Distinguished Alumnus Veterinarian’s advice molds Karel’s career

As a high school student in Gregory, Gary Karel loved sports, especially wrestling, and he loved to work with animals, but a word of advice from his local veterinarian was well-heeded.

The local veterinarian (Dr. Carl Lenker) was a frequent visitor to the Louie and Ardyth Karel farm, as much for his mom’s cooking as his dad’s livestock. He was willing to help pay Karel’s way through vet school and help get him started in practice. But the vet shared this piece of advice: “When you get older, it’s difficult to wrestle those big animals.”

Karel thought about vaccinating 1,000-pound steers as a grandfather and he thought about his grandparents’ neighbor (Don Frank) in Gregory, a well-respected pharmacist.

Karel decided to use his SDSU wrestling scholarship to study pharmacy. It proved to be a good decision. The wrestling career ended with a knee injury in Karel’s sophomore year. The pharmacy career continues today.


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