjunct professor of pathology at Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine. In 2010, the veterinary college honored Dr. Kakuk with a Distinguished Alumnus Award. His wife, Martha; a son and two daughters; and five brothers and four sisters survive him.

Lloyd H. Kloppe

Dr. Kloppe (Missouri ’80), 67, Buckeye, Arizona, died July 24, 2022. In 1988, he founded Durango Equine Veterinary Clinic in Buckeye. Dr. Kloppe also owned Command Performance Horse Farm in Buckeye. Earlier in his career, he practiced mixed animal medicine in Arizona and completed a residency in large animal reproduction at Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences.

Dr. Kloppe was a diplomate of the American College of Theriogenologists and was a past president of the Society for Theriogenology. He served on the Arizona State Veterinary Medical Examining Board and on the board of directors of the ACT. Dr. Kloppe was a past member of the AVMA Council on Veterinary Service.

His wife, Jana; a son; a grandchild; and two brothers and a sister survive him. Memorials may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.

Thomas P. Padhi

Dr. Padhi, 92, East Brunswick, New Jersey, died Nov. 30, 2022. A 1957 graduate of Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University’s Madras Veterinary College in India, he owned Amboy Avenue Veterinary Hospital in Metuchen, New Jersey, for 28 years. Dr. Padhi subsequently worked part time at the Associated Humane Society Hospital in Newark, New Jersey, and the West Trenton Animal Hospital in West Trenton, New Jersey, until retirement in 2015. He is survived by his wife, Sally; two sons and a daughter; and seven grandchildren.

William L. Rea

Dr. Rea (Guelph ’62), 82, Port Charlotte, Florida, died Sept. 22, 2022. Following graduation, he established a rural practice in Wakaw, Saskatchewan, where he practiced for seven years. Dr. Rea subsequently joined the animal health division of Upjohn Pharmaceutical Co. in Orangeville, Ontario. He went on to serve as vice president of animal health for the Asia Pacific region, retiring in 1998.

Dr. Rea is survived by his wife, Louise; two sons, a daughter, and two stepsons; eight grandchildren; and two sisters and a brother. Memorials may be made to New Life Church, 507 W. Marion Ave., Punta Gorda, FL 33950, or South Port Square Scholarship Fund Inc., 23033 Westchester Blvd., Port Charlotte, FL 33980.

Vernon W. Seltrecht

Dr. Seltrecht (Iowa State ’61), 87, Lincolnshire, Illinois, died Oct. 23, 2022. He practiced at Terry Animal Hospital in Wilmette, Illinois, for 49 years. Dr. Seltrecht is survived by his son, daughter, and three brothers. Memorials may be made to the Companion Animal Fund, Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Ames, IA 50011.

Leo J. van Dijk

Dr. van Dijk (Cornell ’57), 89, Medford, Oregon, died Jan. 13, 2023. Following graduation, he worked a year in Middletown, Connecticut. Dr. van Dijk subsequently moved to Oregon, joining a mixed animal practice in Central Point, where he focused on large animals. He went on to establish the Lithia Park Veterinary Clinic in Ashland, Oregon, later renaming the practice as the Animal Medical Hospital.

Dr. van Dijk was a past president of the Oregon and Rogue Valley VMAs and was involved in the founding of the veterinary college at Oregon State University. He was also a past president of the Ashland Chamber of Commerce and Ashland Lions Club, helped establish the Ashland Emergency Food Bank, and was a member of the Elks Club. In 2019, the Ashland Chamber of Commerce honored Dr. van Dijk for his contributions of more than 50 years.

His wife, Marianne; eight daughters; 16 grandchildren; and 12 great-grandchildren survive him. Memorials may be made to Oregon State University Carlson College of Veterinary Medicine, Corvallis, OR 97331.

John S. Walkenhorst

Dr. Walkenhorst (Ohio State ’79), 72, Lebanon, Ohio, died Nov. 1, 2022. He most recently served as a staff veterinarian for Pets in Need of Greater Cincinnati, also serving on its board of directors. Following graduation and after completing postgraduate training at Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston, Dr. Walkenhorst owned Brandywine Hospital for Pets in Zanesville, Ohio, and practiced at Maine Coast Veterinary Hospital in Blue Hill, Maine. From 2000-01, he served as medical director at Warwick Animal Hospital in Warwick, Rhode Island.

Dr. Walkenhorst then co-founded Advanced Veterinary Imaging, a referral imaging facility for companion animals in Cincinnati. He went on to serve as regional medical director for VCA Animal Hospitals. Dr. Walkenhorst was a diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners. He is survived by three brothers. Memorials may be made to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, P.O. Box 96929, Washington, DC 20090.

James M. Wehrman

Dr. Wehrman (Colorado State ’59), 89, Carson City, Nevada, died Nov. 11, 2022. He is survived by his family.

James K. Wilson

Dr. Wilson (Missouri ’72), 75, Cambridge, Massachusetts, died Jan. 4, 2023. He was the founder of Fresh Pond Animal Hospital, a small animal practice in Belmont, Massachusetts. Dr. Wilson’s wife, Janie; a daughter; and two sisters survive him. Memorials, toward the Stone Mountain Arts Center Feeds the Need program, may be made to SMAC, 695 Dugway Road, Brownfield, ME 04010.

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.