Dr. Russell H. Anthony decided to become a veterinarian as a result of his admiration for the family farm veterinarian, Dr. Clarence Nye, who practiced in Buda, IL. According to Dr. Anthony, Dr. Nye’s hero status increased each time he prevented the pet Jersey cow from succumbing to milk fever!
After graduation from high school in 1942, Dr. Anthony enlisted in the Army Air Corps and served 41 months as an engineer-gunner on a B-26 bomber. He flew 31 combat missions over France, Germany and northern Italy. He credits his military service time for putting him in good stead toward accomplishing his goal of become a veterinarian with the GI Bill of Rights and the Illinois Veterans’ Bonus. Because of his long tenure of military service, he received much of the monetary assistance necessary to complete 4 years of pre-veterinary study in Animal Science at the University of Illinois, Urbana, and 4 years of professional study at Iowa State University, Ames. After graduation from Iowa State in 1953, he established a small animal practice in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in 1954.
Dr. Anthony sold his small animal practice but went on to become the administrative head of the Department of Animal Control and City Veterinarian for the City of Cedar Rapids. In 1986, he was elected Imperial Potentate of the International Shrine, the first veterinarian to serve in the highest office of the 118-year old shrine. He also served as president of the Iowa VMA and as Secretary-Treasurer of the AVMA Political Action Committee.
Dr. Anthony remembers “the decision I made back during the Great Depression to become a veterinarian was the best one I ever made.”
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