The Frey Family
Dr. Jesse Frey - DVM 1914; Dr. Russ Frey - DVM 1952; Dr. Merwin Frey - DVM 1956;
Dr. Martin Frey - DVM 1956; Dr. William Griffing - DVM 1944; and Dr. Robert Hentzler - DVM 1943
Kansas Veterinary Medical Association 2006
The Frey family will be awarded a 2006 Alumni Recognition Award by the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine and its Veterinary Medical Alumni Association. The award is an acknowledgement of the family’s devotion to advancing veterinary medicine and for being exemplary role models for future alumni.
In 1916, Jesse became a federal meat inspector in Chicago. He moved to California in 1917 and established the state’s first animal pathology lab in Sacramento. He was also instrumental in research eradicating anthrax, bovine tuberculosis and foot-and-mouth disease outbreaks in California in the 1920s. In 1927, Jesse accepted a position with Golden State Milk Company as a dairy manager. He held successive positions in the company over the next 30 years in San Francisco, Oakland, Chicago, Minneapolis, and abroad in Thailand, Japan and Taiwan. One of his many notable accomplishments was turning the company’s unprofitable office in Sacramento into a successful high-quality milk supplier.
A second generation of the Frey family followed in Jesse’s footsteps. Jesse’s nephew, Dr. Russ Frey, received his veterinary degree from K-State and completed his final year of veterinary training in 1952 while serving in the U.S. Air Force Veterinary Corps. He returned to K-State in 1963 as a faculty member, where he taught for 40 years. He earned his Ph.D. in 1970 from K-State and served as head of the Department of Anatomy and Physiology for 15 years.
Toward the end of his teaching career, Russ served two terms as Riley County Commissioner, where he worked tirelessly for many public service efforts. Russ retired from teaching in 2001 and passed away in 2003.
Russ’s brothers, Merwin and Martin, who are twins, received their veterinary degrees from K-State in 1956.
Dr. Merwin Frey worked as a livestock inspector for the United States Department of Agriculture before serving two years in the U.S. Air Force Veterinary Corps. After leaving the Air Force, he worked for a private large animal practice before going to the University of Wisconsin to work as a graduate research assistant.
After graduating from K-State, Dr. Martin Frey began work at Kindness Animal Hospital in Namper, Idaho. He completed his master’s degree in 1961 and served as an instructor and assistant professor at Oklahoma State until 1963.
Dr. William Griffing, another of Jesse Frey’s nephews, graduated with his veterinary degree from K-State in 1944, before moving to Bremen, Ind., to establish a private practice. Griffing then returned to K-State to complete his master’s and doctorate degrees in pathology, in 1960 and 1963, respectively.
Dr. Robert Hentzler, cousin of the three Frey brothers, graduated from the College of Veterinary Medicine in 1943. He served as a colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve and as manager and co-owner of Hentzler Packing Company in Topeka. Robert retired in 1987 and passed away in 2003. He is survived by his wife, Jeanne, of Topeka.
Martin Frey said he views the award as a testament to a profession that extends beyond the veterinarians in his family. “My pride over the family award is tempered by my wish that every practitioner who has worked for the advancement of veterinary medicine could share the mention.”