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August 02, 2023 - 00:00
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Don David Farst, 82, of Medina, Texas, passed away on July 25th, 2023 in Kerrville, Texas. He was born in Wadsworth, Ohio to Walter and Ada Farst on February 25th, 1941. He married Jan Rae Harber on June 17th, 1980 in Brownsville, Texas.

His primary education was completed in

Zanesville, Ohio. After high school he attended The Ohio State University where he was an undergraduate from 1959-1961. He then got his doctorate in Veterinary Medicine in 1965. He first worked in general practice of veterinary medicine in Grove City, Pennsylvania from 1965 to 1969. Next, he worked as the veterinarian and Mammals Curator for the Columbus Zoo from 1969 to 1970. He then moved to the Gladys Porter Zoo as the veterinarian and Associate Director from 1970 to 1974. The majority of his career was proudly and lovingly spent as the Managing Director of the Gladys Porter Zoo from 1974 until 2007. Finally, he returned to private practice as a relief veterinarian and consultant from 2007 until his full retirement in 2015.

He was involved in many professional and civic activities including, but not limited to: International Rhinoceros Foundation; American Association of Zoological Parks and Aquariums; American Association of Zoo Veterinarians; Rotary club of Brownsville, Texas; American Animal Hospital Association; the Pennsylvania, Kerrville and Rio Grande Valley Veterinary Associations; The Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora and The International Species Information System. His personal hobbies included bonsai, photography, vitaculture, enology, aviculture, orchid culture, lapidary and silversmithing.

Don was preceded in death by his father Walter, his mother Ada, his brother Jim and his sisters- in-law Phyllis and Jackie.

Survivors include his loving wife Jan of Medina, Texas; his daughter Julie Smith and husband, Dan with their children Megan and Connor of Smyrna, Georgia; his daughter Jenny Moore and future husband Russell Bryan with her daughter Michelle of Zanesville, Ohio; his son JD Farst and wife Jennifer with their children Ryker, Harper and Lainie of Bryan, Texas; his brother Kenneth Farst of Johnson City, Tennessee; nieces Kathy Baldock (Greg) of Nacogdoches, Texas, Carol Keirn (Andy) of Adamstown, Maryland, Karen Farst of Little Rock, Arkansas and Debbie McKenzie of Cadillac, Michigan; nephews Mike Farst ( Mary) of Leander, Texas and Doug Farst (Anne) of Memphis, Tennessee; along with numerous other extended family.

Funeral services will be held on August 5th, 2023 at 1pm at the Medina Community Church in Medina, Texas with Pastor Bill Stegemueller officiating.

Don is remembered as a loving husband, kind and patient father and as a man who was passionate about animals and conservation of the natural world. In lieu of flowers please send donations to the Gladys Porter Zoo, the International Rhinoceros Foundation or the Medina Volunteer Fire Department.

The family wishes to extend their thanks to the wonderful doctors, nurses and staff at the Peterson Regional Medical Center for their love and compassion in his care during his final days. They would also like to thank the Grimes Funeral Chapels of Kerrville for their sincere care and patience during this trying time. Lastly, they would like to thank the Medina Community Church for their care in organizing and conducting the services.

Condolences may be sent at www.grimesfuneralchapels. com.

Funeral arrangements are entrusted to Grimes Funeral Chapels of Kerrville.