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1922 - 2018

Donald Schmidt, D.V.M. (VETM ’50)

Donald Arthur Schmidt, DVM, PhD, loving husband and father, was called to his Lord on December 29, 2018, one month short of his 97th birthday. He was at home in Columbia, Missouri. He was preceded in death by his wife LaVaune June Hauser of La Crosse, Wisconsin, parents John (Jack) and Helen (Dumdee) Schmidt, brothers Armin Schmidt and Vernon Schmidt and sister Jean Schmidt Schoessow. Surviving are his brother Alan Schmidt and Donald’s three daughters, 16 grandchildren, and 18 great-grandchildren: Jo Ann Loomis, children and grandchildren: Steven Loomis (Rebecca and children Nehemiah Schmidt, Priscilla, and Hosea), Brian Loomis, Kristen Mulvaney (Adrian and children Hayden and Willow,) and Benjamin Loomis.

Cheryl Nichols (Brent) children and grandchildren: Jennifer Hardy (Chris and daughters Emma and Elza), Amanda DeMello (Ryan and boys Micah, Hudson and Noah), John Alexander Nichols (Melissa and children Cayden, Addilyn and Ashton), Clayton Nichols, and Cassie Nichols,

Katherine Gibson (Mark), children and grandchildren: Matthew Gibson (Leah with boys Henry, Sam, and Jack), Megan Henwood (Matthew), Michael Gibson (Brittany and daughters Ellie and Sarah), Meyer Gibson, Mitchell Gibson, Mary Helen Gibson, and Madeline LaVaune Gibson.

Visitation will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, January 2, 2019 at Trinity Lutheran Church, with funeral following at 11:00 a.m. Officiating will be Rev. Brian Thieme. Interment will be private for the family.

Dr. Schmidt was born on a farm in Wittenberg, Wisconsin on January 29, 1922. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in agricultural bacteriology from the University of Wisconsin in Madison in 1944, and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree in 1947 from Michigan State College. This class was the last in the war-time accelerated program in veterinary medicine at that school.

Donald received a Master of Science degree in Veterinary Pathology from the University of Minnesota while on a fellowship with the Mayo Clinic in 1950. In the same year he accepted a position as Veterinarian for the Brookfield Zoo in Chicago, Illinois. He was the first full time veterinarian employed by the zoo. In 1951 he married LaVaune Hauser who was a histotechnologist working on a tuberculosis project at the Mayo Clinic. In 1953 he accepted the position of Assistant Professor in Veterinary Pathology at Michigan State University, in East Lansing, Michigan. In 1959 he became certified in anatomic pathology by passing the certification examination of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists. In 1961 he received a PhD degree in Veterinary Pathology from Michigan State University.

In 1966 he accepted a position as Professor of Veterinary Pathology at the College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Missouri, Columbia. In 1972 he was one of nine who successfully passed the first national certifying examination of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists in veterinary clinical pathology. Over the course of his tenure at MU he prepared 23,500 microscopic and macroscopic transparencies for use in teaching of veterinary clinical pathology that were used for many years after his retirement. He retired from MU in 1992 as Professor Emeritus and continued working part time for the pathology department until he was 80 years old.

During his teaching career he received the Norden Distinguished Teaching Award four times and earned three Golden Ascapulious Teaching Awards. In 2005 Dr. Schmidt was awarded a Life Time Achievement Award by the American Society for Veterinary Clinical Pathology.

Donald was a faithful servant of the Lord Jesus Christ and longtime member of Trinity Lutheran Church where he served as elder. His parting thoughts to all: Remember—Our death is not the end. Ponder the shortness of life, the inevitability of death, and the necessity of being acceptable to God. The latter can only be accomplished by receiving Jesus Christ as your personal Savior.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to Trinity Lutheran Church, 2201 W. Rollins Road, Columbia, MO 65203.

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