Travis Deen '67 August 7, 2023 1:17 PM updated: August 7, 2023 1:27 PM
Travis Dale Deen, DVM
November 4, 1944 - July 31, 2023
Dr. Travis Deen, beloved Wills Point veterinarian, passed away peacefully on July 31, 2023, surrounded by his family at the Deen Home Place, his much-loved home, pastures, and garden, after a bravely fought battle with cancer. He was 78 years old.
Travis Dale Deen was born on November 4, 1944, to Ruth Travis Deen and William Clyde “Billy” Deen in Jacksonville, Texas, at Nan Travis Hospital, a facility named in honor of his great-grandmother and delivered by his great uncle, Dr. Louie Travis. Travis was raised in Canton, Texas, and graduated from Canton High School in 1963. He married Carol Ann Stanley, and with Carol, moved to College Station, Texas, to attend Texas A&M University. After graduating from TAMU in 1967 with a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science, Travis entered the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine, to pursue his lifelong dream of becoming a veterinarian. While in vet school, he also earned a Master of Science in Physiology of Reproduction. He graduated and became a veterinarian in 1971.
Dr. Deen was asked by the town elders of Wills Point, Texas, to begin his veterinary practice there, and he became its first, and for many years, its only veterinarian. To sweeten the offer, the Riding and Roping Club of Wills Point gifted Dr. Deen a horse, which he gladly accepted and put to use on occasion, throughout his early years of practice, out on morning calls in order to reach cows calving in bottom pasture lands. Dr. Deen started out his practice in his late grandparents’ home on North Third Street, later building a larger practice on Highway 47 South. He was a much loved and respected doctor to countless dogs, cats, horses, cattle, and all manner of exotics of not only Van Zandt County, but all over Texas and beyond, for 43 years.
During his time in practice, Dr. Deen never stopped discovering and learning advances in veterinary medicine, earning a reputation as an excellent surgeon, particularly in equine medicine. He became board certified in equine surgery, and at the time, one of only four board certified Texas equine practitioners. In 1998, he was named Texas Equine Practitioner of the Year by the Texas Veterinary Medical Association for his outstanding contribution to the field. Because of his expertise in veterinary medicine, other veterinarians across Texas routinely referred difficult cases to him. Dr. Deen, understanding the need to give to his community and ensure the lowering of outbreaks in the area, created and ran a yearly Rabies clinic at Wills Point High School providing much needed vaccinations to dogs and cats of the county. Dr. Deen was a born teacher and instructor, and throughout his career, wrote numerous veterinary journal articles and papers, gave lectures to and trained fellow veterinarians and aspiring veterinarians around Texas and beyond. He served on several veterinary medicine committees, including the TVMA equine practice committee, and served as president of both the East Texas Veterinary Medical Association and the Northeast Texas Equine Practitioners Association.
After a long and successful career, Dr. Deen retired in 2014, but in retirement did not cease in satisfying his intense and lifelong desire to study and learn. When Dr. Deen found an interest, he did not dabble but entered a serious and rigorous study of it, reading, learning, and practicing on every aspect of the topic. He was a metal artist, a wildlife photographer, a Texas historian, a gardener of roses, a land and wildlife conservationist, a mover of dirt, and a chef of BBQ, gumbo and Tex-Mex cuisine. He was a lifetime member of the Texas Wildlife Association. Rising at 4:00 a.m. he filled his days on his tractor, doing what he loved most tending to his favorite place, his Home Place, the farm of his grandparents, J.E. and Duron Turner Deen. He was lovingly referred to as Daddy Deen by his grandchildren. They spent many summers working on the farm together where he taught them essential life lessons, took numerous road trips studying Texas history, visiting Texas Monthly list of top BBQ restaurants, and attending Texas Wildlife Association annual meetings.
Most of all, Dr. Deen was a beloved husband to his wife, father to his daughters, Daddy Deen to his five grandchildren, uncle to his nephews, a brother, and a faithful companion to his many dogs and friends. We were all made better for knowing him.
Dr. Deen is survived by his wife of 60 years, Carol, three daughters, Tess Dale Deen, Dana Deen Kinion (husband, Steve Kinion), and Andrea Deen Hampton (husband, Dr. David Hampton), his brother, Billy Jack “Brother” Deen (wife, Lucia), five grandchildren, Ben Travis Webb, Jake Allen Webb, Ruth Catherine Kinion, Emma Helene Kinion, and Henry Travis Kinion, nephews Luke Deen (wife, Meagan) and Sam Deen (wife, Ashley) and a multitude of Deen cousins.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Billy and Ruth Deen.
Visitation from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. followed by funeral services at 3:00 p.m. are on Thursday, August 10, 2023, at Eubank Funeral Home in Canton, Texas, with interment beside his parents to immediately follow at Haven of Memories Cemetery in Canton.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Texas A&M University School of Veterinary Medicine Large Animal Compassionate Care Fund by going to: http://give.am/DrDeenMemorial and list Dr. Travis Deen as the person memorialized by your gift.
IN THE CARE OF
Eubank Funeral Home & Haven of Memories Memorial Park