Born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, Jeff completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Maryland, College Park at the young age of 16. Jeff went on to study veterinary medicine and graduated magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, Philadelphia. Upon graduation, Jeff was commissioned as a Captain in the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps. Jeff served in the 20th Preventative Medicine Unit in Vietnam from 1970-71 and was awarded a Bronze Star, the fourth highest honor a service member can receive. After receiving an Honorable Discharge from the Army, Jeff completed a Small Animal Internship, Residency in Radiology, and Postdoctoral PhD Program at the University of California Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Wortman received his Specialty Certification as a Diplomate in the American College of Veterinary Radiology in 1977 and served over the years on multiple committees, Council and President in 1991.
Moving from sunny California to snowy Michigan was the next career step for Jeff. In 1977, he accepted a faculty position in Radiology at Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Lansing. After many wintery car trips back to PA for the Christmas holidays, Dr. Wortman returned to his alma mater and accepted a faculty position in Radiology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine and secondary appointment in the medical school’s Department of Radiology.
Serving on the University of Pennsylvania faculty for more than 30 years, Jeff taught radiology to thousands of veterinary students in lecture hall and clinical rotations. Dr. Wortman also served with distinction as Associate Dean for Academic and Curricular Affairs for 19 years during the administration of 3 Veterinary Deans. A sampling of his noteworthy achievements include: Veterinary Student Government Award for Excellence in Teaching; Veterinary Medical Student Government Commendation Award; Alumni Award of Merit. He also traveled extensively to the Caribbean, interviewing and advising prospective students who were interested in applying to Penn’s veterinary school.
Jeff is survived by his wife of 52 years, two daughters, one son, and three grandchildren. He was most relaxed when surrounded by family and enjoyed a good joke, a beer with his toes in the sand, the challenge of a thousand-piece jigsaw puzzle, or just tuning in to Jeopardy each night. Dr. Wortman will be remembered by all for his kind heart, quick wit, gentle humor, and the love and generosity he shared with all who crossed his path.
In lieu of flowers, donations are encouraged to support the Jeffrey A. Wortman, VMD’69, PhD Endowed Opportunity Scholarship. Checks can be made out to the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania, memo line: Wortman Endowed Scholarship, and mail: Office of Institutional Advancement, 3800 Spruce Street, Suite 151E, Philadelphia, PA 19104. If you would like to make a gift by credit card, please call (215) 898-4235.