Champaign County and Ohio agriculture is mourning the loss of Dr. Judy Sanders, the wife of noted veterinarian Don “Doc” Sanders. She passed away with Doc at her side on the morning of Oct. 15, 2011.
With her husband, she served as the Champaign County Fair veterinarian for 37 years where she not only treated sick livestock projects and counseled young exhibitors, but also was an avid supporter of 4-H and its ideals.
She was born Oct. 2, 1944 to Elmer and Hazel (Foor) Sauerbrei in Amanda, Ohio. She grew up on the family farm with an avid interest in animals. She graduated valedictorian of her class at Amanda-Clearcreek High School in 1962.
Judy met Don upon entry into veterinary college and married him four years later on March 17, 1968. After graduating from the College of Veterinary Medicine at The Ohio State University in 1968, the young couple started a practice at Urbana after graduation – a very unorthodox decision for the times. They ultimately designed and built a veterinary hospital as a part of their practice, the Urbana Veterinary Clinic. The clinic was recognized for its design and was featured in a national veterinary journal.
The Sanders raised tree children – Michelle, David (Mindy) and Allen (Christy) — while Judy maintained an active veterinary practice initially doing large and small animal but ultimately specializing in small animals. She single handedly administered the practice and the clinic while Don was on the road working with animal owners and clients around the world. Judy’s satisfaction in life was maintaining relationships with her husband, children, grandchildren, the many animal lovers that she came in daily and her constant companion, a Chocolate Lab named Sable.
She is survived by her husband, Don, children and four grand children – Sydney, Carly, Brady and Mallory. No one will ever be able to fathom the sheer number of charity cases of injured or ill and abandoned animals that she nursed back to health and found good homes for them.
A Celebration of Judy’s life will be this Thursday, 3-7 at the Urbana Methodist Church on North Main, Urbana ohio. The Church is two blocks north of the square.