Dr. Walter Mackey passed away on Sunday, October 19th. Dr. Mackey was a strong proponent of history and using historical materials to support education and professional development.
I first met Dr. Mackey in the spring of 2006 at the Minnesota Veterinary Historical Museum. After discussing the work that I was doing, Dr. Mackey gave me a personalized, detailed tour of the museum’s exhibits and holdings. Through Dr. Mackey I met many faculty members of the College of Veterinary Medicine and attended a board meeting for the museum.
Dr. Mackey was a member of the first class of the newly established School of Veterinary Medicine in 1947. His enrollment was a direct result of his own effort to convince the state to provide funds to start the school. In the spring of 1947 he participated in a legislative hearing with a group of veterans that pressed for the funding of a veterinary school in Minnesota.
Dr. Mackey had a private practice and also worked at the University of Minnesota as the Director of the Research Animal Division and as an instructor of anatomy for the College of Veterinary Medicine. He helped to organize the MVHM and also served as president of the Minnesota Veterinary Medical Association. For a short time Dr. Mackey also created anatomical models using plastination in order to preserve circulatory and nervous systems for study.