Obituaries | American Veterinary Medical Association | #hospice | #elderly | #seniors
AVMA honor roll member
John Harold Bonner
Dr. Bonner (Michigan State ’52), 100, Elkhorn, Wisconsin, died April 26, 2021. Following graduation, he established a mixed animal practice in Walworth, Wisconsin, focusing on dairy cattle and swine. In 1984, Dr. Bonner founded a feline practice in Walworth, working there until 1999.
In 1993, he established Elderhaven, a retirement home for seniors in Walworth, expanding the facility in 2015. Dr. Bonner was a member of the Wisconsin and Rock Valley VMAs and was also a member of the rescue squad for the town of Linn, Wisconsin. His three nieces and three nephews survive him.
Anthony R. Bott
Dr. Bott (Texas A&M ’44), 102, Cornwall, Pennsylvania, died April 30, 2021. Following graduation, he served in the Army during World War II. Dr. Bott received a Victory Medal and two battle stars for participating in the North Apennines and Po Valley campaigns in Italy. He subsequently served as a first lieutenant in the Army Veterinary Corps.
In 1947, Dr. Bott joined Corn Belt Laboratories, a business owned by his family, producing pharmaceuticals and biologics for the veterinary industry. The company was acquired by Rohm and Haas Co. in the early 1970s, at which point he became director of one of its subsidiaries, Whitmoyer Laboratories Inc.
Dr. Bott was a past president of the American Association of Industry Veterinarians and the Illinois State VMA. His two daughters, a son, three grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren survive him. Dr. Bott’s father, Dr. Anthony E. Bott, was a 1913 graduate of the Chicago Veterinary College, which operated in the late 1800s and early 1900s, and grandfather Dr. Robert Rives was an 1892 graduate of the Ontario Veterinary College, then an independent institution in Toronto. Memorials may be made to Cornwall United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 687, Cornwall, PA 17106, or Cornwall Manor, 1 Boyd St., Cornwall, PA 17106.
Robert P. Corley Jr.
Dr. Corley (Louisiana State ’91), 56, Bossier City, Louisiana, died Dec. 14, 2020. An equine veterinarian, he established Equine Track Associates in 1994 in Vinton, Louisiana. Dr. Corley’s practice focused on Thoroughbreds. Early in his career, he worked in New Jersey and Texas. Dr. Corley is survived by his fiancee, Ginger Pickett; his mother; and four sisters. Memorials may be made to the Bienville Education Foundation, Robert P. Corley Sr. Scholarship Fund, c/o Cathy Crain, 152 Orchard Valley Circle, Ruston, LA 71270.
John W. Bill Lambert Jr.
Dr. Lambert (Texas A&M ’66), 79, Lafayette, Louisiana, died March 7, 2021. He practiced small animal medicine in the Lafayette area for 52 years. Dr. Lambert was a member of the Louisiana VMA and Acadiana Area Veterinary Association. He served as a captain in the Army Veterinary Corps during the Vietnam War. During that time, Dr. Lambert was chief of the Fort Sill Veterinary Treatment Facility in Fort Sill, Oklahoma. He was honored with a certificate of achievement for his service.
Dr. Lambert is survived by his wife, Bette; two sons and a daughter; six grandchildren; a great-grandchild; and a brother and a sister.
Robert M. Purvis
Dr. Purvis (Auburn ’85), 66, Monticello, Florida, died April 2, 2021. Following graduation, he practiced in Florida at Lake Wales and Tallahassee before becoming a partner at Animal Medical Clinic in Monticello. Dr. Purvis later served as extension veterinarian at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University College of Agriculture and Food Sciences, where he was also an instructor in the veterinary technology program.
During his career, he reviewed state and federal laws for the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the U.S. Department of Agriculture; helped diagnose West Nile virus in Florida, coordinating the use of new and alternative treatments for infected horses; served as head veterinarian of regulatory operations for the Jefferson County Kennel Club; and was a member of the emergency management team for Jefferson County.
A talented musician, Dr. Purvis led the Encore Band, performing at various events and raising money for several charities. He also served as a substitute musician for several bands in the Southeast. Dr. Purvis is survived by two sons, a grandchild, two brothers, and two sisters. Memorials may be made to Big Bend Hospice, 1723 Mahan Blvd., Tallahassee, FL 32308.
Reed W. Rings
Dr. Rings (Missouri ’57), 89, Dayton, Ohio, died Nov. 3, 2020. Following graduation, he practiced small animal medicine in Missouri at Cape Girardeau, St. Louis, and Kansas City. From 1964-68, Dr. Rings worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Troy, Missouri. He went on to earn a master’s in laboratory animal medicine from the University of Missouri and served as the animal resource director for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services from 1971-77 in Lansing. Dr. Rings then joined Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine, where he was an associate professor until 1979. He next served as animal resource director for 13 years at the College of Medicine at the University of Nebraska Medical Center and later in the same capacity at what was known as the Medical College of Ohio in Toledo until retirement in 1997.
Dr. Rings is survived by three sons, a daughter, 10 grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, and a sister. A son, Dr. Bret Rings (Kansas State ’92), and a granddaughter, Dr. Ana Kay Guimaraes (Ohio State ’13), are also veterinarians. Memorials, with the memo line of the check notated to the Dr. Reed and Margaret Ann Rings Scholarship Fund, may be made to the College of the Ozarks, P.O. Box 17, Point Lookout, MO 65726, (please select the option of “other” in the designation section and specify Dr. Rings’ name in the “in memory of” section and the name of the fund in the comments section).
Clyde K. Smith
Dr. Smith (Michigan State ’51), 95, Sevastopol, Wisconsin, died Feb. 8, 2021. Following graduation and after earning his doctorate in microbiology from the University of Notre Dame, he joined The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine. During his more than 20-year tenure, Dr. Smith served as a professor and conducted research at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center in Wooster. He retired in 1986.
Dr. Smith was a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Microbiologists and a member of the American Association of Bovine Practitioners. He was a past president of the Wooster Noon Lions Club and was active with the Boy Scouts of America. Dr. Smith served in the Navy during World War II. His four sons, 10 grandchildren, and 11 great-grandchildren survive him. Memorials may be made to Unity Hospice, 2366 Oak Ridge Circle, De Pere, WI 54115; Door County Land Trust, 23 N. 5th Ave., Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235; or the Nature Conservancy, 342 Louisiana St., Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235.
Richard L. Sopiarz
Dr. Sopiarz (Illinois ’70), 77, Beecher, Illinois, died April 18, 2021. A small animal veterinarian, he owned Richton Park Animal Hospital in Richton Park, Illinois. Dr. Sopiarz was a lifetime member of the Illinois State VMA. He is survived by three sons, a daughter, and 10 grandchildren.
Barbara A. Wyss
Dr. Wyss (Ohio State ’96), 58, London, Ohio, died April 15, 2021. A small animal veterinarian, she most recently worked at Upper Heights Veterinary Clinic in Huber Heights, Ohio. Early in her career, Dr. Wyss practiced at Miami Valley Animal Hospital in Kettering, Ohio, and served as a relief veterinarian throughout the state. She was a member of the Ohio VMA. Dr. Wyss is survived by her husband, Chuck, and a daughter and two sons. Memorials may be made to the International Society for Endangered Cats Canada, 124 Lynnbrook Road SE, Calgary, Alberta T2C 1S6, Canada.