David Allen Hager was born in McKeesport, Pennsylvania on August 22, 1954, but was primarily raised in West Lafayette, Indiana where his father was a football coach at Purdue University. He died on September 7, 2019 in Cardiff, California where he lived with his wife Janet.
David fought pancreatic adenocarcinoma for over 6 years, first with chemotherapy and radiation therapy then major surgery involving reconstruction of arteries followed by years of many chemotherapy regimens. David and Janet would often schedule trips to their beloved cabin in the mountains of Colorado around the treatments. During the years of treatments, David kept a positive attitude and shined with an inner light of gratitude for the good things in life. At the top of that list was his wife, Janet. She is the daughter of Dr. Jack Stockton, Dean of the Purdue School of Veterinary Medicine between 1971 and 1985.
David had a passion for medicine, which led him to receive his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Purdue University in 1980. He was an Intern in Small Animal Medicine and Surgery at Louisiana State University before entering the Radiology Residency program at University of California, Davis, obtaining ACVR Certification in 1984. He was assistant professor at the University of Florida from 1984 to 1988. David then moved back to California to be Staff Radiologist at Helen Woodward Specialty Hospital, in Rancho Santa Fe, CA before starting his own consulting practice in San Diego County. His drive for a deeper understanding of medicine then led him to Medical School at University of California, Davis where he obtained his Doctorate of Medicine in 1994, receiving the School of Medicine Medal for graduating first in his class. He completed an internship at Mercy Hospital in San Diego in 1995, receiving the Pediatric Intern of the Year Award, and then 2 years of Radiology Residency at the University of California, San Diego.
David returned to the practice of Veterinary Radiology, founding the Animal Imaging & Treatment Center in Vista, California and Las Vegas, NV where he offered ultrasound, nuclear medicine, CT, MRI, and special procedures as well as radioiodine treatment from 1998 to 2001. He then joined the Veterinary Specialty Hospital in Rancho Santa Fe, CA between 2001 and 2004 before starting Eagle Eye Radiologists, a veterinary teleradiology service. Throughout his professional career, David’s primary focus was on the patient and he showed compassion for every patient he served.
There was never any doubt that David’s first passion in life was his wife, Janet. They were high school sweethearts and were married during his time at the Purdue Veterinary School. David also had a passion for swimming, both in the pool with his Masters swim friends and in open water where he competed in the TransTahoe swim relay several times as well as other events in various mountain lakes, the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Having spent his career as an imaging guy, he loved photography as a hobby. David also loved to hike, particularly in the mountains. He summited Mt. Rainier and many of the 14 000 foot peaks in Colorado, but there was almost nothing he would rather do than to go for a hike with his beloved Janet or his brother, Carl. David was preceded in death by his father, Allen, and his brother, Bradford. He is survived by his wife, Janet, his mother, Jean, his brothers, Nelson and Carl, and his sisters, Sue and Mary. Donations may be made to one of David’s two favorite charities: The Rescue House, online at rescuehouse.org or the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, online at pancan.org.
David will be missed by all who knew him privately and professionally. We will always remember his keen diagnostic skills and the thoughtful, considerate way he treated everyone he met. Always be humble and kind.
Authors: Larry Kerr, Jim Hoskinson