’52 Dr. John Perry Groce, Jr., 90, of Whitesburg, Ga., died Nov. 22, 2017. Dr. Groce graduated in 1952 with a veterinary medical degree and served in the United States Army in the mid-1950s. He is survived by his wife, Ginger; two daughters; three grand-children; and three great-grandchildren.
’55 Dr. Elliott Hughes Martin, 91, of Clarkesville, Ala., died Nov. 20, 2017. Following high school, he joined the U.S. Army Air Corps, where he served in Europe during the latter part of World War II. After the war, he worked for a short time before enrolling at Auburn. Receiving degrees in agriculture and veterinary medicine, he practiced at Martin Animal Hospital in Birmingham for 57 years, retiring at the age of 86. He is survived by his wife, Roxie; one son; two daughters; and nine grandchildren.
’55 Dr. Louis “Bud” Nelson, 87, died Dec. 19, 2017. A Chicago native, Dr. Nelson grew up in Coral Gables, Fla. He attended the University of Florida and received his DVM from Auburn. He and his wife, Dot, whom he met at Auburn, were married 60 years. They lived most of that time in Tampa, and the last 15 years in Inverness, Fla. He is survived by one daughter and two grandchildren.
’56 Dr. Edward P. Calvin, 89, of Athens, Ala., died Nov. 8, 2017. Dr. Calvin is survived by his wife, Janis; five children; and nine grandchildren. ’58 Dr. Herschel Wayne Cotton, 90, of Russellville, Ala., died Jan. 3, 2018. Dr. Cotton was a veteran of World War II and the Korean War. He received his DVM from Alabama Polytechnic Institute (Auburn University) in 1958 and moved his family to Russellville to establish his practice, Russellville Animal Hospital. He later opened Woodward Avenue Animal Clinic in Muscle Shoals, Ala., where he practiced until January 1993. He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Willie; two daughters; six grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.
’58 Dr. David Carl Mussleman, Jr., of Florence, Ala., died Feb. 9, 2018. Following high school, he joined the National Guard and, upon completing his military assignment, attended and graduated from Auburn University with a DVM. After his graduation, he returned to Florence, where he practiced veterinary medicine for more than 50 years, including opening an emergency clinic. He also pursued real estate development; worked on the crisis outreach team of Florence’s First United Methodist Church; and authored a book recounting his experiences as a veterinarian. He is survived by his wife, Jean Gay; five children; and 11 grandchildren.
’58 Dr. Gaylard “Bubba” Willard, 82, died Dec. 14, 2017. Dr. Willard graduated from API (Auburn University) in 1958 with a degree in veterinary medicine. He practiced as a veterinarian in Mobile for 44 years. Dr. Willard is survived by his wife, Teddy; one son and one daughter; a daughter-in-law; and four grandchildren.’61 Dr. Robert Louis Barlow Jr., 80, of Mathews, Ala., died Oct. 20, 2017. He is survived by a son and daughter, four grandchildren and three great-grand-children.
’64 Dr. Joe Shackelford, 83, of Bolivar, Miss., died Oct. 6, 2017. A native of Booneville, Miss., he received an A.S. degree from Northeast Mississippi Junior College and enlisted in the Army, where he trained in the Army Language School in Monterrey, Calif. Stationed in the Army Security Agency in Germany at the beginning of the Cold War, he served as a Russian interpreter, spoke German, and later served in the base personnel office. After his honorable discharge, he attended Mississippi State University for his pre-veterinary degree and graduated from Auburn with his DVM. He practiced for 45 years in Hardeman County and established Shackelford Veterinary Clinic in 1970. Dr. Shackelford was a member of the executive board of the Tennessee Veterinary Medical Association and a lifetime member of the American Veterinary Medical Association. He also served on the Hardeman County Arts Council, the Hardeman County Chamber of Commerce, Hardeman County Board of Health, Bolivar Housing Authority, and was an APTA patron. Dr. Shackelford is survived by his wife, Judy; a son and daughter; five grandchildren; and extended family.
’67 Dr. Morgan Gillett Reed, 86, of Raleigh, N.C., died Feb. 7, 2018. Dr. Reed was an honor graduate of both the University of Georgia and Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Reed began his veterinary practice, Bitterroot Animal Hospital, in Smithfield, N.C., in 1967 and retired in 2008. He was a longtime member of Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church and the Smithfield Rotary Club, where he was a past president and a Paul Harris Fellow. He is survived by his wife, Roberta, and extended family.
’67 Dr. Henry Wayne Taylor, 74,of Dothan died Feb. 5, 2018. He received his DVM in 1967 from Auburn University, and earned a Ph.D. in comparative pathology at the University of Missouri in 1972. He became a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Pathology in 1975. Dr. Taylor was part of the inaugural faculty at the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine, where he served as professor of pathology for almost 30 years. In 2005, he retired and moved to Dothan. Survivors include his wife, Gail; one son; a grandson; his mother; and extended family.
’68 Dr. L. Franklin Brown died Nov. 8, 2017. After earning his DVM, he was a practicing veterinarian in Mobile for 43 years. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus, the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, Rotary, Auburn Centennial Club, and the AVMA, serving as president. He is survived by wife Amelia “Jackie,” three daughters, and nine grandchildren.
’71 Dr. Leigh Gill, 75, died Nov. 28, 2017. Dr. Gill attended the University of Alabama and Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine. Following an internship, he practiced in Winter Park, Fla., until his retirement. Dr. Gill supported and sustained the El Hogar orphanage and agricultural school in Honduras, with which he became involved through All Saints Episcopal Church of Winter Park, and where he created and developed a dairy farm for orphan children—making the orphanage and school self-sustaining. His work and devotion saved and improved the lives of thousands of children. He is survived by two daughters, two grandchildren and extended family.
Distinguished veterinarian Dr. Jenks Swann Britt, 72, of Bowling Green, Ky., died Jan. 14, 2018. As a practitioner, Dr. Britt developed a bovine embryo transfer technique that revolutionized and advanced beef and dairy management in the livestock industry. During his career, he received numerous accolades, including the prestigious Auburn University El Toro Award for animal health and nutrition. He received the Wilford S. Bailey Distinguished Alumni Award from Auburn University in 2009. He attended Western Kentucky University, where he studied animal sciences, and Auburn University, where he earned his DVM in 1970. Following graduation, he moved to Russellville, Ky., and joined the Logan County Animal Clinic as a partner, serving the regional livestock community for more than 20 years. Dr. Britt served as president of the American Association of Bovine Practitioners (AABP) and received the coveted Bovine Practitioner of the Year award in 1992; was honored as the Kentucky Veterinary Practitioner of the Year in 1993; and was named the Western Kentucky University Alumnus of the Year (twice). Dr. Britt was inducted into the Warren County Schools Hall of Fame in 2013. In 2015, he was named to the Cattle Production Veterinarian Hall of Fame. He was selected as the Merck Animal Health Mentoring Award recipient in 2011. Dr. Britt is survived by his wife, Kathy; his mother; three sons; and seven grandchildren.
’75 Dr. Joseph Daniel Callicutt, Sr., 66, formerly of New Albany, Miss., died Oct. 28, 2017. Dr. Callicutt owned the New Albany Small Animal Clinic, where he practiced veterinary medicine for 38 years. After retiring from practice, Dr. Callicutt moved to Brandon, Miss., and worked for the USDA. He was a graduate of Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine and completed his pre-veterinary work at Mississippi State University. Dr. Callicutt is survived by his wife, Ranita; two children; and two grandchildren.
’75 Dr. Jack Robert Davidson, 70, of Prattville, Ala., died Nov. 6, 2017. He is survived by three daughters, three sons, eight grandchildren, and extended family members.
’78 Dr. Mary Jo Cox Cochran, 64, a veterinarian at Memphis Park Avenue Animal Hospital, died Aug. 15, 2017. Survivors include a brother, three sisters, and several extended family members.
’80 Dr. James R. Taylor, 60, died Oct. 25, 2017. He graduated from Auburn University and the College of Veterinary Medicine and completed postdoctoral work at Texas A&M University. After private practice for 35 years in Texas, he returned to Auburn on the staff of the college’s equine unit. He is survived by his parents, a daughter, and extended family.
’86 Dr. Judy Marie Morley, 56, of Sanders, Ky., died Dec. 11, 2017. She worked as a veterinarian with the USDA for more than 35 years, was a Kentucky colonel, and a member of St. Joseph Parish in Warsaw, Ky. Survivors include her husband, Greg; one daughter and two sons; and one grandson.
Dr. Elizabeth Nichols passed away peacefully at her home in Dadeville, Ala., Jan. 11, 2018. She was 37. Dr. Nichols lived and died as “a spirit that is not afraid,” and was a caring and compassionate student and veterinarian. “Elizabeth’s positive attitude and consistent concern for others were so impactful for many within the college even during these last few months,” said Dr. Dan Givens, associate dean for Academic Affairs. She is survived in death by her husband, Cameron, and her sister, Ashley (Matt) Alexander. A celebration of Dr. Nichols’ life is planned for March 31 at 10 a.m. in the Veterinary Education Center at the Auburn College of Veterinary Medicine.