Founding college faculty member,
pathology specialist dies

Dr. Carroll Woodard

Dr. Carroll Woodard

Friends and former colleagues mourned the May 2 passing of Dr. Carroll Woodard, who specialized in bone pathology and was one of the founding members of the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine.

“Dr. Woodard was a great, inspiring leader and a mentor,” said Dr. Claus Buergelt, a professor emeritus of pathology at the college. Woodard hired Buergelt in 1978 as an assistant professor of veterinary pathology, bringing him and his wife, Nancy, to Gainesville.

“I am grateful to Carroll for promoting my academic career here at UF and for the friendship he so generously offered to us,” Buergelt said. “We will miss him.”

Buergelt said Woodard had created the college’s pathology program from scratch, with energy and vision.

“He had high ethics and standards and expected veterinary students, graduate students and faculty to live up to the same,” Buergelt said. “But he was also easy going and enjoyed a good laugh.”

Woodard was able to attract well trained and skilled faculty to the college, Buergelt said, adding that Woodard’s teaching and research programs received quick visibility and recognition at veterinary colleges nationwide.

Buergelt described Woodard as a scholar and a gentleman, an outdoor man who loved fishing and duck hunting.

Prior to the opening of the UF veterinary college, Woodard chaired the Division of Comparative Pathology within the UF College of Medicine’s department of pathology and also had worked as a researcher for that college.

Working with the late Dr. Wayne Riser, professor emeritus from the University of Pennsylvania’s veterinary school, Woodard later helped to establish the UF CVM’s center of excellence in bone pathology, which gained national and international acclaim.

He also cofounded the Southeastern Pathology Conference meetings in Tifton, Ga., 40 years ago. The 41st annual meeting of that group took place May 19-20 and was dedicated to Woodard, Buergelt said.

Buergelt said sometimes his friend’s professional and recreational interests coincided.

“Years ago, Carroll and I flew from Gainesville to Monterrey, Calif., to attend an annual pathology meeting. Carroll presented during the airline check-in a column of vertebral bone from the neck of a draft horse, measuring 6 to 7 feet, which he wanted to have analyzed via special radiography at the veterinary school at Davis, and a long hunting rifle to be used for duck hunting in Mexico,” Buergelt recalled.

“Eastern Airlines, now long gone, accepted these items without charge or safety questions. Meanwhile, Carroll had misplaced his luggage. In the end, the luggage was found. Rifle, horse bones, personal belongs and Carroll made it safely to Monterrey.”

Dr. Pam Ginn, an anatomical pathologist who worked with Woodard and is now the college’s associate dean for students and instruction, said her former colleague made a real difference in the specialty training of many veterinarians during his years at UF.

“As one of 40-50 anatomic pathology residents trained in part by Dr. Woodard, I feel I can speak for the group in recognizing Carroll as one of 3 premier bone pathologists in our field in our time,” Ginn said. “Carroll’s respect for fellow human beings and love of bone pathology are two things I will remember most about him.”

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