PLANO - Dr. Arthur Lemley, a former Cherokee veterinarian, now retired, was recently honored as "Iowa Veterinarian of the Year" at the annual dinner of the Iowa Veterinary Medical Association in Ames.
Lemley graduated from Centerville High School in 1957 and earned his degree in Veterinary Medicine from Iowa State University in 1964. For the next two years, he was stationed at Fort Douglas, Utah, serving as meat inspector for the United States Army. While in the service, he married his longtime sweetheart, Mary Girres.
After discharge from the military, Arthur and Mary moved to Cherokee where Arthur joined a mixed veterinary practice for small and large animals. While in Cherokee, Lemley was active in many community organizations and had many hobbies, including sailing, motorcycling, restoring antique tractors, and flying. He also served for many years as a member of the Cherokee Municipal Airport Commission, promoting and supporting the local airport.
When he retired, he was senior partner with Cherokee veterinarians, Drs. Mark Carlson, Steve Benson, Jack Creel, and Steve Sonka at Valley Veterinary Center in Cherokee.
The Lemleys have three children - oldest son Les and his wife Tracy live in Des Moines; daughter Ann and her husband Kurt, and their two boys, Derek and Alek, live in Downers Grove, Ill.; and youngest daughter Amy lives in Oakland, Calif. with her husband Justin and daughter Violet Pauline.
Lemley's time at ISU meant a great deal to him and he has remained close to many of his classmates and committed to furthering veterinary education at ISU. His class of 1964 is the only veterinary class in the history of ISU that has started its own endowment fund, which awards two scholarships annually for students entering veterinary school.
Lemley is currently the president of the Class of '64 Endowment Fund, building on the hard work his classmate and friend Stan Moun put into establishing it.
After retiring in 2001, Arthur and Mary moved to the Lemley Century Farm near Confidence in Appanoose County. The Lemley Century Farm has been in Art's family since 1870, and is where Art's father and grandfather were born, and where he was raised.
The personable Lemley, whose wit, work ethic, and personality are legendary in Cherokee, said he has traded in his Vet truck for a Mack truck. He is raising and selling hay from the family farm and "loving every minute of it."
Lemley's work throughout his career exemplifies the very best in veterinary medicine. Always deeply committed to treating sick animals, he also has made a difference in peoples' lives. He has been a mentor for many young veterinarians, and his clients could always count on him to go the extra mile - no night was too cold or too late, and no request too demanding.
Respected and admired by his peers throughout Iowa, Lemley's professionalism, compassion, and competence modeled the very best in veterinary medicine and have truly advanced the practice of the profession in Northwest Iowa, ISU, and beyond.