MU College of Veterinary Medicine Associate Professor Emeritus of Veterinary Pathobiology James Garrett Thorne, DVM, PhD, MPVM, passed away Monday, Nov. 21, 2022, at his home in Columbia, Missouri, at 85. A memorial service will take place at 11 a.m., Dec. 17, 2022, at Broadway Christian Church, 2601 W. Broadway, Columbia.
He was born Feb. 22, 1937, the son of Oscar Alexander Thorne and Mattie Frances Thorne of Purdin, Missouri. He graduated from Linneus High School in Linneus, Missouri, and then attended the University of Missouri where he earned a bachelor of science degree in agriculture in 1960 and doctor of veterinary medicine degree in 1961. He went on to complete a PhD in physiology at the University of Georgia and earn a master of preventive veterinary medicine degree at the University of California–Davis.
Dr. Thorne began his professional career in 1961 at the Green Hills Animal Hospital in Marceline, Missouri. He served two years as director of veterinary services for the U.S. Veterinary Corps of the U.S. Air Force at Bergstrom Air Force Base in Austin, Texas. He became an instructor and research associate at the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine beginning in 1969. In 1974, he returned to the MU College of Veterinary Medicine as an associate professor in the Department of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery. He served as the director of Veterinary Continuing Education and Extension from 1982 to 1988. From 1988 to 2000, he served as an associate professor and clinical epidemiologist teaching epidemiology. He retired in 2000 as associate professor emeritus.
He was also well-known for his role as an advisor and sponsor of the CVM’s Mule Club. He spent countless hours traveling the state with the club, driving the mule team, and serving as a goodwill ambassador for the college. Through his teaching, research and mentorship, he touched the lives of thousands of veterinary students. While at MU, he collaborated with another colleague to establish a leadership and personal growth experience for new students. He was a recipient of the Merck AgVet award for Creativity.
He served on the Development Committee for the National Veterinary Board Examination, was an officer for the Association for Veterinary Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, a diplomate and past president of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners, and he served on numerous committees for the American Veterinary Medical Association. In 1987, he developed a microcomputer spreadsheet program to aid producers in determining the economies of mass therapy in beef feeder calf receiving programs. In 2001, he served in the United Kingdom to assist in the epidemiology of the foot and mouth disease outbreak.
In 2012, he received the CVM’s Alumnus of the Year Award. The Missouri Veterinary Medical Association named him the Veterinarian of the Year in 2013, and he was inducted into the MVMA Foundation’s Veterinary Honor Roll in 2014. The Mizzou Alumni Association recognized him in 2014 with a Faculty-Alumni Award.
He was an active member of Broadway Christian Church, where he was an elder and served as chair of the property and organ committees. He was involved with the Missouri River Valley Steam Engine Association, was an amateur radio operator, and volunteered in numerous capacities serving youth and adults in the Boy Scouts of America, including as a Scout leader, Wood Badge leadership course director, and National Jamboree health officer. He received the Boonslick District Award of Merit in 1983 and the Silver Beaver Award in 1993 from the Great Rivers Council.
He is survived by his wife of 64 years, MaryJane, sons David (Mary), Jim (Pam), and John (Kelly), grandchildren Garrett, Taylor, Daniel, Anna and Ralph, great-grandchildren Jillian, Parker and Owen, and sister, Ethelyn Dodson, as well as many nieces and nephews. His parents preceded him in death.
Memorials are suggested to the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine Mule Team and Public Relations Endowment Fund. Memorials may be sent to the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine with Dr. James Thorne memorial noted, to the Office of Advancement, W210 Veterinary Medicine Building, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO, 65211 or online at www.giving.Missouri.edu
Arrangements are under the direction of Parker-Millard Funeral Service & Crematory. Condolences may be left online for the family at www.parkermillard.com.