Dr. James (Jim) Russell Saunders, Jr., age 92, retired veterinarian, died December 11, 2010. Jim was born in San Marcos, TX on February 27, 1918 to James R. and Minnie Maud Donahoe Saunders. He was preceded in death by his parents; sister Dorothy Claudine Eisenhauer and brother, John Thomas Saunders and former wives, Betty Doran Saunders and Dorothy Schram Saunders.
Jim is survived by is wife of 21 years, Velma Rehmet Saunders; seven children, Joellen Howle of Arlington, TX; James Russell Saunders III and wife Carol of Winter Park, FL; Terry S. Key and husband, Terry W. Key of Conroe, TX; Thomas G. Saunders and wife, Virginia (Ginger) of Giddings, TX; Patrick D. Saunders and wife, Donna of Spring, TX; Jeffery D. Saunders and wife, Kathy of Cibolo, TX and Robert D. Saunders of Webb, County TX; seventeen grandchildren, ten great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.
Jim spent many of his early years in Wimberly and where his family had a ranch and where he grew to love the animals and the outdoors.
He graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School in 1935; attended John Tarleton College and Texas A&M Ciollege where he received a degree in veterinary medicine in 1941. From 1941-1943, Jim was an animal clinic instructor at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO. He opened a private practice in Brownfield, TX for a short period prior to volunteering for military service. From 1943-1946 he served in the U.S. Navy Hospital Corps in San Diego CA. Upon his discharge from the Navy, Jim received a commission in the U.S. Army Reserve Veterinary Corps. From 1947-1950 he was in private practice in Taylor, TX and San Saba, TX. He then accepted a position as Professor of Surgery at the University of Georgia's Veterinary College.
Jim returned to San Antonio and was in private practice from 1953- 1991 at which time he retired after 50 years of a rewarding career.
Upon retirement, he continued enjoying the activities of a small ranch in south Texas and the outdoor life that he had lived most of his lifetime.
Among Dr. Saunders professional associates, he was known as a leader. He served as American Veterinary Association (AVMA) delegate from Texas; was elected to the AVMA Judicial Council for two five year terms. Additionally, he was elected to the Council of Biological and Therapeutic Agents; was appointed to the Advisory Committee of the Department of HEW for special project grants for Colleges of Veterinary Medicine.
Dr. Saunders was the past President of Bexar County Veterinary Medical Association and past Vice President of Texas Veterinary Medical Association. Jim served as speaker on professional subjects on frequent occasions.
Jim was a long time member of the Central Christian Church of San Antonio, having joined the Church on Palm Sunday 1931. The family wishes to express their gratitude for the loving care he received from Mary Jane Villegas and Lauren A Trevino.
Services were held Wednesday, December 15, 2010 at Mission Park Funeral Chapels North. Interment followed in Mission Burial Park North.
The family requests memorial contributions be made to Central Christian Church, 720 N. Main, San Antonio, TX; the Humane Society of Bexar County; Animal Defense League or the charity of choice.