Long-time Glynn County veterinarian William “Bill” Disque died Thursday after suffering serious injuries in an accident at his home. He was 79.
Dr. Disque died at a Jacksonville hospital where he was taken Wednesday aboard a medical evacuation flight after falling down steps at his residence on St. Simons Island. Disque suffered numerous broken bones and other injures, friends of the family and neighbors said.
A graduate of Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine, Disque sold his practice, Disque Animal Clinic, years ago but continued to work and served as veterinarian for Glynn County Animal Services until about four years ago.
After that, he helped out at Integrity Animal Hospital in Kingsland when the owner and lead veterinarian, Don Nunn, had to take time off because of illness.
“He has been with us three or four years,’’ said Stephanie Womack, office director at the practice. “We loved him dearly. It’s a hard day for us.”
It was also an extremely hard day for Mark Jicha, who had played golf with Disque twice each week. The distraught Jicha said he and another golfer were waiting for Disque to arrive at Sanctuary Cove off Dover Bluff Road for their regular Wednesday morning round when they heard of the accident.
“Doc and I played golf twice a week for the past 20 years,’’ he said. “It’s a big hit for me.”
Jicha said Disque was more than a playing partner. He constantly encouraged Jicha and others, and he credited Disque with speeding his recovery after knee surgery. Disque was insistent that he get out and get moving again, Jicha said.
Disque didn’t just treat pets and the occasional farm animal. He helped the Department of Natural Resources with marine animals, said Susan Shipman, former director of the DNR’s Coastal Resources Division.
“Doc helped us for many years with large animals that would strand,’’ she said.
He treated whales and manatees and gave sick sea turtles injections of fluids and vitamins, Shipman said.
“This was before we had a turtle center,’’ she said.”He was great helping us with threatened and endangered species.”
He sometimes euthanized marine mammals in severe distress that could not be saved, she said.
“He was so generous with his time. Any time of day you could call him, and everything he did for us was pro bono,’’ Shipman said.
Disque is survived by his wife Gayle; a daughter, Ashley Disque Jenkins of Marietta; and a son, Brad Disque of Atlanta.