Iowa veterinarian James Edwin Pearson passed away on April 3, at the age of 82, according to an obituary in the Ames Tribune. Pearson spent three decades at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory (NVSL), based in Ames. He served as the director of NVSL from the mid to late-1990s.

After retiring from the NVSL, Pearson and his wife Pat moved to Paris to serve with the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), heading the organization’s Scientific and Technical Department and serving as vice president of the OIE Standards Commission.

Prior to returning to Iowa State University for his DVM and master’s degrees, Pearson served in the United States Air Force as a navigator and radar intercept officer flying in jet fighters. He later served in the Iowa National Guard until 1984, retiring as a lieutenant colonel.

Pearson, according to the Ames Tribune, leaves his wife of 42 years, Patricia Pearson; his children, Sharon Litchfield, Mark Pearson and Beth Coronelli, step children, Cindy Horn, Dave Johnson and Amy Keng, 14 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

Read more from the Ames Tribune.