Russ Stickle, passed away on March 29, 2017 in Williamston, MI. Russ was a Midwesterner from birth, spending his childhood in Gary Indiana. He received his DVM from Purdue University in 1971 and spent a year at Michigan State University as an instructor in large animal clinical medicine and surgery. After spending a year in private practice, Russ returned to Purdue from 1973 to 1981. During that time, he was a surgery resident and also expressed interest in becoming a radiologist. He was advised there might be little future demand for veterinarians with advanced radiology training, but he trusted his instincts and moved ahead. Russ became an ACVR diplomate in 1982. Michigan State University came calling again, this time in a dual recruitment effort for both Russ, and his wife Julia, a clinical pathologist. Both joined the MSU College of Veterinary Medicine faculty in the summer of 1981. Dr. Stickle continued as the head of diagnostic imaging until his retirement in 2002.
In addition to being a gifted radiologist, Russ was an extremely talented clinician in a broad sense. Because of his surgical expertise, he was always able to look past just the images and see the patients. When surgery and medicine faculty asked Russ: “What do you think?”, we weren’t just referring to the images. Despite his immense professional talent, Russ was extremely humble and was not entirely comfortable with accolades or praise. For him, there was always a bit more to do for someone else.
Russ retired from Michigan State University as a faculty member in 2002, but like so many, never slowed down. He remained active as a diagnostic consultant and devoted even more time to his civic life. He purchased a team of Percheron horses and loved to take folks for wagon rides. Each year, he and his team delivered Santa and Mrs. Claus to children eagerly waiting in the Williamston City Center. Russ continued to serve the community as a mounted member of the Ingham County Sherriff’s Posse providing security at local civic events. In his spare time, Russ volunteered with Kiwanis, and started a chapter of Habitat for Humanity. For his many contributions Russ was selected Williamston Citizen of the Year in 2007. Because of his humility, he had to be tricked to attend the banquet. His interest in history and trains was reflected in work with the Michigan History Museum and model trains to full sized steam locomotive restoration.
It seemed he did a bit more than one life could afford, but that was Russ. He was a gentleman, and a gentle man. He loved people and helping them whenever possible.
Author: Dr. William Blevins