We are all saddened by the sudden passing of ‘Dr Don’ (Donald) Swerida, DVM of Venice, Fl. We suspect he died of a broken heart, just hours after losing his best buddy and pal, Rastafarian Nestle.
Don was a unique character, loved by all. He graduated from Monmouth University in Long Branch, NJ and The Ohio State Veterinary School in Columbus, Ohio. He spent the last 30 years traveling the area as Dr. Don’s Mobile Vet, and most recently realized his dream: Laurel Road Veterinary Clinic. Dr. Don starred in a weekly segment of ‘Animal Outtakes’ and particularly loved to test his skills with exotic animals.
He selflessly lent his talents to the Big Cat Habitat and the Wildlife Center of Venice and other organizations, operating on everything from eagles to owls, herons, turtles and even fish. Dr. Don was never without a smile and a joke, and embraced life fully.
Dr. Don is predeceased by his parents, Elias J. and Doris K. Swerida. He is survived by a son, Benjamin (Ben) and daughter Amber Stultz, her husband, Perry; 3 grandchildren, a brother, Robert Swerida and his wife Fran, and two sisters, Ann Marie Keim and her companion Steve Trigwell, Kathleen Reichenbecher, her husband Kurt, and several nieces and nephews, as well as his longtime companion, Elaine Wells.
In lieu of flowers, donations to either the Wildlife Center of Venice or the Big Cat Habitat are greatly appreciated.
A Celebration of Dr. Don’s Life, featuring light food and refreshments, will be held on Wednesday, August 2, from 4pm-7pm at the Oscar Scherer State Park Pavilions located in Osprey, between Sarasota and Venice. Dress is cool, comfortable and casual, as he would want it. In memory of Dr. Don, doves will be released by Sarasota Dove Release. Please feel free to stop by and share your favorite stories and memories of Dr Don!
Dr. Don loved and lived for Laurel Road Veterinary Clinic, and therefore we will continue to serve our clients and patients the way he would have expected from us. Dr. Ilene will be here full time and Dr. J will also be here 2 days a week. We thank our clients for your outpouring of love and support and appreciate your patience during this difficult transition.