Dr. Gerald John Thouvenelle, 67, long-time and well-respected veterinarian across central Kansas, and resident of Russell died in a fatal truck accident on Sunday, April 29, 2018, at the Russell Regional Hospital Emergency Room. He was born on February 14, 1951, in Fort Benning, GA, the son of Gerald Jack and Margaret Rose “Peggy” (Bibza) Thouvenelle. He grew up in a military family, traveling all over the world, graduating from Iolani High School in Honolulu, HI. While in high school he was an avid soccer player and surfer. After High School, he attended Carson-Newman University in Jefferson City, TN, and continued his participation in soccer. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from Carson Newman College in 1973. While attending undergraduate school as a student, he was employed as a Research Associate with the American Cancer Society.
He then attended Kansas State University in Manhattan, earning a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science and Industry in 1977, and in 1979, matriculated with a doctoral degree in Veterinary Medicine. In 1984, John established Russell Veterinary Service and Reproduction Lab, LLC, which since that time had been a leading innovator and provider of reproductive health and care for large and small animals, including bovine, horses, sheep and exotic animals. He was one of the few local veterinarians who offered acupuncture, and for a number of years provided a weekend acupuncture clinic for clients in the Kansas City area. For 14 years he served as the regulatory veterinarian for the Russell Livestock Commission. He was always supportive of young students interested in working with animals, so he mentored elementary age students through their 4-H club experiences, and often encouraged young volunteers “working” at the clinic. Additionally his enthusiasm for working with animals prompted his appointment as an adjunct faculty member of Fort Hays University.
John held veterinary licenses in Kansas and Colorado. He continued his professional development through active memberships in the following: American College of Theriogenology since 2007, American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP), American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), Kansas Veterinary Medicine Association, since 1979 and Academy of Veterinary Consultants.
Surviving family include his mother, Peggy recently of Charleston, SC, two sisters Suzanne Thouvenelle of Arlington, VA and Adrienne Ashby of Charleston, SC, a niece and a nephew also of Charleston.
John’s life and work touched many.
Memorials are suggested to Canine Assistance Rehabilitation Education & Services, Inc. (CARES, Inc.) a group providing training for canine assistance to the elderly and those with disabilities. John was an active participant and avid promoter of their training and certifying animals suitable for this type of work. Memorials may be sent in care of the mortuary.
A Celebration of John’s Life will be held at 11:00 AM, Thursday, May 10, 2018 at the St. Mary, Queen of Angels Catholic Church of Russell. A private burial will take place at a later date.
Visitation will be held from 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM, Wednesday, May 9, 2018, at Pohlman-Varner-Peeler Mortuary, with the family present to greet friends from 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM. Pohlman-Varner-Peeler Mortuary of Russell, Kansas is in charge of these arrangements.