In Memory: Drs. Raymond Smith (PU DVM ’63); Arthur Bickford (PU MS ’64, PhD ’66), and Kathleen Murray (PU DVM ’82)

Friday, September 15, 2023

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The Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine is saddened by the recent passing of several alumni.

Dr. Raymond Smith

Dr. Raymond (Ray) Smith (PU DVM ’63), of Sheridan, Wyoming, passed away August 10. He was 93. 

Dr. Smith, or Ray as his friends and clients called him, served in the U.S. Air force during the time of the Korean War and attained the rank of staff sergeant before being discharged and enrolling as an undergraduate student at Purdue University. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in animal husbandry and then started veterinary school as a member of the College of Veterinary Medicine’s first class. After graduating in 1963, he and his family moved to Sheridan, Wyoming, where he entered private practice. Dr. Smith never completely retired, continuing his private practice work until his passing. 

A memorial service with military honors was held August 16 at the Ignite Sheridan Wesleyan Church.  Online condolences may be shared on the Sheridan Funeral Home website. Click here to view a complete obituary.

Dr. Arthur Bickford

Dr. Arthur (Art) Bickford (PU MS ’64, PhD ’66) of Turlock, California passed away July 29. He was 86.

Born and raised in northern Vermont, Dr. Bickford grew up on the family dairy farm. After high school graduation, he attended the University of Vermont and then the University of Pennsylvania where he earned his VMD (DVM equivalent degree) in 1960. He then pursued graduate study in veterinary pathology at the University of Vermont and Colorado State University before coming to Purdue University where he earned his Master of Science and PhD degrees in 1964 and 1966 respectively. He achieved diplomate status in the American College of Veterinary Pathologists in 1965 and is a founding diplomate of the American College of Poultry Veterinarians.

Dr. Bickford served in several positions at Purdue, beginning with instructor and assistant professor with the Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory from 1962-1966 and then as associate professor of veterinary pathology from 1968-1973. He then went to the University of California, Davis where he served as extension veterinarian and director of veterinary extension before accepting an appointment at the University of Missouri, Columbia as professor and chairman of veterinary pathology. In 1984, he returned to UC Davis, accepting the position of professor of clinical diagnostic avian pathology in the California Animal Health and Food Safety (CAHFS) Laboratory System. Prior to retirement in 2001 he served as chief of the Turlock Laboratory, interim chief of the Fresno Laboratory, and associate director of the Laboratory System.

Throughout his career Dr. Bickford focused his research efforts on characterization of new and unusual avian diseases such as transient paralysis, adenoviral infections and clostridial infections, with particular attention to diagnostic and pathogenetic considerations. Dr. Bickford is remembered for always being thoughtful of those who were coming up in the field, and welcomed opportunities to mentor those building their own careers. Yet, he also remained dedicated to working on his own contributions, joining editorial boards for avian and poultry journals, and staying active in professional organizations, including the American Veterinary Medical Association (delegate from the American Association of Avian Pathologists and Scientific Program Committee member), the Western Poultry Disease Conference (President 1979), the American Association of Avian Pathologists (President 1983), the Western Veterinary Conference (President 2000), and the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians (Secretary/Treasurer 1997-2001). 

Dr. Bickford was honored with multiple awards, including the AAAP’s C.A. Bottorff Award and the E.P. Pope Award from the AAVLD. At UC Davis, the California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory Turlock Branch was dedicated and named the Arthur A. Bickford-Bruce R. Charlton Turlock Branch Laboratory.

In addition to his accomplishments in veterinary medicine, Dr. Bickford also took time to nurture a life outside his work. He served his community through organizations like the Optimists, Kiwanis, and Rotary, and was known for his love for animals, including family pets, and his dedication as a loving husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather.

A memorial service was held at Allen Mortuary August 19. Donations in Dr. Bickford’s memory may be made to the Arthur A. Bickford Endowed Avian Residency Program Fund. Click here to view a complete obituary.

Dr. Kathleen Murray

Dr. Kathleen Murray (PU DVM ’82) of Onset, Massachusetts, passed away July 20 at Cape Cod Hospital after a brief illness. She was 68.

Dr. Murray demonstrated an affection for animals of all types at an early age, beginning with a donkey followed by many other ponies, horses, dogs, and other animals. She was active in 4-H and an accomplished equestrian, riding in many local competitions. She also worked at Brockton Animal Hospital through high school and during summers while in college.

Dr. Murray earned her Bachelor of Science degree in 1977 at the University of Rochester, where she graduated summa cum laude before coming to Purdue University to enroll in the College of Veterinary Medicine. After earning her DVM degree in 1982, she went on to do post-doctoral work at Penn State Milton Hershey Medical Center and Tulane University and became board certified by the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine in 1986. 

After working for Merck Research Laboratories, Dr. Murray joined Charles River Laboratories in Wilmington, Massachusetts in 1988 as a laboratory animal veterinarian and scientific director. She advanced quickly with positions of increasing responsibility, becoming a recognized leader in research and pharmaceutical drug discovery and development.

Cherished as a friend, colleague, and mentor to many at Charles River, Dr. Murray spent the last 12 years as executive director of Global Preclinical Laboratory Animal Medicine, and continued to provide support to Charles River even beyond her retirement in 2022.

Services and burial were privately held. Donations in Dr. Murray’s memory may be made to the Merrimack River Feline Rescue Society. Click here to view a complete obituary.

Writer(s): Purdue Veterinary Medicine News |

Category: Alumni, Our People

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