In Memoriam

’50 Dr. William R. Miller, 91, from Summerdale, Ala., died June 2. He began his veterinary career practicing mixed animal medicine in Mobile. Dr. Miller joined the faculty of Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1960, where he remained until his retirement in 1988. He was a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine and a past member of the American Council on Public Health and Regulatory Veterinary Medicine and AVMA Council on Education. He is survived by his wife, two children, four grandchildren and a great-grandchild.

’51 Dr. Bennett T. Simms Jr., 92, from Pontotoc, Miss., died June 9. Prior to his retirement, he was an inspector-in-charge with the Department of Agriculture. Earlier in his career, Dr. Simms taught at Oklahoma State University and owned a practice in Pontotoc. In honor of his service to the community, the Dr. B.T. Simms Jr. Senior Community Center Building was named for him. Dr. Simms is survived by two children, three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Dedicated veterinarian and longtime friend of the college, Dr. Bruce Graham Pratt, Sr., ’53 of Beaufort, S.C., died Aug. 31. He was 89.

Following graduation from Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Pratt returned to Beaufort where he was the only large animal veterinarian in the city and surrounding four counties. Later, Dr. Pratt opened Holly Hall Animal Hospital where he practiced for more than 50 years.

Dr. Pratt was known as a generous, selfless member of the communities to which he was tied. He supported Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine, where one of his gifts in 2006 endowed a chair in small animal orthopedic surgery.

“Dr. Pratt loved Auburn and this college, and his generosity has already benefited thousands of people,” said Dean Calvin Johnson. “He said when he established the chair that he was doing so as a gesture of thanks for those faculty members who had taught him so many years ago. His gifts will also make a difference as we train those who are following in his footsteps.”

Dr. Pratt joined CVM’s philanthropic Centennial Club and became a diamond-level member, as he was dedicated to the cause of raising unrestricted funds to assist the college in its needs.

“He  thoroughly  enjoyed  connecting  with  the CVM, learning about the various programs we had going, getting to know a number of the faculty and staff,” said Development Director Diana Turner. “He especially took to the orthopedic surgery program, an area of medicine he had specifically enjoyed working in, the J.T. Vaughan Large Animal Teaching Hospital, and the Southeastern Raptor Center.

“He loved the Football, Fans and Feathers programs held on Fridays before home games, and, on one occasion, he got a flat tire from a nail on the unpaved street,” she remembered. “That led to his telling us we needed to get the street paved, and the next thing we knew, he was looking into funding it for us. That was really the kind of man he was: he saw a need and he took care of it.”

Turner also remembered his love for Auburn, wearing traditional Auburn clothes, cheering “War Eagle” and promoting the college on his national and international travels. “He said he was born a lucky man and part of his luck was coming to the vet school at Auburn.”

The College of Veterinary Medicine and the veterinary community lost a dear friend and colleague with the passing of Aaron H. Groth ’54 on Oct. 30, 2016.

His professional career at Auburn spanned 34 years (1959-1993), including service as professor and head of the Department of Pathology and Parasitology (later Pathobiology) from 1964 to 1981. Dr. Groth was engaged in organized veterinary medicine, serving the Alabama Veterinary Medical Association (ALVMA) as its president in 1976 and executive vice president 1981-2001. The ALVMA has recognized Dr. and Mrs. Groth annually by supporting student scholarships in his name.

Dr. Groth was born in Iowa and grew up in Minnesota, Colorado and Louisiana. He moved from Baton Rouge to Auburn following his discharge from the U.S. Navy, earning his B.S. in 1949 and the DVM in 1954. He went on to earn his M.S. of Veterinary Pathology from Iowa State University and became a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists.

In 1957, he returned to Auburn and began a career at the CVM, serving as professor as well as department head in Pathobiology until his retirement as Professor Emeritus in 1993.

He was a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Southern Veterinary Medical Federation, and served on the Board of Directors for the American Cancer Society, Alabama Division, from 1969 to 1988 and served as president from 1985 to 1987.

He is survived by three children and four grandchildren.

’55 Leonard P. Griffin died in Sacramento, Calif. After graduating from the CVM, Dr. Griffin bought Arden Animal Hospital. He was a long-time member of the Sacramento Veterinary Association, where he served a term as president. Dr. Griffin is survived by his wife, sons, 10 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

’62 Dr. John H. Lester, 79, of Enterprise, Ala., died July 18. While at the CVM, he served as president of his senior veterinary class. During his lifetime, he served on the USS Alabama Board, the Agricultural Board and the Alabama Veterinary Association Board. Dr. Lester was also the longest serving member in the history of the Alabama Department of Environmental Management. He is survived by his wife, two children and three grandchildren.

‘66 Dr. Susan Campbell Montieth, 73, died Sept. 16. Dr. Montieth was co-founder and director of a private medical lab in Columbia, S.C., and a technical representative for Roche Laboratory. She retired from Dwight David Eisenhower Army Medical Center as a microbiologist in 2003. Dr. Montieth is survived by her brother, nieces and nephews.

Dr. Philip Douglas “Doug” Mansfield ‘67, of Hiawassee, Georgia, died Nov. 4, 2016. He was 75. Dr. Mansfield began his veterinary career in Glasgow, Ky., after graduating from Auburn University School of Veterinary Medicine in 1967.

He enjoyed a successful private practice in Hopkins- ville, Ky., and returned to the college in 1978, holding the position of associate professor until his retirement in 2003. He found success and great joy in treating animals in need of care and providing training and education to scores of veterinary students.

Dr. Mansfield was a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, earning Diplomate status. He was a member and past president of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners, American Association of Veterinary Clinicians and the American Animal Hospital Association.

Following retirement in 2003, Dr. Mansfield enjoyed time with family and friends. Time for fly fishing, gardening and traveling was aided by his move to the small mountain community of Hiawassee.

Dr. Mansfield is survived by his wife, Sheila, two daughters, six grandchildren, two great grandchildren, and extended family.

‘69 Jerry Bush, 72, died August 15 in Louisville, Ky. Following graduation from the CVM, Dr. Bush served as a captain in the Air Force in Lubbock, Texas. When his service was completed, Dr. Bush and his wife moved to Alberta, Canada, where he worked as a large animal veterinarian. Friends and family of Dr. Bush would say that, even in his later years, his eyes would light up when he talked about his love of treating animals, especially cows. He is survived by his sister, two nephews and their two children.

’75 Orin Burhl Bond Jr., 65, died June 17 in Fisherville, Ky. While at the CVM, Dr. Bond served as president of the Zeta chapter of Omega Tau Sigma veterinary fraternity. He was a small animal veterinarian at St. Matthews Animal  Clinic  for more than 35 years prior to his retirement in 2010. Dr. Bond was widely known for his compassionate care of animals and kindness to their owners. He is survived by his two children, a grandchild, and extended family.

Dr. John Welburn Poe ‘81 of Midway, Ky., died Sept. 25. Dr. Poe was the Kentucky State Public Health Veterinarian and central Kentucky equine veterinarian. He was 61. Dr. Poe had successful careers as a private practice veterinarian and, later, in government.

He began his private practice at Harrison Veterinary Clinic in Cynthiana, Ky., in 1981 and spent 10 years with Arnold & Sautter, P.S.C. in Lexington.

In 1991, he became the director of Veterinary Services at Payson Stud, Lexington, Ky., before moving to the helm at Adena Springs in Versailles, Ky. He worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), enforcing the Horse Protection Act. He inspected horse shows, exhibitions, and zoos to ensure humane and proper treatment of animals.

In 2001, he was dispatched to the British government to combat foot-and-mouth disease in Leeds, North Yorkshire, England.

His most recent position was with the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services as Kentucky’s Public Health Veterinarian, where he focused on epide- miology and public health issues at the intersection of animal and health diseases, most prominently West Nile, ebola, avian influenza and the Zika virus.

He was involved in state and public health preparedness actions, including Southern Agriculture & Animal Disaster Response Alliance, the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiolo- gists, and the National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians.

Dr. Poe served as past president of the Kentucky Association of Equine Practitioners, a board member of the Kentucky Veterinary Medical Association and as leadership delegate of the American Veterinary Medical Association, and the American Association of Equine Practitioners.

He chaired the Woodford County UK Agriculture Extension Board and was a lifetime member of the Kentucky Cattlemen’s Association.

John Donald “Jack” Simms of Auburn died Nov. 8, two weeks before his 90th  birthday. A friend and supporter of the College of Veterinary Medicine, and a 1949 AU graduate, Simms was the son of the former Bureau of Animal Industry Director the late Dr. B.T. Simms ’11, and the brother of the late Dr. B.T. Simms, Jr. ’51. Simms and his sister funded a scholarship honoring their father which benefits CVM students.

Simms’ distinguished service and career included fighting on Iwo Jima as a member of the U.S. Marine Corps, working as a reporter and editor for the Associated Press (including covering four Olympic games), and serving as founding head of Auburn’s Journalism Department for 18 years.

Co-author of the quintessential book, Auburn: A Pictorial History of the Loveliest Village, Simms received a Distinguished Veteran Award in 2010 from the city of Auburn, and three days before his death, was honored at Jordan-Hare Stadium on the field during the halftime of the Auburn football game as a World War II Marine. He is survived by his wife, Lassie Jo, two children, one granddaughter and a great-grandson.