On December 7, 2018, the American College of Veterinary Radiology lost an icon. In a college filled with icons, Ron Burk really stood out. His road to success started in Indiana, where he received his undergraduate degree from DePauw University and his veterinary degree from Purdue University. His residency in radiology was served at the University ofMissouri. He also had an MBA from the New York Institute of Technology. Ron was boarded in both diagnostic radiology and radiation oncology. He was the assistant chief of staff and chief of radiology and radiation oncology at the Animal Medical Center of New York City for 13 years. He was the chief of staff and chief radiologist at the Animal Medical Center of Cooper City, Florida for 20 years. In addition, he was president of the American College ofVeterinary Radiology in 2006 and later served as the American College of Veterinary Radiology’s chief financial officer.
Ron was also a member of the Rotary Club of Naples. He was the author and/or co-author of several radiology textbooks as well as many refereed scientific articles. Remarkably, he was reading images for a teleradiology group up until the week before he passed away. Those are the cold hard facts of Ron’s academic career and his service to the veterinary profession.
However, Ron Burk the man, was even more accomplished. I always felt that Ron was the smartest man in the room. That’s saying a lot when you think of the company he kept. Ron researched everything he did in his life and based his actions on the results of those inquiries. He learned to cook and loved the culinary arts. There was nothing about wine that Ron did not know.
Ron’s wife, Carolyn asked me to make a brief statement at Ron’s memorial service held in January. I began by saying that I could not make brief comments about Ron’s contributions to our college or veterinary medicine in general. If I was limited to brief comments, I could only talk about his achievements in sports! I played a lot of golf with Ron. Ron’s game was consistent. He consistently needed to improve. After every shot he would say, “I know what I did wrong.” And I would ask, “If you knew what you did wrong, why did you do it again?” His response was, “Well, I did something different wrong this time!” Regardless of the results, no one enjoyed playing golf more than Ron and he was one of the people that I enjoyed playing with the most in my life.
My comments began by mentioning the American College of Veterinary Radiology’s loss. Those that knew and loved Ron suffered a great loss that day as well. With Ron’s passing, life lessons can be learned. Call a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while. Make plans to meet and give them a hug. Cherish those friendships and live life to the fullest. Our dear friend Ron Burk is gone but will never be forgotten.
David S. Herring