Life Story / Obituary
Pierre Arthur Chaloux, V.M.D., Knight, age 92, of Eastlake, OH, passed away on Tuesday, December 1, 2015 in his home surrounded by family. He was born on June 22, 1923 in Adams, Massachusetts to Antoine and Angelina Chaloux, the 11th child in a middle class family. His mother died 2 days before his 4th birthday. The plunge of the country into the depression carried the Chaloux family with it. By the time high school rolled around he knew he wanted to be a veterinarian, however financially it seemed a hopeless situation. In 1944 he enlisted in the Marine Corps. He was deployed in the Pacific Theater of World War II where he served in Saipan and Okinawa. After the war he served in Japan as a part of the first occupation troops in Nagasaki. He was honorably discharged in August of 1946.
The G.I. Bill made it possible to achieve his goal of becoming a veterinarian. He enrolled at the University of New Hampshire in the fall of 1947 as a pre-veterinary student. In the fall of 1949, he was accepted as a veterinary student at the University of Pennsylvania. Between his junior and senior years, he was a student intern testing cattle for tuberculosis in West Virginia for the Bureau of Animal Industry. Having contracted malaria during his military service, he had a series of hospitalizations during his senior year. He continued to have episodes of the disease until 2001. Upon graduating in February of 1954, he looked into various fields of veterinary service. He finally settled on public service and started his career in March of 1954 as a field veterinary officer for the United States Department of Agriculture testing cattle for brucellosis in North Dakota.
In 1955 he met Harriet Van Bruggen, a North Dakota girl, and they married in June of 1957. They had 5 children (David-1958, Angelina (Anne)-1959, Paul-1961, Patricia-1962, Suzanne-1965).
In 1958 he exposed a major outbreak of tuberculosis in cattle in eastern North Dakota. That fall he was chosen for the Veterinary Administrators Program of the Agriculture Research Service (ARS). After completing the program, he was assigned as the Assistant Veterinary in Charge of Veterinary Services in New Jersey until the fall of 1960. He was then transferred to Massachusetts in the same position. In the fall of 1961 he was transferred to Washington, D.C. to work on the tuberculosis staff. He was given a fellowship at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota to do research for 3 months on avian and bovine tuberculosis to ascertain the effects of the former on bovine tuberculosis. He then took a course in epidemiology and was promoted to Tuberculosis Epidemiologist.
In 1968 he was assigned to serve as a member of the Diplomatic Corps as European and African Representative for ARS’ Veterinary Services attached to the United States Embassy in Rome, Italy. He also became the annual delegate to the International Office of Epizootics that met for one week in May in Paris, France from 1968 to 1981. While in Rome, he traveled extensively throughout Africa, Europe, and the Middle East. He met with senior veterinary officials of various countries, observing animal health conditions and practices, and reporting this information stateside where it was used to inform and shape animal health risk assessments and trade policies. During his tenure in Rome, he advised the Chief Veterinary Officer of France on the eradication of African swine fever which had entered southern France from Spain. The successful implementation of this advice resulted in his being knighted Chevalier de L’Ordre du Agricole by the French government in 1973.
In 1972, he and his family returned to the Washington D.C. area when he accepted a position as Senior Staff Veterinarian on the Import/Export staff of the newly formed Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. He became Assistant Deputy Administrator for Animal Health Programs in 1974. In 1977, he was promoted to Deputy Administrator of Veterinary Services, in which position he served until his retirement in 1981. Post-retirement, in 1983, he took a three year assignment with the State Department and moved to Bamako, Mali to assist that country in developing a modern cattle industry. In this position, he worked on a livestock development project which included production and distribution of rinderpest vaccine and advising the veterinary administration training program for the Malian Veterinary Administration about feeding and marketing cattle.
His hobbies included woodworking and landscaping. He volunteered with the Boy Scouts of America in Rome, Italy and Columbia, Maryland. In 1976 he and his wife designed and built a vacation home in West Virginia using only hand tools as electricity was not available. This fulfilled a dream to own a home in the mountains of West Virginia. He and his wife retired to live in Holland, Michigan in 1981. He was an active member of Our Lady of the Lake Parish until he moved to live with family in Ohio in 2007. He also was a fourth degree in the Knights of Columbus. He was a man of faith and love who enriched the lives of those who knew him with his gifts of service. He also blessed others with his singing, harmonica playing and storytelling.
He will be dearly missed by all who knew him for his wisdom, love of people, nature, and life. He is survived by his beloved wife of 58 years, Harriet L. Chaloux, his children David and Katie Chaloux, Anne and Michael Fox, Paul Chaloux, Patricia Chaloux, and Suzanne and Ed Enyedy, by his grandchildren Lauren and Al Charharbakhshi, Pierre and Kelly Chaloux, Christina and Nigel Berry, Ryan and Emily Chaloux, Stephanie Chaloux, Jennifer Chaloux, Matthew and Marion Chaloux, Stephen and Katrina Fox, Daniel Chaloux, Kelly Taylor, David Mallon, Colleen Taylor, and Joseph Mallon, by his great grandchildren Rayden Chaloux, Octavian Chaloux, Cora Berry, Samarah Charharbakhshi, Sydel Berry, Victoria Cordova and Melisenda Hernandez, and numerous other family members.
Visiting hours will be from 4-8 p.m. on Sunday, December 6, 2015 and Funeral Mass at 11 a.m. on Monday, December 7, 2015, both at Our Lady of the Lake, 480 152nd Ave, Holland, MI 49424.