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Posted: 08/09/2010 06:42:28 PM PDT
A memorial celebration will be held Aug. 22 for Dr. James Henry Steere of Petaluma, who died Aug. 3 after a brief illness. He was 85.
Dr. Steere practiced veterinary medicine for more than 50 years, the majority of them in Marin and Sonoma counties. A dedicated advocate for horse welfare, Dr. Steere remained active as an equestrian well into his 80s, having completed the 19-mile Ride & Tie Championship Course, a grueling long-distance relay, with his son Thom in June.
"A lot of us met him through the horse," said Sandy Greenblat of San Rafael. "He became our veterinarian, and through that he became our friend. You could never talk to Jim without learning something, and he had a terrific sense of humor. He is going to be sorely missed."
Born March 5, 1925 in Hollywood, Dr. Steere grew up riding each day on horseback to his two-room school in the hamlet of Rosamond. He graduated from Boulder High School in Colorado and studied for a year at Pomona College in Claremont before serving in the U.S. Army Air Corps as a second lieutenant and radar navigator. During the war, Dr. Steere flew B-29 bombers from the island of Guam.
After the war, Dr. Steere completed his studies at Pomona College and was accepted to both veterinary and medical school. He chose to pursue veterinary medicine, earning his degree at the University of California at Davis in 1953.
"It was an agonizing decision," Dr. Steere said in a 1983 Independent Journal interview. "Horses were my first love and still are..."
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