PennVet | Alumni Class Notes
New Bolton Center Kennett Square, PA
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Ryan Hospital Philadelphia, PA

Alumni Class Notes

Published: Sep 26, 2018

Class Notes


Robert Orsher, V’79, was honored by Manor College with the Community Leadership Award on April 19. In 1994, Orsher founded the Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Center (VSEC), a 24-hour multispecialty referral and emergency small animal hospital in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. VSEC opened a second location in Philadelphia in 2013 and a third location in Conshohocken in 2017. VSEC is a member of the BluePearl Veterinary Partners Hospital Network.


On March 28, The Seeing Eye in Morris Township hosted a groundbreaking ceremony to mark the start of a kennel upgrade to its Washington Valley kennels. Bloomfield resident Dolores Holle, V’81, Seeing Eye Director of Canine Medicine and Surgery, is an integral member of the project team. Holle, who joined The Seeing Eye in April 1991, is responsible for the overall management of the canine health care system, from birth of a puppy through placement of the dog with a blind person.Dr. Amy Attas returned to her alma mater, Barnard College, to represent Penn at the Inauguration of Sian Leah Beilock, the college’s eighth President.

Amy Attas G’83, V’87, a Penn Vet Overseer, returned to her alma mater, Barnard College, to represent Penn at the Inauguration of Sian Leah Beilock, the college’s eighth President on February 9.


Jill Stetz, V’94, was selected by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Board of Directors to serve on the American Board of Veterinary Specialties as veterinarian (non-boardcertified) representing small animal practice for a four-year term. Stetz has worked in small animal practice since graduation and has been the owner of Narberth Animal Hospital since 2005.


Apryle Horbal, V’11, was appointed to the Pennsylvania Board of Veterinary Medicine. Horbal has most recently dedicated her career to the betterment of companion pets and large animals as the president of University Veterinary Specialists. Horbal is also the co-founder of VetNOW, a telehealth initiative dedicated to setting standards of excellence in the emerging field of veterinary telemedicine. As a board member, Horbal will guide legislation and streamline veterinary practices across the Commonwealth and the nation.

In Remembrance

Alice May Kelly Holton, 94, of Chestertown and Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, passed away on March 4 in Easton, Maryland. Holton retired as New Bolton Center’s librarian in 1996. She worked for many years as a librarian at the Bayard Taylor Memorial Library in Kennett Square before taking the job as librarian for New Bolton Center in 1963.

To honor her many contributions, Holton’s friends and family have launched a fundraising campaign to endow an Opportunity Scholarship in her name. This unique program combines financial aid with formal mentoring for qualified Penn Vet students throughout their veterinary education. To give, visit

George Espy, V’45, passed away on May 13. He was a U.S. Army veteran and served during World War II, attaining the rank of second lieutenant in 1942; first lieutenant in 1945 with the Veterinary Corps, medical department, in the European Theatre; and, finally, as a captain with the Veterinary Corps, medical department Army Air Corps.

Elizabeth F. “Betty” (Fortune) Trainor, V’49, of Oxford, Massachusetts, died on March 22. Trainor was a veterinarian at Angell Memorial Animal Hospital in Boston, Abbott Animal Hospital in Worcester, and then private practice. Trainor was an active educator, breeder and later became a show judge. She was involved with numerous dog clubs including the New England Sporting Group Association’s Ladies Dog Club, and several Portuguese Water Dog clubs.

Thomas W. H. “Doc” Shoemaker, Jr., V’50, passed away on May 2. Shoemaker served Sullivan County and nearby areas as veterinarian for nearly 70 years and was Publisher Emeritus of the Sullivan Review newspaper since 1966. After serving in the U.S. Navy, where he worked as a chemist on thermal diffusion of uranium isotopes for the Manhattan Project, he attended Penn Vet on the GI Bill. Shoemaker was district veterinarian for the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture in 1960 and 1962. As district vet, he primarily tested dairy herds for Tuberculosis and Brucellosis (Bang’s disease). He also taught Biology and Chemistry at Cherry Township (Turnpike) High School in Mildred and then at Sullivan County High School in Laporte.

Lionel F. Rubin, V’58, a former professor at Penn Vet and pioneer in the field of veterinary ophthalmology, died on February 11 after a brief illness. Rubin taught veterinary ophthalmology for 31 years, retiring from Penn Vet 1992 as an emeritus professor. He served as president of the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists from 1976 to 1977, wrote four books and more than 100 scientific papers and abstracts, and was a consultant to pharmaceutical companies, as well as for the American Kennel Club. He developed an interest in ophthalmology while an officer in the U.S. Public Health Service and stationed at the National Institutes of

Carl G. Royer, V’63, passed away on April 27. He was born in Somerset, Pennsylvania, and lived in Roan Mountain, Tennessee, for the past 37 years. Royer was a practicing veterinarian for 53 years.

Glenn McCausland, V’78, of Glenmoore, Pennsylvania, passed away peacefully at home. McCausland served as a 1st Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Chemical Corp, receiving a Commendation Medal. After the military, he attended Penn State University. He then worked for his father at the McCausland Funeral Home in Glenolden, Pennsylvania, as a funeral director before making a career change to become a veterinarian. With a VMD from Penn Vet, he established the Lionville Veterinary Clinic. After retiring, he worked at Colebrook Manor Animal Hospital and Absorption Systems.

James E. Simpson, Jr., V’78, passed away on March 27. Simpson was the owner of Main Street Animal Clinic in Manayunk since its inception in 1984. He began his career as an Associate Veterinarian at Dr. Rude’s Animal Hospital in 1978 and was active in the American and Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Associations and served as President of the Keystone Veterinary Medical Association, 1980-1985.

Joel Bigger, V’79, of Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania, passed away on February 5. Bigger moved to Philadelphia to attend Penn Vet. He then moved back to Pittsburgh in 1979 to work for Dr. Thomas Moore at the Avalon Veterinary Hospital. Bigger remained there for 35 years before retiring in 2014.

Kathleen Boldy, V’80, of Los Angeles, California, passed away on May 29 after a long battle with cancer. Born in West Mifflin, Pennsylvania, Boldy graduated from West Mifflin South High School. She received her undergraduate degree from Penn State and earned her VMD from Penn Vet, followed by a graduate degree in Veterinary Ophthalmology from the University of California, Davis. Boldy enjoyed a successful veterinary practice in Brentwood, California.

Deborah Roberts, V’81, of Landenberg, Pennsylvania, passed away on June 20. She was the founder of Nonantum Veterinary Clinic, which opened in 1983. In the years since, Roberts was proud to be joined by an outstanding group of colleagues at the clinic, all of whom shared her value of quality patient care first and foremost.

Joseph A. Crowley, V’87, of Montrose, Pennsylvania, passed away on January 15. He owned and operated Montrose Veterinary Clinic and was a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association. For nearly 25 years, the Montrose community adored Crowley (“Doc”) and his dedicated and talented staff.

Ellen Fitzgibbon, V’99, passed away on June 8 after a brave, four-year battle with ovarian cancer. She taught high school biology for four years before attending Penn Vet. Since 2000, she had worked as a veterinarian at VCA Old Marple Veterinary Hospital in Springfield, Pennsylvania. Fitzgibbon loved nature, world travel, and photography. After
her diagnosis, she combined these passions and founded Shooting for a Cure to support
ovarian cancer research through the sale of her powerful photographs.

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