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
Dr. Robert Hentzler - DVM 1943
Kansas Veterinary Medical Association 2006

The Frey family members were 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.

The award was presented during the Kansas Veterinary Medical Association’s gala brunch on Sunday, Jan. 22, 2006, at the Capitol Plaza Hotel in Topeka, Kansas.

The family tradition of veterinary medicine began with Dr. Jesse Frey, who graduated from the Kansas State University School of Veterinary Medicine in 1914.

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.

In 1987, after a lifetime of professional achievement, Jesse Frey passed away at the age of 93.

Russ Frey

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.

Merwin Frey

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.

Martin Frey

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.

After working for two years as a professor at Alemaya University in Ethiopia, Martin and his wife, Demarious, also a veterinarian, opened their first practice. In 1972, they moved their practice to Padre Island, Texas, which they have since sold to a former student employee. Martin and Demarious Frey now make their home in Corpus Christi, Texas.

William Griffing

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.

Griffing worked as a veterinary pathologist for Eli Lilly and Company Pharmaceuticals in Indiana, where he pioneered study in electron microscopy. He retired in 1984, and now resides in Greenfield, Ind, with his wife, Anna Belle.

Robert Hentzler

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.”