In Memory: Dr. Max Rodibaugh (PU DVM ’77)
The veterinary medical profession lost a renowned swine practitioner with the passing of Dr. Max T. Rodibaugh, of Frankfort, Indiana, who died at his home Thursday, May 19. He was 69.
A native of Rensselaer, Indiana, Dr. Rodibaugh grew up on a pig farm where he developed his passion for swine veterinary medicine and learned the value of hard work. After his graduation from Rensselaer High School in 1970, Dr. Rodibaugh enrolled at Purdue University where he earned his bachelor’s degree in agriculture in 1974 and his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree in 1977. In each case, he graduated at the top of his class. He also was a member of Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity, served on the Livestock Judging team, and completed a term as the Indiana FFA State President.
With his new DVM degree in hand, Dr. Rodibaugh began one of the nation’s first swine-only veterinary practices in 1980, which he operated out of a former fast-food restaurant in Frankfort. His wife, Carol, who he married just after graduating from the College of Veterinary Medicine, helped him greatly, even working as his first office assistant as he got the new practice up and running. Over time, the practice grew to serve clients across the country and internationally. Known today as AMVC Swine Health Services, the practice now is located in newly renovated office space in an old Frankfort bowling alley.
Dr. Rodibaugh’s professionalism, veterinary ethics, and commitment to prioritizing the best interests of his clients, fostered his reputation as an expert in the field of swine medicine and trusted advisor to peers and pork producers everywhere. A sought-after speaker, mentor, and leader in numerous industry organizations, Dr. Rodibaugh one time even received a surprise phone call from former IU basketball coach, Bobby Knight, who was seeking counsel for a pork producer friend of his. A deeply loyal Boilermaker, Dr. Rodibaugh loved to retell the story, which became one of his favorite anecdotes.
Dr. Rodibaugh’s dedication to his profession led to him receiving numerous awards, including Distinguished Alumnus Awards from the Purdue colleges of Veterinary Medicine and Agriculture. His awards and honors culminated most recently with the American Association of Swine Veterinarians (AASV) Heritage Award, which is a peer-nominated recognition of lifelong outstanding achievements in swine medicine. Dr. Rodibaugh became only the sixth recipient of the award in the history of the AASV.
Dr. Rodibaugh provided a lifetime of service to the AASV, serving on multiple committees, on the board of directors, and as the association’s president in 1995. In 2001, he was recognized as the AASV Swine Practitioner of the Year. He also presented the Howard Dunne Memorial Lecture at the 2001 AASV Annual Meeting. His personal and inspirational story, “Life Upside Down: Is it Possible to be Prepared for a Personal Crisis?” received the top prize during the practice tip session at the 2021 AASV Annual Meeting.
Dr. Rodibaugh is remembered as one who admired his parents and benefitted from their loving example and instruction in how to treat others well and serve his community. Growing up, he was known as a fast long-distance runner, rising leader in his 4-H and FFA activities, and a bright thinker who had an even brighter personality.
Dr. Rodibaugh was generous in giving back to his community, serving on Clinton County’s United Way Board of Directors and as Board President. A decades-long member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Frankfort, he faithfully participated on several committees and the church’s leadership council. Aside from his professional and community service, Dr. Rodibaugh was known as a fun-loving, positive, smiling, and ever-present force in the lives of his three children and seven grandchildren, teaching them to never stop learning and live each day to the fullest.
A memorial service was held this morning (Friday, May 27) at the Goodwin Funeral Home in Frankfort. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Max and Carol Rodibaugh Family Veterinary Scholarship, 403 W Wood St, West Lafayette, IN 47907, or click here to give online; the United Way of Clinton County, PO Box 871 Frankfort, IN 46041; or St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 2029 State Rd 39, Frankfort, IN 46041. Messages for the family may be shared at goodwinfuneralhome.com, where a complete obituary also may be viewed.
Writer(s): Kevin Doerr | firstname.lastname@example.org