Sept. 23, 1922 – July 23, 2013
Born in Los Angeles and raised in the Southern California oil fields where his father worked, John Orsborn completed his doctor of veterinary medicine degree in 1944 at Colorado State University. Joining the Army while in veterinary school, he served in the Veterinary Corps through the end of World War II. He continued his military career as a reservist, with research and development units in Utah, Colorado and California, receiving an Army Commendation Medal for developing a highly successful two-week seminar for military scientists held at Cal Tech. He retired as a lieutenant colonel and commanding officer of his reserve unit.
Dr. Orsborn held a variety of positions in his early veterinary career, including meat and dairy inspection, rural private clinical practice and epidemiology. After returning to Colorado State University for post-graduate study in pathology, he was recruited to direct a new diagnostic laboratory. In 1962, he returned to California to work for the state Department of Food and Agriculture, Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory System. He was promoted to laboratory director, then to chief of the laboratory system. In 1987, he assisted in the transfer of the unit to UC Davis, and the construction of a new central laboratory. He retired in 1992.
A longtime member of the Episcopal Church, Dr. Orsborn served on administrative boards and committees at several parishes. He loved camping, hunting, fishing, horseback riding and working in God’s great outdoors.
Preceded in death by his beloved wife of 62 years, Ruth Atkins Orsborn, he is survived by his children, Susan and Frank Chacon of Davis, Michael J. Orsborn of Richmond, and Lisa and Grant Brandenburg of Lafayette, Colo., and their daughters Jaden, Kaylin and Lanae.
A service to celebrate and remember his life will begin at 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 17, at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 515 Second St., Woodland. In lieu of flowers, please make a memorial donation to your favorite charity.