Dr. Wilma DenOudsten dedicated herself to veterinary medicine in central Alberta for more than 20 years. She worked night and day coming to the aid of farmers and their animals.
In addition to her commitment to the animals in her care, she was also committed to the community she grew up in; she built her practice in the Meadowbrook community. Crestomere Veterinary Services employed many local youths for Saturday help so they could gain valuable work experience and the clinic’s doors were open to veterinary students needing their practical experience.
Working in a rural clinic with large animals was likely an eye-opener for many of these greenhorn vet students.
Over the years Dr. DenOudsten brought other veterinarians into the fold at Crestomere Veterinary Services. These vets came and went and Dr. DenOudsten continued to carry on. She rarely took time off and tried to arrange her spare time around last-minute calls for veterinary assistance.
She was hard working and sleep deprived, which could get her into trouble now and then. She was a little rough around the edges and was known to speak harshly at times but those who knew her knew she was not really like that.
Dr. DenOudsten was kind, generous, caring, God-loving, and would never ask anyone to do anything she wouldn’t do herself.
One of her priorities in life was to teach. She taught children about animal care, her nieces and nephews how to ride horses, and her staff, interns, and veterinary students everything she knew. She led by example.
In her memory, a bursary has been developed through the University of Calgary. The money gathered for this bursary will go to students in the University of Calgary’s veterinary college. The students will be able to use the bursary’s funds to offset costs of living when they work in rural, large animal, veterinary clinics for their practicums.
It is hoped this bursary will bring future veterinarians back to rural Alberta to make their home and careers; as Dr. DenOudsten did.
For information on how to make a donation, go to https://netcommunity.ucalgary.ca/WilmaDenOudsten