Thomas G. Schauwecker

Thomas G. Schauwecker

March 10, 1933 - December 07, 2015

Thomas G. Schauwecker

March 10, 1933 - December 07, 2015



Born in Pittsburgh PA in 1933 to Harriet and John Robert Schauwecker, Thomas spent his first thirteen years living in Fairmont, West Virginia. Brother Robert was the firstborn, with Lee born four years after Thomas.

In 1946, the entire family relocated to El Centro CA, where Dr. Schauwecker took the opportunity to move west to run the local pharmacy. Thomas graduated from El Centro’s Central Union High School in 1951.

In his own words, written in 2007 for his 50th Class Reunion at U.C.Davis:

“The decision to become a veterinarian came during my last two summers in high school. At that time, I had been working on a Charolais cattle ranch in the Imperial Valley at $.50 per hour. I owned a horse and played cowboy riding and roping cattle. My dream was to own a cattle ranch someday. I had been thinking about U.C. Davis and animal husbandry. One day, an old cowboy roping buddy said to me, “Why don’t you become a veterinarian?” And so, I applied and was accepted.

After graduation, I was hired at two different practices in the Los Angeles area. This didn’t last too long as I was called into the Army. After a three month Vet. Corp. training in Chicago, I was sent to New York City for two years. This turned out to be two wonderful years stationed on Governor’s Island at the tip of Manhattan. I learned to fly, had a vacation tour of Europe, and in general, an easy tour in NYC with easy access to all it has to offer.

In 1960, following the Army years, I became an owner of a mixed practice in El Centro CA.

I met my first wife, Anne, at a wedding of a mutual friend. She was a bridesmaid from Santa Ana and we hit it off at the reception. We married a year later in 1962.

I sold my practice in 1964 and we moved to Santa Ana. While doing relief work for numerous hospitals throughout L.A. and Orange Counties, I purchased land in San Juan Capistrano for my future hospital practice. The San Juan Animal Hospital was opened in 1966. In 1987, I sold the practice to another U.C. Davis graduate and remained on staff as an assistant for about two years, then retired completely.

My life has been a great one. I have traveled extensively, visiting more than 110 countries, some of which are considered “exotic” and remote. I live part time in California, and in Montana (and, up until 2009, in Idaho). I enjoy scuba diving in the South Pacific, and just this past year (2006) gave up downhill skiing after 45 years of it.

Still enjoy fly-fishing, both in the Northwest and abroad. Photography is a favorite pastime, and I still ride horses and help local ranchers in Montana with their cattle.

The one tragedy in my life was losing my first wife, Anne, after 30 years of marriage when she died unexpectedly from complications following a bicycle accident in 1992. She was a wonderful woman and wife.

I was fortunate to find a very special woman who I married in 1994. Bonnie had been an acquaintance of ours from years before through a mutual friend. We had lost contact, which was renewed when Bonnie, having learned of Anne’s untimely death, tried to set me up with her best girlfriend. After seeing Bonnie again, I never met the friend. Bonnie is an accomplished landscape artist. We share and enjoy most sports, activities, and have numerous other interests and philosophies in common. I am a very lucky man to have had two very outstanding wives.”

Tom passed peacefully on December 7, 2015.

Tom is survived by his wife, Bonnie, and his brother Lee.

Please consider making a donation to one of the following organizations in Tom’s memory:

U.C. Davis School of Veterinary Medicine
Companion Animal Fund
P. O. Box 1167
Davis CA 95617

The Nature Conservancy
Donations in Memory of Tom will benefit conservation efforts in Montana
Attn: The Treasury Dept.
4245 No. Fairfax Drive, Suite 100
Arlington VA 22203

The Salvation Army
10200 Pioneer Rd.
Tustin CA 92782

Capuchin Franciscan Order
1345 Cortez Ave.
Burlingame CA 94010

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4 responses to Thomas G. Schauwecker

  1. L.M. says:

    I would like to leave an endearing note to such a kindred spirit, who advocated for voiceless animals, handicapped, and people less fortunate than himself. Dr. Schauwecker was 1 of the most distinguished, intelligent and courteous people I have ever known, but equally as brave, compassionate and dedicated to those in most need of his service, and would render assistance without any financial compensation or any personal gain on his behalf, but rather just to create a random act of kindness. His measure of himself, philanthropic traits, and being able to see value and beauty in all that exists – can only be leveled and mirrored by his soul mate: Bonnie. I had the pleasure and honor of meeting both Tom and Bonnie 4 years ago, and it has been nothing other than a blessing to know Bonnie and Tom as a unit together; as a couple whose unconditional and binding affection for one another supersedes any worldly material, and is what every human being searches for in their precious time on earth. A love that is all encompassing and encourages people to accomplish something great in their lifetime: to give to others less fortunate, to volunteer and teach all one knows and contribute and leave a legacy which inspires others to believe in themselves and to lend a helping hand, consoling word and offer their virtues when called upon to share. I wish in this transition, for Bonnie to feel the warmth and presence of her much beloved Tom, and for Bonnie to feel free to communicate with all of those around her; whom loved Tom and Bonnie both, what Tom would want all of who cherish Bonnie, as Tom cherished Bonnie: to be there for his sweet Bonnie with support and adoration, as Bonnie so generously and selflessly provided to Tom every day of his lucky and so wonderfully fortunate life, filled with epic adventure each day! May both your Hearts ever and always be one, your souls forever entwined eternal and your spirits synced in a timeless strand of beach in heaven, where Tom will greet Bonnie at the end of her epic adventure some day. Thank you Tom and Bonnie, for showing us all what true love is, not just in a fantastical novel, but rather in real life, and providing each person you ever came in to contact with, an example of what can await all of us out in the great beyond, if we are as courageous as the both of you were to take a chance faithfully, trustingly and gratefully!

  2. How I wish that I had been fortunate enough to have known Tom (and Bonnie) for a much longer time than one “random” day in the Utah desert! Even in that short time I sensed the uniqueness of these two lovely humans and of their enviable relationship. We were so blessed to experience finding the petroglyph panel known as the Processional, which scholars believe depicts early dwellers on a holy pilgrimage to Chaco canyon. In a way I think of it as prophetic as the precursor to Tom’s journey home. It was a beautiful day, a memorable experience with some very special people. I think of it as a perfect gift. Blessings to you Bonnie-you were blessed with an exceptional life partner which makes the loss that much more difficult…but the memories, oh the wonderful memories, dear lady!

  3. Karen Rice says:

    Tom was such a unique man, a gentle man with that never ending twinkle in his eye!
    We remember him daily when we look at the collage of everyone working in the corrals below our house. How lucky were we to be one of the Montana ranchers he helped, it was the start of a great friendship. We will always treasure his amazing photographs and the fun times we shared with both Tom and Bonnie. Who can forget the shuffleboard at Chicks and the laughter that accompanied every meal we enjoyed together. Potatoes that kept well in a cold house, eating bird seed and getting those dang cows through the gate, will always bring a smile to our faces. So blessed to call you both our friends! Our hearts and prayers are with you during the memorial service even though we can’t be. Our love-Greg and Karen

  4. Santiago says:

    I was lucky enough to have met Tom and Bonnie 5 years ago when they came into my store for Tom to order the car of his dreams. Since the day they both walked in the door there was an instant connection and I knew I was in the presence of someone very special. With his great and witty sense of humor always complemented by Bonnie’s gracefulness, he became a friend and kept in touch though the years and when in Southern California, he will always pay me a visit and enjoy a cup of coffee with me. I was very sad when I learned from Bonnie that he was ill and now that he has passed. I remember him with love and respect in my heart and feel lucky to call him and Bonnie my friends and to have sold Tom his last car that I know he greatly enjoyed driving.

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