Distinguished alumnus Richard Grambow ’55, D.V.M. ’57, dies at 88
Richard Grambow ’55, D.V.M. ’57, an active leader in the veterinary medicine community and a staple of the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM), died Jan. 27 at his home in the Croasdaile Village Retirement Community in Durham, North Carolina. He was 88.
Grambow grew up on a dairy farm in western New York. After completing his bachelor’s in animal science in 1955, followed by his doctorate of veterinary medicine in 1957, Grambow ran his own small animal practice, Fairmount Animal Hospital, in Syracuse for over 25 years.
“Dick had a wonderful warmth and ability to make everyone feel welcome and appreciated,” said Lorin D. Warnick, D.V.M., Ph.D. ’94, the Austin O. Hooey Dean of Veterinary Medicine. “We will miss the benefit of his wisdom and advice, but I know his efforts over many years will have an enduring positive impact on our college and university.”
Grambow gave back to his alma mater in innumerable ways, remaining active in a number of advisory councils, boards and faculty searches. He served as chair of the CVM Advisory Council from 1990-2003 and was a member of the Alumni Association Executive Board. He also served on the Continuing Education Committee and the Development Committee, among others. For over four decades, Grambow acted as Reunion chair for his veterinary class, demonstrating his commitment to the college and his fellow alumni. Moreover, he held three terms on the Cornell University Council before his appointment as a life member in 2003.
Grambow received numerous prestigious awards, including the Daniel Elmer Salmon Award for Distinguished Alumni Service in 1994, the highest honor granted to CVM alumni. In 2005, Cornell recognized Grambow with the Frank H.T. Rhodes Exemplary Alumni Service Award, in honor of his outstanding long-term service as a Cornell volunteer among the university’s various alumni organizations.
Recalled Warnick, “Dick was a valued contributor to the College of Veterinary Medicine and Cornell University through his volunteer leadership and his dedication to his alma mater. He always offered encouragement, listened carefully to understand our programs and offered sage advice. His influence on the veterinary profession also extended far beyond the college through participation in veterinary organizations and continuing education.”
Always keen to support his colleagues and give back to the next generation of veterinary professionals, Grambow would go on to establish the Class of 1957 Veterinary College Memorial Scholarship, which honors deceased classmates and family members, as well as the Grambow Family Scholarship, assisting students showing leadership potential since 1993.
Grambow was also well-known for his active participation in organized veterinary medicine. The AVMA House of Delegates elected him to the Council on Veterinary Services, and he served as president of both the North American Veterinary Conference and the New York State Veterinary Medical Society. Moreover, during his time at Fairmount Animal Hospital, he was named New York State Veterinarian of the Year.
Both Grambow and his wife of over 65 years, Barbara Allen Grambow ’56, were avid travelers and enjoyed outdoor sports and activities with their family in upstate New York. He particularly enjoyed working in the yard and had a penchant for roses. After retirement, Grambow tended the rose bushes at the Croasdaile Village Retirement Community in Durham, North Carolina, where he lived.
He is survived by his wife Barbara Allen Grambow ’56; his daughters and their spouses Deborah Grambow Kotecki ’79 and John Kotcki ’79; Bonnie Grambow Campbell ’84, D.V.M. ’88, Ph.D. ’99, and Scott Campbell; Nancy Grambow Brown ’85, Ph.D. ’94, and Tim Brown ’84, M.B.A. ’92; multiple grandchildren and great grandchildren; his brother Walter Grambow; two nieces, a nephew and several cousins.
A private service was held at Croasdaile Village Jan. 30. This spring, Grambow will be buried at East Lawn Cemetery in Ithaca, which overlooks Cornell.
In lieu of flowers, his family is requesting contributions to the Grambow Family Scholarship, which can be made either online or by mailing a check to Cornell University, Box 37332 Boone, IA 50037-0334, with “Grambow Family Scholarship” noted.
Written by Melanie Greaver Cordova