The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

March 16, 2014

More than a doctor

The Daily Item

— Being a large animal veterinarian is a tough and grueling job, many times being called out in the middle of the night to care for an animal.

While farming in Mazeppa we had the Sunbury Veterinarian Hospital and that’s how I got to call Don Kamsler a friend. His recent passing brought back lots of memories. There was the time we were operating on a cow for a twisted stomach and she woke just as we were getting done.  

She kicked me against the wall and left me gasping for my breath. Don, still sewing her up quickly, asked, “are you OK?” We both kind of smiled and finished the operation.

There was another time I was throwing hay bales down to the feeding area. When I returned to the hay hole I discovered the bales back up on the second floor. After putting all four down to the feeding area it had me muttering to myself and wondering if I was going crazy. It was then I heard Don snickering and he said, “Think you were cracking up?”

As a veterinarian he was blunt and to the point and wouldn’t sugar coat any diagnosis and that made me really admire him.

He usually had a new joke to tell and always enjoyed his dry and very sly sense of humor.

Active in the community with civic groups, he was one of the folks that helped to make sure the flags were always waving on the bridges.

He helped with public rabies clinics along with being a devoted husband and father!

Tracy and I got married 27 years ago, on a Monday night in order to align it with my in-laws 40th anniversary. The three principal vets at the practice and their wives were in attendance including Don and his lovely wife Belle.  

Seeing them all in attendance that night still means a lot to me.

Guess you can see that to farmers many times our vets are more than just someone that takes care of our animals. Don truly will be missed by his friends and the community he served.

Doug Walter,