Dean Peterson, ’74 DVM, Ham Lake, Minn., died in August 2022.
Donald Boyd French, ’53 DVM, Chatfield, Minn., died on Sept. 3, 2022, at 93. French founded Chosen Valley Vet Clinic in 1955 in Chatfield. The practice operates to this day, though French retired from being on in 1989. He continued to treat horses up until 1996. He and his wife, Isabel, also generously created the Dr. Don and Isy French Large Animal Medicine Fund to provide equipment upgrades, clinical outreach, and research to the UMN College of Veterinary Medicine. He is survived by two sons and one daughter, four grandchildren, four step-grandchildren, his sister, his great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Eric Thorsgard, ’87 DVM, Bemidji, Minn., died on July 8, 2022, at 64. Thorsgard worked at two veterinary practices in northern Minnesota before opening one of his own, Animal Care Clinic, in Bemidji in 1997. Orthopedic surgery was his passion and he enjoyed the challenge of developing orthopedic hardware for animals. Thorsgard is survived by his wife, Gerri; his six children; his siblings; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Herbert Halverson, ’63 DVM, Grand Rapids, Minn., died on June 15, 2022, at 90. After spending years as a naval fighter pilot and helicopter pilot, Halverson earned his DVM and moved to Owatonna, Minn., where he established his veterinary practice. In 1986, he began his second career as a veterinarian for the USDA in Barron, Wis. Halverson is survived by his wife, Jean; two daughters; four sons; 16 grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; his sister; and many nieces and nephews.
Anthony Castro, ’78 DVM, PhD, Green Valley, Ariz., died on May 24, 2022, at 87. Following service in the U.S. Air Force, Castro pursued a career in veterinary diagnostic virology. He worked at diagnostic laboratories at Oklahoma State University-Stillwater, University of California-Davis, and Penn State. Castro is survived by his wife, Marlene; two children, four grandchildren, and his brother.
Barbara Coffman, ’78 DVM, Backus, Minn., died on April 12, 2022, at 78.
Mark Mattison, ’76 DVM, La Crosse, Wis., died on April 15, 2022, at 70. Mattison practiced large and small animal veterinary medicine as a partner at the La Crosse Veterinary Clinic for 39 years. In 1988, he received his International Veterinary Acupuncture Society Certification, practicing animal acupuncture locally while lecturing across the United States and Canada. Mattison is survived by his wife, Wendy; two children; six grandchildren; and four sisters.
Charles Blackbourn, ’60 DVM, Winter Haven, Fla., died on April 15, 2022, at 86. After graduating from veterinary school, Blackbourn became a large and small animal veterinarian, establishing Rock Veterinary Clinic in Janesville, Wis., which ran for over 30 years. In addition to treating animals, he participated in field trials with dogs and horses. He is survived by his two sons, two daughters, and six grandchildren.
Ernest Drager, ’83 DVM, Bloomington, Minn., died on April 8, 2022, at 73. Drager opened Bush Lake Pet Hospital in 1984 and France Avenue Pet Hospital in 2004. He retired in February 2022. He is survived by his spouse, Lola; two daughters; his brother; his sister; nieces and nephews; grandchildren; great-grandchildren; and friends.