Roy Milleret, DVM

Roy Milleret, DVM, 88, of Manhattan, Kan., was a ’44 KSU vet school grad. If you were around Kansas State in the 1960s-1980s, you probably knew Roy when he was on staff. My connection with “Uncle Roy” as he was fondly known to our family was because he was on staff in 1958 getting his MS in pathology, when my dad Bruce was in his last year of veterinary school, and subsequently worked with him at the lab.

Like many of the students at the time, Roy was a military cadet and was given a commission in the Army Veterinary Corps following graduation, where he served for a few years and then worked as a federal veterinarian. During that time, he was sent to England to help with one of their FMD outbreaks.

Roy practiced in Bonner Springs, Kan., and dealt with many new livestock owners who had little animal experience. “I had the opportunity of spending holidays and summer vacations working with him in the practice as a student and learned many lessons of life,” my dad says. “He was always kind and courteous to his clients and was an excellent veterinarian.”

Roy joined the Department of Pathology staff in K-State’s first state diagnostic lab. “He was the ‘veterinarian’s veterinarian’,” notes my dad, “working with practitioners helping to solve difficult livestock disease problems.” My dad left the Army Veterinary Corps and joined Roy on staff, working with him for several years. “He not only was outstanding in working with ‘sticky’ veterinary problems, he was a mentor to me as a fledgling veterinarian out of school for only two years. He was recognized often as one of the ‘greats’ in the early field of diagnostic veterinary medicine as well as an excellent teacher of veterinary gross pathology to K-State students.”  

Bill Kautz, DVM

On April 25, another family friend passed away, Bill Kautz, DVM, 62, of Jefferson, Wis. Bill was an Iowa State University graduate and a captain in the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps. I first met Bill when I was a teenager in Iowa in the 1980s when Bill and my dad were technical services veterinarians for Pioneer Hi-Bred. Bill also had a Master’s in dairy nutrition, so in the course of my 17 years here at Bovine Veterinarian I had many occasions to work and visit with him through many of his other careers with CHR Hansen and other dairy nutrition pursuits.

I asked my friend and one of Bill’s colleagues from Pioneer, Bill Seglar, DVM, for some comments about Bill Kautz’s contributions to the dairy industry. “Bill had an excellent grasp on dairy nutrition in his understanding of how various components in the diet and delivery of the ration impacts dairy cow health and production,” Seglar says. “He was always thinking and quite inquisitive, and not afraid to discuss and challenge nutrition feeding topics with fellow colleagues. Bill was a forward thinker and he always was creating ‘a better way to design the wheel’.”

Seglar considers Bill as an innovator at developing dairy production medicine programs which went beyond the typical monthly reproduction programs of the time. “His primary efforts were to develop dairy nutrition consultation services for clients wishing to gain additional insight into their feeding programs that went beyond what the feed companies were offering.”

Stan Curtis, PhD

I did not personally know legendary animal welfare expert Stanley Curtis, PhD, University of Illinois, who passed away April 25 at 68. Stan received his Master’s and PhD in animal science and environmental physiology from Purdue in 1968.

My colleague Marlys Miller, editor of Pork magazine, knew Stan well. “Stan was a scientist’s scientist,” Miller says. “He was committed to accuracy and thoroughness, and he always challenged you to think deeper and broader. When he talked, you listened. He was a once-in-a-lifetime individual. I consider him to be the godfather of the discipline. At a time when modern animal agriculture is being attacked at every turn, the loss of Stan Curtis will cut even deeper.”