J. Lindsay Oaks, doctor of veterinary medicine, doctorate, 50, of Pullman, succumbed to an aggressive neuroendocrine tumor Jan. 15, 2011, at Holy Family Hospital in Spokane. The rosary will be recited at 4 p.m. Feb. 11 at Kimball Funeral Home in Pullman. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Feb. 12 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Pullman. Vault interment will follow at the I.O.O.F. Cemetery in Pullman.
Lindsay was born Aug. 6, 1960, in Corpus Christi, Texas, to Jerald L. and J. Kathleen Jones Oaks Sr. He moved with his family growing up in Oklahoma, Colombia, South America, Israel and then to Denver, where he graduated from Cherry Creek High School.
Lindsay completed his undergraduate and professional education at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, graduating in 1986 with his doctor of veterinary medicine degree. Keeping with his lifelong passion for raptors and a taste for international work, he began his career in clinical practice at the Dubai Falcon Hospital and Dubai Equestrian Centre in the United Arab Emirates. His interest and expertise in raptors and horses would prove to be a driving force his entire career. After a year in clinical practice in Chino, Calif., from 1989 to 1990, he came to the College of Veterinary Medicine at Washington State University for postgraduate education and training in microbiology, where he began a distinguished career in academic veterinary medicine that kept him in Pullman until his untimely death.
Lindsay achieved specialty diplomat status in the American College of Veterinary Microbiologists, and was recently elected by colleagues to serve on the board of governors for that specialty. He was a highly respected colleague and leader in his specialty organization, the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians, and served on the editorial board of the Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation for the past six years.
As a faculty member at the College of Veterinary Medicine at WSU, Lindsay served as a section head in the Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory. He was a widely consulted and respected microbiologist among his professional colleagues in clinical practice throughout the Pacific Northwest and the nation, and his loss to the profession is profoundly felt. Lindsay led the microbiology training program in the Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Pathology, was a lecturer in many courses, and most recently was a course director for the veterinary virology course. In his typical quiet and unassuming way, and with his clinical experience providing a practical perspective, he was able to establish a rapport and trust with his students that made him a highly popular, respected and effective mentor for so many veterinarians and microbiologists in training. He was much beloved by his students and it was in the classroom that he felt he could contribute most to a profession that had given him so much.
Lindsay had a distinguished research career that spanned from the laboratory to the field. His colleagues and collaborators will sorely miss his contributions into the intricate mechanisms of viral action and persistence. Lindsay will be most remembered around the world for his work in emerging disease discovery and conservation medicine. He was a lifelong friend and trusted resource for the Peregrine Fund, working since he was a teen in restoring populations of falcons and other raptors. He discovered the viral cause of high death loss in captive Aplomado Falcons, and worked to highlight the role of lead in causing the death of California condors. But it is his leadership in elucidating the role of a veterinary anti-inflammatory drug in the devastating decline of Oriental white-backed and other Gyps vultures on the Indian subcontinent that carved his name in the annals of conservation medicine forever. This work, which in 2004 was published in Nature, one of the most prestigious scientific publications in the world, provided the insight that led the way in saving that species from extinction.
Oaks' colleagues and friends from Pullman to the Middle East and Asia mourn his loss along with his family, but also celebrate his life, knowing that his impact will forever be remembered.
His passion was fishing, all types, and falconry.
He is survived by his three children, Gilbert Oaks, Sara Ulibarri and Gillian Oaks, all of Pullman; the mother of his children, Catherine Ulibarri of Pullman; his father, Jerald L. Oaks Sr. of Denver; his mother, J. Kathleen Pratt of Houston; his stepmother, Elena G. Oaks of Denver; his sister, Kristi Accarrino of Tavernier, Fla.; and his uncles, Harry Jones and John C. Oaks.
Lindsay's family has asked that in lieu of cards and flowers, memorial gifts be made to the College of Veterinary Medicine, Washington State University, P.O. Box 647010, Pullman, WA 99164; or to The Peregrine Fund, 5668 W. Flying Hawk Lane, Boise, ID 83709.
Kimball Funeral Home of Pullman is caring for the family and online condolences may be sent to www.