Martin Sevoian, 86, of Amherst, alumnus and retired professor of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, died Sept. 14 at the Wingate Nursing Home in South Hadley.
Born in Methuen, he was lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force during World War II, serving as a pilot and flight instructor.
After his discharge, he enrolled at UMass, where he earned a B.S. in 1949. He earned his doctorate in veterinary medicine from the University of Pennsylvania in 1953 and a master''s in microbiology and pathology from Cornell University in 1954. He also received the honor of Diplomate from the American College of Microbiology.
He was an assistant professor of pathology at Cornell University in 1954-55 before returning to Amherst as a member of the Veterinary Science faculty. His research into cancer-causing viruses led to a vaccine for avian leukosis. In 1985, his published work on herpes virus-induced lymphoid tumors was noted by Current Contents as a “citation classic” for being the most cited article ever published in the Journal of Veterinary Medicine.
He retired in 1996 with more than 42 years of service.
He was a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association.
He leaves his wife of 51 years, Lucile (Hieser) Sevoian; a daughter, Janna Aldrich, of Hadley, and a son, James Sevoian of Danbury, Conn.; a brother and sister and four grandchildren.
Memorial gifts may be made to VNA Hospice, P.O. Box 329, Northampton, 01060-0329 or the Veterinary Scholarship Trust of New England, P.O. Box 3221, N. Attleboro, 02761.
A private family burial service will be held in Lawrence. A local memorial service will be held at a later date.
Calling hours are Friday, Sept. 16 from 6-8 p.m. at the Douglass Funeral Service, Amherst.