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In Memory

Dr. Robert A. Kainer

August 22, 2011

Dr. Robert A. Kainer, 88, of Fort Collins passed away August 20 at Columbine West Health and Rehab Center.

A young boy, raised on a ranch in California, developed a life-long love of animals and passion for teaching.

He was born April 14, 1923 in Chicago, Ill., to Robert and Dora (Hertel) Kainer. During the Great Depression, the family moved to California seeking a new life. After many hard times, the family was able to purchase a beautiful ranch at the base of Middle Mountain, Lake County, CA.

He graduated valedictorian of his high school class in 1941, then enlisted in the US Army during WWII. After his military service, he attended Santa Rosa Junior College in California and then came to Colorado A & M (now CSU), where he received his degree of Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 1949.

Shortly after graduation, he married Virginia Rose Johnston of Fort Collins who preceded him in death after 48 years of marriage. Bob and his family moved to Pullman, WA, where he received his master's degree in anatomy in 1952. His son, Ronald E. Kainer, was born in Pullman in 1950. The family moved to Idaho Springs in 1955 where he taught science at Idaho Springs HS and had a veterinary practice until 1961. Bob accepted a teaching position at CSU in 1961 where he taught anatomy in the School of Veterinary Medicine for the next 30 years. He retired as a full professor in 1991 and was designated professor emeritus. During his tenure, he received many teaching awards including "Top Prof" in 1965. He was known as an exacting, caring professor who expected the highest effort from his students.

Following his retirement, he and Virginia (Ginny) moved to Crystal Lakes where he wrote several books still in use today by veterinary students. Upon Ginny's death, Bob accepted a teaching position at Ross University in St. Kitts, West Indies, where he taught histology to pre-vet students for seven years alongside his longtime friends Mike and Beth Smith. He received the Ross University/DeVry Institute Pride Award for outstanding service in teaching in 2006. He retired a second time in 2008 and returned to Fort Collins.

He is survived by his sister Louise Kainer and Sally Lewis of Yuma, Ariz.; son and daughter-in-law, Ron and Cathy Kainer of Fort Collins; grandchildren Clayton (Kristi) of Boulder, WY, and LuAnn Kainer (Kevin Darst) of Fort Collins. He also is survived by three great-grandchildren: Camille Kainer and Samuel and Lilah Kainer-Darst.

A graveside service is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Friday, August 26, at Fort Logan National Cemetery, Denver, staging area B. A Celebration of Life will be held 6 p.m. Friday, August 26,  at The Drake Center, 802 West Drake in Fort Collins.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Larimer County Humane Society in care of Vessey Funeral Service.

You are invited to sign a guestbook and send condolences to

Contact: Dell Rae Moellenberg
Phone: (970) 491-6009