Former UC Davis Vet School Dean Dies At 91

Former UC Davis Vet school dean passes away at 91.

Dr. Jasper in an updated photo.

Photo courtesy of UC Davis

Donald Jasper, DVM, Ph.D., a former dean of the University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine, died July 25 at the University Retirement Community in Davis. He was 91.

Dr. Jasper served as dean for eight years beginning in 1954. He then returned to a teaching and research position in 1962.

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 5, at the University Retirement Community auditorium, 1515 Shasta Drive.

“Don was one of our founding faculty members and served as dean during the time when the school was rapidly developing,” said Bennie Osburn, DVM, the current dean. “After he stepped back into a faculty role, he became known as an expert in mycoplasma mastitis, a serious disease of dairy cattle, and was one of the leaders as clinical pathology for animals became a specialty.

“Don was always well-liked as a person and as a highly valued member of our faculty.”

During the late 1940s, Jasper was instrumental in developing pathology as a separate discipline at UC Davis, according to the university. Before that, pathology was part of the veterinary science division, with research focused strictly on disease-oriented, rather than discipline-oriented, studies. Jasper’s research focused on milk quality and mastitis. His published studies focused on issues such as mastitis screening and various mechanisms to prevent udder injuries.

He received a number of awards during his professional career such as:

• The Borden Award from the American Veterinary Medical Association in recognition of his research contributions in dairy cattle disease control.
• The American Dairy Science Association Award for his research on mastitis and milk quality.

Jasper was born Dec. 30, 1918, in the farm community of Island City, Ore. Growing up, he worked as a farmhand for his family and neighboring farmers and helped his father establish the cereal company Jasper’s Health Nuggets.

Jasper is survived by his wife, Elizabeth Ann “Betty” Miller; son, Donald Richard Jasper; daughter, Jeannie Jasper Edwards; two sisters; seven grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.

The family suggests that any memorial gifts support the Dr. Donald E. Jasper Scholarship at the School of Veterinary Medicine. Checks can be made payable to UC Regents and sent to the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, One Shields Ave., Davis, CA 95616. Donations are being accepted online as well.

Contributions also can be made to Wycliffe Bible Translators Last Languages Campaign, P.O. Box 628211, Orlando, FL 32862-8211 and to Gideons International, P.O. Box 140800, Nashville, TN 37214.

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