Dr. Russell H. Anthony, 93, passed away on January 4th, 2017, at Oldorf Hospice of Mercy.
Dr. Anthony was born on a farm west of Providence, IL in November of 1923 to Harold and Cora (Miller) Anthony. After high school, Russell joined the Army Air Corp where he served as a top turret gunner on a B-26 Median Bomber. He served for 41 months and 31 combat missions, and attained the rank of Sergeant. He was awarded: The Good Conduct Ribbon, the Distinguished Unit Citation, the Air Medal with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters, the ETO Ribbon with 4 Battle Stars, the ATO Ribbon, and the Croix de Guerre Ribbon. Later in life he went on to be a lifetime Charter member of the WW II National Memorial.
Once he completed his service to our country, he went on to study veterinary medicine. He achieved his pre-vet degree from the University of Illinois, and his doctorate from Iowa State University. He graduated with honors ending with a perfect 4.0 GPA. This was the highest in his class, and was honored with a plaque in Beardshear Hall. While in school he was awarded George Judish and Borden Scholarship, as well as induction into several honor societies including: Gamma Sigma Delta, Phi Zeta and Phi Kappa Phi.
Dr. Anthony began his practice in Mt. Carrol, IL. In 1954 he moved to Cedar Rapids where he established Anthony Animal Hospital. In his early practice years he served as the Veterinarian for Beaver Park Zoo. He served as president of the Eastern Iowa Veterinary Medical Association, as well as president of the Iowa Veterinary Medical Association. He served on the Iowa State Board of Veterinary Medical examiners for 9 years, and for 5 years on the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Political Action Committee. Iowa State honored him with the Gentle Doctor Award for his outstanding performance. He retired from his practice in 1982 and was appointed as the Cedar Rapids City Veterinarian. After that he served as the veterinary consultant for Avid Microchip Company for the Midwest.
Dr. Anthony had a long and distinguished Shrine and Masonic career. In his 50+ years in the organization he was a member of: Mizpah Lodge #639, the York Rite, the Scottish Rite, the El Kahir Shrine, the Za-Ga-Zig Shrine, the Royal Order of Jesters, The Royal Order of Scotland, and the National Sojourners Club. He was a 33rd Degree mason, and was elected as Illustrious Potentate of El Kahir Shrine in 1975. Also, he served as the Imperial Potentate of International Shrine in 1986, the only veterinarian ever to hold that office.
Strong in his faith, when his family moved to Cedar Rapids they joined St. Mark’s Lutheran Church. He served on the church council for 5 years ,and as its president for a year. Also a lover of Iowa State Athletics, he was a member of the Athletic Council for 6 years. He played an active role in obtaining Head Football Coach Johnny Majors for ISU. He was the only veterinarian to ever be chosen as Cy’s Favorite Alum, which he was honored with in 1963. A lover of the outdoors, he was an avid gardener and could be frequently found at Coralville Lake boating and waterskiing. He also enjoyed playing cards, belonging to numerous bridge clubs and a poker group. In his spare time he also enjoyed music, playing in the Shrine Sheik Band as the bass guitarist. He was a life member of the Tuesday Noon Cedar Rapids Optimist Club, the VFW, and the American Legion.
Dr. Anthony was preceded in death by his parents, his siblings Eleanor Krivacek, Gladys Anthony, Clifford Anthony, Edward Anthony and Orville Anthony, and his brother in law Rudy Krivacek.
He is survived by his wife of 68 years Shirley (Foster) Anthony, his children Captain Mark (Margie) Anthony, Ross Anthony, Donna (Michael) Puk, and his 8 grandchildren.
The visitation will be on Friday, January 13th, at 10 am at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Marion. Funeral Services will be at 11 am, with military honors following.
As a lifelong Mason, there will be a Masonic Service at St. Marks on January 13 at 9:30 am in the Beacon room.
Memorial Donations in Dr. Anthony’s name may be made to St. Mark’s Lutheran Church or Shriner’s Hospitals for Children.