Sampson, Gary R., DVM age 82, passed away peacefully on September 5th in his adopted home state of Indiana surrounded by his wife and children. Gary was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and graduated from Roosevelt High School and the University of Minnesota, earning his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree in 1960. Gary helped charter the Nu Chapter of Alpha Psi, a professional veterinary fraternity and became the Director of Research Animal Care at the University of Minnesota's School of Medicine. During this time, he also started a companion animal practice by converting his home garage into a clinic. In 1962, Gary moved to Omaha Nebraska and then on to Indianapolis Indiana in 1965 to begin a 30-year management career with Eli Lilly's Lilly Research Laboratories, where he developed veterinary pharmaceutical products for livestock, poultry, and companion animals for ELANCO Animal Health. During his career, he developed new products and authored or co-authored numerous publications. Gary held leadership roles in the field research organization working with veterinary schools across the United States. Gary was a pioneer in the then- emerging field of dog and cat behavior, and established a referral practice focused on this specialty prior to his retirement from Lilly in 1992. His specialty practice provided pet behavioral consulting services to companion animal veterinarians and their clients in the tri-state area for more than 25 years. Gary guided thousands of dog and cat owners in solving their pets' most perplexing behavioral problems, oftentimes saving the furry family member. On occasion, he entertained and educated viewers as a guest on his friend Dick Wolfsie's TV program with humorous cases of strange animal behaviors and simple ways to solve the problems. These lighthearted and informative tales spawned the "Pet Peeves" duo of books Gary co-authored with Wolfsie entitled, "Dog Dilemmas" and "Cat Conundrums". Gary courageously fought cancer diagnoses in 2013 and 2014 and was a six-year cancer survivor. Although he was subsequently unable to pursue his life passion in animal behavior and the hobbies he so enjoyed, he never lost his childlike outlook on life nor his upbeat, warm, infectious personality and servant heart. Gary was adored by all who were fortunate enough to know him. He was the caretaker of all and always put others first. He was a dedicated church member throughout his life, contributing in various official capacities, committee member, Deacon and Elder. He was also involved in numerous other community organizations, most notably as a board member of the Indianapolis Humane Society.Gary's love for his pets was superseded only by his profound love for his family - his wife, children, grandchildren, and great-grandson. He was a big kid at heart who took every opportunity to play with and mentor his children and grandchildren. As "Sampa" to his grandsons and great-grandson, he was both "one of the boys" and "leader of the pack" never missing an opportunity for fun, engagement or thoughtful and encouraging advice. He was the best husband, daddy and Sampa that anyone could ever have; he was loved so very much. Gary is survived by his adoring wife of 62 years Elaine M. (Hoel) Sampson who was his high school sweetheart and the love of his life; his brother Craig P. Sampson (Georgia), his children Kristen (Sampson) Moffitt (Scott Moffitt) and Jeffrey Sampson; his grandchildren Ryan (Ashley), Matthew (Allie) and Stephen Moffitt, great grandson John Ryan Moffitt, and many other loved family members, and his surviving beloved pets Lilly and Sunshine. Gary was preceded in death by his mother and father, Florence (Swanson) Sampson Hafner and Harry R. Sampson and his sister Shirley (Sampson) Carlson as well as his many beloved pets, Bonnie, Duffy, Tammy and Timmy, Heidi, Schultz, Sasha and Sam, Liesle, Lizzie and Eli. Our family would like to express our deep appreciation for the compassionate care given to Gary by so many special people in Burlington during these past six years. Gary's life can best be summarized in the verse from the Book of Matthew 12:35, "a good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things." A memorial service will be held at Second Presbyterian Church in Indianapolis, Indiana on November 2nd at 1:00PM with reception to follow. In lieu of flowers, memorials in Gary's name can be made to the Indianapolis Humane Society (IndyHumane; 7929 N. Michigan Rd, Indianapolis, IN 46268) or Pet Adoption & Welfare Society of Alamance County (PAWS; PO Box 2440, Burlington North Carolina 27215). Condolences: allencares.com
Dr. Gary R. Sampson, DVM
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