July 11, 1938 – Feb. 7, 2019
Dr. E. Raymond Penhollow originally intended to become a pharmacist, but after he earned a bachelor’s degree in biology and chemistry from the University of Buffalo in 1959, he decided to follow his love for animals instead.
He studied at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University, graduating in 1963, and two years later established the Cheektowaga Veterinary Hospital at Dick Road and Genesee Street.
A feature story about his practice in The Buffalo News in 1978 noted that it was “not uncommon for Dr. Penhollow to see 100 pets a day and have an 80-hour work week.”
“I have a personal stake in this,” he said then. “I feel my work is my calling in life.”
He died Feb. 7 in his Clarence Center home after a short illness. He was 80.
Born Elowyn Raymond Penhollow in Jamestown, the second of three children, he grew up in Lakewood.
He was a 1956 graduate of Southwestern Central High School, where he played on the football team, was president of his senior class and president of the National Honor Society. He attended Empire Boys State, was chosen for the All State Chorus and sang at many church and charitable programs.
At Cornell, he met Carol Ann Ross, a registered nurse who was the daughter of a professor in the College of Agriculture. They were married in 1964.
She joined him in the practice after she studied to become a veterinary technician. For the first couple years, they lived in an apartment downstairs from their offices.
“He really was a beacon of compassion for many families,” his son, Mark, said. “He offered free spaying and neutering for pet owners who couldn’t afford it.”
For instituting a free spay-neuter program with other veterinarians, he was honored by the SPCA Serving Erie County as Veterinarian of the Year in 1974.
His son said the family’s pets were veterinary patients that had recovered and needed new homes.
“All of our dogs and cats had stories to them,” he said. “There was a female poodle that was hit by a car and was pregnant. There was a three-legged Doberman. There were all sorts of misfit animals that we were able to take care of.”
A motorcycle enthusiast, he was a member of the BMW Riders Club of Western New York, took part in motorcycle rallies and enjoyed long-distance touring. He retired and sold the practice in 1986 after suffering a serious back injury in a motorcycle accident.
His wife died in 2017.
Survivors include two sons, Steven and Mark; two daughters, Kimberly Mecca and Susan Reilly; and seven grandchildren.
Services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 2, in Zion Lutheran Church, 9535 Clarence Center Road, Clarence Center.