Dr. Daniel Leonard DeWeert, age 69, of Twisp, passed away at the VA Hospital of Puget Sound on Sept. 12, 2017. He was born on Jan. 31, 1948, to Ray and Mary-Jo DeWeert in Kelso, Washington.
Dan was raised in Kelso, and graduated from Kelso High School in 1966. He then served as a veterinary technician in the U.S. Air Force.
Dan graduated from The Washington State University School of Veterinary Medicine in 1978. He worked as an associate veterinarian in Brewster, before starting Valley Veterinary Clinic in Twisp later that year. He specialized in equine medicine and small animal orthopedics.
Dan was involved in the Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) at both the state and national level for many years. He served as president of the Washington State Veterinary Medical Association (WSVMA) from 1986-1987. After serving as president, Dan served as a delegate for the WSVMA and AVMA House of Delegates for 10 years. During his last three years in the House, Dan was a member of the House Advisory Committee representing Equine Medicine. Only seven veterinarians from the United States are asked to serve on this committee at any one time.
Dan was honored by the recognitions that he received while serving his profession. In 1987, WSU presented Dan with an Outstanding Leadership Award in the WSVMA. In 1991, the AVMA recognized Dan and longtime friend, Dr. Gary Duskin, for their roles as co-chairmen for the AVMA convention in Seattle, and, in 2011, Dan was the recipient of the WSVMA Veterinary of the Year award.
Locally, Dan provided veterinary services to the annual rodeos and Omak Suicide race — providing support of local heritage. Dan made a clinic policy of keeping the doors open for students interested in pursuing a career in veterinary medicine. This culminated in nine students who went on to become veterinarians and six who became veterinary technicians. Dr. Dan was very proud of his professional accomplishments, as well as being able to serve both the local and national veterinary communities.
After practicing veterinary medicine for 38 years, Dan retired in the fall of 2015. He enjoyed his additional time with family and friends, and frequented the vet clinic regularly to lend advice and visit with clients. An avid sports fan, Dan loved the Seattle Mariners and Seattle Seahawks, and was fiercely loyal to the Washington State Cougar football team, where he played college football himself for one year before having to step down due to injury.
Dan was always proud of living and raising his family in the Methow Valley, and being an active member of his community gave him a great sense of self-worth. He coached football at Liberty Bell Junior-Senior High School for nine years, and loved to reminisce about the years he spent there “torturing the boys.” He also assisted with AAU basketball, coached and umpired Little League baseball, and served in the Kiwanis and Community Accountability Board. When he wasn’t chasing around his family or serving the community, Dan was at home in the outdoors. During the summer months, you could find him with his family and friends on horseback, chasing cows, or exploring the many trails around the Methow Valley. In the fall, he could be found looking for any deer that had horns.
Dan was devoted to his profession and family, and was well known for sharing his stories with those who would listen. The stories he shared gave all of us a glimpse into the life of a man who was deeply ingrained into the soul of his community and family. Whether diving into the many stories of animals he’d saved, or how proud he was of his family — some of us may remember hearing about his grandson Marquis’s football exploits — Dan was quick to share a smile, and would always take the time to ask about someone’s family, to see how everyone was doing.
Dan is survived by his wife, Terri; his four sisters, Rose, Patti, Cindi and Carol; his two daughters, Kellie and Sara; his two step-sons, Doug and Ryan; and his three grandchildren, Marquis, Desmond and Arya.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Ray and Mary-Josephine, and his brother Art.
Doctor, husband, father, grandfather and friend. Dan was a man who lived larger than life, and shared his big heart with everyone he could. He will be dearly missed, and fondly remembered. Go Cougs!
A graveside service with military honors will be held Friday (Sept. 22) at noon in the Beaver Creek Cemetery, Twisp.
A celebration of Dan’s Life is to follow service at the Pipestone Canyon Ranch Event Center, 448 Balky Hill Road, Twisp. Please bring your favorite dish for a potluck and pig roast. Precht-Harrison-Nearents Chapel of Okanogan is caring for the arrangements.