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

Alumni Class Notes

Published: Mar 3, 2015


Peter Schantz, V’65, recently retired from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, where he worked as an epidemiologist in parasitic diseases. He lectures at Emory University’s School of Public Health.

Robert Jochen, V’66, has retired from teaching after 25 years of service to Blue Ridge Community College as an Associate Professor of Biology and Adjunct Faculty member. He has enjoyed teaching anatomy, physiology, microbiology, and biotechnology courses.

Sally Myton, V’69, retired in June 2014 after working for 45 years at the same animal hospital.


Edwin Wagner, V’77, was married on May 9, 2014.


Hilton Klein, V’80, was presented with the Joseph J. Garvey Award for accomplishments in administration, management, and support for programs relating to the care, quality, and humane treatment of laboratory animals in biomedical research. He received the award at the 65th American Association of Laboratory Animal Science meeting in San Antonio, Texas.

Margaret Bliss, V’86, is an Associate Veterinarian with Midway Animal Clinic located in Midway, Arkansas.

Dorie Cappiello, V’86, started her practice, Prospect Ridge Veterinary Hospital, 22 years ago in West Orange, New Jersey. She will be moving to a brand-new, 6,000-square-foot building in early 2015 and hopes to expand all areas of her small animal practice, including grooming, boarding, and physical therapy focusing on pain management and senior care.


Donna Dambach, V’90, was recently promoted to Senior Director, Head of Toxicology in the Safety Assessment Department at Genentech, Inc., where she has worked for over eight years.

Eileen (Taylor) Lindmeier, V’90, opened her own small animal veterinary clinic—Chalfont Veterinary Clinic, LLC, in Chalfont, Pennsylvania—after 24 years in private practice. Opened in September 2014, the clinic offers general medicine, dentistry, and surgery in a small clinic atmosphere.


Natalie (Austin) Albright, V’01, started at Santa Cruz Veterinary Hospital as an emergency doctor. She also gave birth to her son, Quinn Albright, in March 2013—just four days after moving into a new house.


Lauren (Vierheilig) Kaplus, V’12, and her husband had triplet boys on January 13, 2014. Noah, Samuel, and Jarett Jr. are an absolute joy and are doing well.

Allison Wolosz, V’12, gave birth to a baby girl, Shea Dorothy Wolosz, on June 13, 2014. She and her husband Justin are exhausted but thrilled.

In Remembrance

Dr. Jack Robbins, V’45, top racetrack veterinarian, longtime breeder of Thoroughbreds in California, and patriarch of an influential racing family, died the afternoon of November 29, 2014, at his home in Rancho Santa Fe, California. He was 93. Robbins was a past president of the Oak Tree Racing Association and the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP), and he was instrumental in the founding of both organizations. He began practicing veterinary medicine at California racetracks in 1945. After helping found the AAEP in 1954, he served for 22 years on the organization’s ethics committee. In 1969, he was one of seven original directors of Oak Tree, the not-for-profit racing association that has been instrumental in many of American racing’s charitable efforts. He was also a member of the California Thoroughbred Breeders Association for more than 50 years, a member of The Jockey Club, and Director Emeritus of the Grayson Jockey Club Research Foundation and the University of California-Davis Center for Equine Health.

Dr. Sherman “Doc” Ames II, V’50, of Stewartsville, New Jersey, passed away on October 30, 2014—just five days shy of his 91st birthday. After a yearlong, post-graduation internship in Bedford, Pennsylvania, he returned to join his father (who also graduated from Penn) in the practice of veterinary medicine in Easton. They treated both small and large animals, from an ermine to an elephant. He was fourth in a row of family veterinarians, with his son and niece being the fifth and sixth. The Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association published his article describing a novel surgical procedure he originated for the correction of a twisted stomach in cows. He retired in 1998.

Dr. Robert Schwartzman, V’52, died on December 28, 2014, in McLean, Virginia, after a brief illness. A former Chief of Dermatology at Penn Vet, he was a founding member and former President of the American Academy of Veterinary Dermatology (AAVD). Dr. Schwartzman was a great friend, teacher, mentor, and surrogate dad to many, as well as an eternal Eagles fan.

Dr. Seymour Holtman, V’54, a veterinarian in Center City Philadelphia for three decades, died of congestive heart failure on March 15, 2014, at his home. He was 88. Before retiring in 1980, Dr. Holtman practiced at the Animal Hospital and, previously, at Dr. Bachrach’s Animal Hospital. Dr. Holtman served in the Army at Newton D. Baker General (VA) Hospital in Martinsburg, West Virginia, during World War II. After retiring from practice, he pursued cabinetmaking, welded iron sculpture, and stained-glass work, turning the same dexterity he showed as a surgeon into artistic handiwork.

Dr. Kurt A. Schilling, V’54, passed away on May 1, 2014, at the age of 89. He was a prominent veterinarian in Tarzana, California, for over 50 years, well known for an infectious chuckle and a very quick wit. Dr. Schilling served his community as a Rotarian since 1956 and was a member of the Southern California Veterinary Medical Association. His service as a Navy corpsman in World War II inspired his interest in medicine.

Dr. Millard M. “Mac” Mershon, V’55, passed away on August 3, 2014, at age 85. Mac practiced veterinary medicine for two years in Western Maryland, followed by three years in charge of a veterinary laboratory for the University of Maryland. He spent the next 33 years working as a toxicologist and pharmacologist for the U.S. Army at Edgewood Arsenal (now Edgewood Area of Aberdeen Proving Ground) in Maryland. During his long and distinguished career, he was responsible for countless innovations, inventions, and contributions to the science of chemical warfare defense. His research still provides much of the foundation for protecting our troops against the threats of chemical war. After retiring from the civilian work with the Army, Mac did research for Science Application International Corporation on topics such as the impact of the use of the plague germ as a biological warfare agent. He also reviewed and evaluated current research on the treatment of breast and prostate cancers.

Dr. Gerald Lewis, V’58, of Kyle, Texas, died on November 11, 2014, at age 82. A mixed practice veterinarian, he worked in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, as an associate veterinarian before purchasing The Spencerville Animal Hospital in Ohio. In 1968, he established The Amanda Animal Hospital in Spencerville, Ohio, where he worked with farm, pet, and exotic animals until his retirement in 1997. He was active in the Ohio Veterinary Medical Association and was an honorary lifetime member of the American Veterinary Medical Association. He also raised Polled Hereford cattle, was an avid birdwatcher and an amateur musician. He traveled extensively after retirement, visiting every continent and over 60 countries.

Dr. Nicholas Fisfis, V’61, age 79, passed away peacefully on January 2, 2015. He was a respected and dedicated veterinarian at South Hills Animal Hospital for 50 years until retiring last July. Dr. Fisfis was active with the Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association, the American Veterinary Medical Association, and the American Animal Hospital Association. He was a proud Army veteran who served his country from 1962-1964 as a First Lieutenant and was discharged as a Captain.

Dr. Wilbur Durbin Donahue, V’62, age 76, passed away on August 4, 2014, after a long battle with cardiac and lung disease. Throughout his 35-year career, he provided veterinary care to thousands of pets. He enlisted in the U.S. Army and obtained the rank of Captain in the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps. In 1968, Dr. Donahue founded the Churchland Animal Clinic in Portsmouth, Virginia, and later founded the North Suffolk
Animal Clinic in Suffolk.

Dr. Asa Harris Mosher, V’62, age 78, of Salford Township, Pennsylvania, passed away at his residence on August 27, 2014, surrounded by his loving family. He was employed as a veterinary pathologist for Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceuticals for 27 years prior to his retirement in 1998. Following high school, he graduated from the University of Delaware in 1958, the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine in 1962, and earned his PhD in 1968 from the University of Connecticut. He enjoyed being outside and spending time with his cows, and he was known for having one of the largest fullblood Limousin herds in the country.

Dr. Fredric Baff, V’63, of Newtown, Connecticut, passed away on August 8, 2014, at age 75. Dr. Baff was the owner of Plumtrees Animal Hospital in Danbury, Connecticut, for over 30 years. He enjoyed boating and golf, but above all, helping people and their pets. He will be remembered as a wonderful teacher, a loyal companion, and a trusted caregiver.

Dr. Peter Ihrke, V’72, passed away in late February 2014. With the support and strength of his wife, Dr. Thelma Lee Gross, he fought a valiant battle against the cancer diagnosed in 2012. Dr. Ihrke completed a residency in dermatology (‘74) at Penn. He was a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (dermatology) and then became a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Dermatology (ACVD). He joined the faculty at UC Davis in 1977 in the Dermatology Service and held an Adjunct Clinical Associate Professor of Dermatology position at Stanford University School of Medicine. Dr. Ihrke was an internationally recognized expert in the arena of veterinary dermatology. His research focused on skin diseases in all species with an emphasis on infectious and immunologic skin diseases. Dr. Ihrke served as president of all three of the North American organizations of veterinary dermatologists and allergists: the American College of Veterinary Dermatology, the American Academy of Veterinary Dermatology, and the Academy of Veterinary Allergy. He also served as president of the World Small Animal Veterinary Association.