Robert Lee Pyle, 77, of Blacksburg, VA, died Saturday, Sept. 16, at Lewis Gale Hospital-Montgomery.
Lee was born in Pittsburgh, Pa. on April 15, 1940, to the late Robert Samuel and Margaret “Jane” Pyle and grew up in Oakmont, Pa. He graduated from Oakmont High School in 1958 and went on to Penn State University and graduated in 1962 with a B.S. in pre-veterinary medicine from the College of Agriculture. He attended the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and earned a V.M.D. degree in 1965. He also earned a M.S. degree in cardiology from the School of Arts and Sciences, University of Pennsylvania. After finishing his V.M.D. degree, he was employed by the University of Pennsylvania, School of Veterinary Medicine from 1965 until 1974. It was there where he met his wife Inge.
Lee took a year off from academia and worked at the veterinary clinic from 1974-1975. After that he joined the Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine as associate professor specializing in cardiology for three years and then three years as associate professor at Mississippi State University, College of Veterinary Medicine, again specializing in cardiology. In 1981, he took a position as professor at Virginia Tech (Virginia/Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine) where he retired in 2007 having held different positions including director of the Veterinary Teaching Hospital and associate dean.
He was a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, a member of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM) and served as treasurer of the ACVIM from 1977-1981 and secretary-treasurer from 1981-1993. From 1993 until 1994 he served as director of the ACVIM in Denver.
Lee and his wife Inge were instrumental in building the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine and the FORUM (annual veterinary conference). He also was a member of different veterinary medical organizations. In 1994, they moved back to Blacksburg and Lee continued his work at the College of Veterinary Medicine.
Lee was a member of Blacksburg United Methodist Church, Mt. Tabor Ruritan Club and Penn State Club, which he co-founded. Although Lee accomplished a lot, he lived a simple life and cherished his family who will miss him greatly.
Lee is survived by Inge, his loving wife of 51 years; son and daughter-in-law, Eric Pyle and Kate Savage Pyle; sons, Chris and Andre Pyle; grandchildren, Josh and Molly Pyle; sister and husband, Carol “Sis” and Jimmy Broz; sister and husband, Roberta and Dave Banks; and five nieces and nephews and their children.
Memorial services will be held at 11 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 25, at Blacksburg United Methodist Church with the Rev. Ralph Rowley officiating. A visitation and reception will be held after the service in the Wisner Building. A graveside service will be held at the Memorial Gardens of the New River Valley on North Main Street after the reception.
The family would like to thank those who helped Lee during his illness, Dr. Stoeckel, the staff at Lewis Gale, the staff at Blue Ridge Cancer Care and the staff at the Radiation Center in Pulaski. Memorial contributions may be made to the Roanoke Rescue Mission (402 4th St SE, Roanoke, VA 24013) or the Blacksburg United Methodist Church (P.O. Box 931, Blacksburg, VA 24063).