Dr. Joseph D. Bergevin, DVM
July 4, 1936 — October 12, 2020
Dr. Joseph D. Bergevin, DVM, passed away October 12, 2020, quietly in his sleep from natural causes in Shoreline, Washington. Viewing will be Friday, November 6, from 9am to 5pm at Mountain View-Colonial DeWitt, Walla Walla. A Graveside service will be on Saturday, November 7, at 12pm at Mountain View Cemetery, Walla Walla.
Joseph was born to Damase and Margaret Katherine (Fehrenbacher) Bergevin in Walla Walla; he was one of four children. “Dr. B” as he was affectionately known, was a real-life modern-day cowboy. Growing up in Walla Walla he learned to ride and rope at a very young age. He was a successful equine veterinarian and lauded innovative surgeon. He will be remembered by many as a hard-working lover of people, horses, rodeo and vet medicine. Many might struggle to imagine having a conversation with or around Joe without a horse figuring into it somewhere. He had a feverish passion for doing right by the horse and their families. He loved all things cowboy and was an avid reader of western books.
As a young man he dedicated himself to calf and steer roping went on to win the regionally famous Pendleton Roundup calf roping 1956 and steer roping 1959. He often told and retold stories from those days to any interested listeners. Some of his favorite stories included herding cattle with his mentor Dewey Drumheller. He also reminisced about the trucks of wild horses from Oregon’s Blue Mountains which were caught and trained by him and his dad Damase. He also enjoyed recalling tales of the “Bergevin Rodeo” that Damase started and was held on their family homestead. Dr. B loved his work and was an innovator in the field of equine abdominal and arthroscopic surgery. He was known for inventing various instruments and devices to support his pioneering work. With a restless energy, he was always refining, reworking and re-inventing his tools and procedures. He was an icon amongst his peers and colleagues and beloved by many.
In 2002 he was honored with an Excellence in Veterinary Practice award by Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine his alma mater and where he once taught. (Dad) Joseph was proud to be the first one in his family to graduate college. He was one of a kind and will be missed beyond measure.
Joseph is survived by his six sons, James, Jesse, Jon, Joseph, Jacob and Jeremy Bergevin; sister, Patricia (Bergevin) Sorey; brother, Thomas C. Bergevin. He leaves a legacy of 17 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren to date. He was preceded in death by his parents, Damase and Margaret Bergevin; and his elder sister, Norma Elaine (Bergevin) Lepage. Friends and family may share memories and sign his online guestbook at https://www.mykeeper.com/profile/JosephDamaseBergevinDVM/