In Memory: Dr. Roger Lee Symensma (PU DVM ’74)

Friday, July 22, 2022

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Dr Symensma

The life of a Purdue Veterinary Medicine alumnus, Dr. Roger Lee Symensma (PU DVM ’74), was remembered during a Celebration of Life service July 14 in New Paris, Indiana, where he was raised.  Dr. Symensma grew up on a dairy farm and after graduating from New Paris High School in 1961, enlisted in the U.S. Navy.  Serving during the Vietnam War, he voyaged around the world to locations including Hong Kong, New Zealand and Antarctica. 

Following his service in the Navy, Dr. Symensma pursued his dream of becoming a veterinarian, earning his Purdue DVM degree in 1974.  Upon graduation, he began a career in large animal veterinary practice in Illinois, Wisconsin and with the USDA in Iowa and Indiana.

Regarded as a respected veterinarian and Sunday school teacher, Dr. Symensma is remembered as a loving father and husband with a deep faith in God, a kind smile and a gentle soul, who always provided for his family, told great stories and showed tremendous compassion to people and animals.  He most recently had relocated to Valencia, California, where he died December 28, 2021, at the age of 78. 

The Celebration of Life held at New Paris Church of the Brethren Thursday, July 14, was followed by internment with Military Honors at Whitehead Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Wawasee Area Conservancy Foundation, to support preservation of the watershed for future generations, at PO Box 548, Syracuse, IN 46567, or wacf.com/support/.  The Yoder-Culp Funeral Home in Goshen, Indiana, assisted with local arrangements.  Click here to view the complete obituary.


Writer(s): Kevin Doerr | pvmnews@purdue.edu

Category: Alumni

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