In memory: Dr. Donald Piermattei

To read a complete interview conducted with Dr. Piermattei in November 2015, about a year before his death, click here.

Dr. Donald Piermattei, DVM, Ph.D., died peacefully at his home of cancer on Jan. 28.

Dr. Piermattei was internationally known for his teaching, writing, and surgical expertise in the field of small animal orthopedics. He was author or co-author of more than 90 book chapters and journal articles as well as author of An Atlas of Surgical Approaches to the Bones and Joints of the Dog and Cat and Handbook of Small Animal Orthopedics and Fracture Repair.

He was awarded the Lifetime Achievement award by the American College of Veterinary Surgeons, the Founders Award by ACVS and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the European College of Veterinary Surgery, as well as the Paatsaama Award by the World Small Animal Veterinary Association.

During his professional career he was head of Surgery at Texas A and M, received his Ph.D. at Colorado State University in cardiovascular surgery, accepted the position of Chief of Surgery and Radiology at The University of Minnesota, and after private referral surgery practice in Denver returned to Colorado State University as Chief of Small Animal Surgery.

Dr. Piermattei, 1976
Dr. Piermattei, 1976

Don had a lifetime love of aviation and after retirement built three airplanes and flew them from his airstrip near Carr, Colo. When he retired from flying, he spent time hiking and riding his beloved mule, Babe.

Don sang in the choir at St Luke’s Episcopal Church, Fort Collins, and his memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 11, St Luke’s, 2000 Stover St., Fort Collins.

He is survived by his son, David; his wife, Marcia; and hundreds and hundreds of grateful animal patients.

Published in The Coloradoan from Feb. 2 to Feb. 5, 2017