Thomas “Irish” Satalowich, DVM, MS, former head of Missouri Veterinary Public Health, former adjunct professor at the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine, and a graduate of the epidemiology and public health program at Mizzou, passed away in Gilbert, Arizona, on Feb. 9, 2022, at 86.
Satalowich, was born May 10, 1935. He was raised on his family’s farm in Thorp, Wisconsin. He met his wife, Roberta, while attending veterinary school at Kansas State University. They were married in 1960. He went on to earn his DVM degree from the Kansas State College of Veterinary Medicine in 1961. Following graduation, he was drafted into the United States Air Force, which took him to Libya and Germany. He then decided to pursue studies in epidemiology and public health at Mizzou. After earning a master’s degree, he went on to complete a residency in global epidemiology at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in Washington D.C. and attained a board certification by the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine.
Satalowich’s military career took him to a staff position at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, where he worked with federal intelligence agencies, evaluating zoonotic diseases and potential biological agents that could threaten the United States. Satalowich held multiple positions with the Air Force, taking him to five different continents. Along the way, he and Roberta had two sons, Thomas and Todd, who traveled with them around the world.
Following his 20-year military career, Satalowich’s family returned to Columbia. He became the state public health veterinarian and epidemiologist, as well as a member of the Missouri Veterinary Medical Association and the American Veterinary Medical Association. He served the AVMA in multiple positions and served as president of the National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians and the Missouri Livestock and Poultry Health Council.
Satalowich received many honors in his career, including Honorary Diplomat of the American Veterinary Epidemiology Society, the Missouri Animal Control Association Veterinarian of the Year for 2002, the Helwig-Jennings Award for significant and last contributions to the totality of veterinary preventative medicine, the Governor’s Proclamation/Commendation for service to the State of Missouri, and a special recognition from the American Association of Food Hygiene Veterinarians.
Satalowich retired from the state in 1998. From 1998 to 2001, he served the CVM as an adjunct professor, providing lectures and conducting clinical research trials on human rabies vaccine.
He was preceded in death by his wife.