Monday, October 18, 2021

Milliron Monday: Marvin S. Phillips, D.V.M.

Abbott "Pete" Smith D.V.M.
June 16, 1938 - February 22, 2010
Welcome to Milliron Monday where every Monday we celebrate the legacy of Pete Smith, D.V.M., and  Milliron: Abbott “Pete” Smith, D.V.M. The Biography (Monday Creek Publishing 2017), including his wife Jody (1938-2021). 

"The environment and memories of the long
past is a thrill to remember.
Marvin S. Phillips

In the Smith archives is a treasured book Collected Thoughts and Meditations of Marvin S. Phillips (2009). The book was mailed to Jody in 2013 with a note: "Enclosed is a copy of my Dad's thoughts and quotes you had asked for recently at his memorial service. Please accept this copy as a gift from my family... especially Dad. We appreciate your attendance at the service and your friendship you shared throughout his life." Signed, Bruce Phillips.

In 1963, a year out of Colorado A&M Veterinary College, Pete joined Dr. Phillips and Dr. Bratton at the Athens Veterinary Hospital. Jody said that Pete, the new veterinarian, was often on farm calls and did not spend much time at the vet hospital, even though all the veterinarians shared an office. 

Dr. Phillips, originally from Barnesville, Ohio, studied at Ohio State University, graduating in 1944. He served in the Army Medical Corps before moving to Athens. Dr. Phillips passed away on August 28, 2014 at the age of 93. Collected Thoughts and Meditations is a look into his life - notes, ideas, wisdom, prose, and even his own poetry. I enjoyed reading Jody's copy. It has a profound sense of history - his history. He loved his childhood farm, family, and life. 

Jody penciled notes in the book. She marked her favorite passages. Here are a few of her favorites...

Memories when I was 45 -
For years I made country calls to treat animals for farmer's veterinary service in Athens' Ohio. Sometimes students rode with me, a country practitioner, so they could be admitted to the Veterinary State College. 
One morning as we drove through Athens, Ohio my student passenger said, "Did you see that woman thread traffic ahead of us?" I said, "Yes, that is my wife." 
The student was quiet for several miles.
- M.S. Phillips, DVM

Personal experience: Two older highly successful men in insurance and banking - R.V. Oakley and Dwight Rutherford said that, "It was more fun accumulating their fortunes than it was to have it."
Sounds like a proverb.
- M.S.P.

Memories -
in 1947 I was called to see a cow in labor on a farm near New Marshfield, Ohio. It was dark and the cow was dying and straining to calve. The farmer wanted to save the calf so I did a caesarian section on her and delivered a live calf. Since rabies was epidemic that year I removed the cow's head in a five-gallon bucket to send to the Athens, Ohio Health Department.
The cow's head showed Negri bodies in the brain tissue so I took the Pasteur treatment; fourteen daily injections. The new calf lived and so did I.

Have a great week ahead.

Through captivating, powerful, and emotional anecdotes, we celebrate the life of Dr. Abbott P. Smith. His biography takes the reader from smiles to laughter to empathy and tears. Dr. Smith gave us compelling lessons learned from animals; the role animals play in the human condition, the joy of loving an animal, and the awe of their spirituality. A tender and profound look into the life of a skilled veterinarian.


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