Community mourns loss of beloved Brown County veterinarian

Veterinarian James “Doc” Brester, 78, died at his Bean Blossom home on Dec. 22. Photo provided by the Brown County Democrat

By Suzannah Couch | The Democrat
For The Republic

BROWN COUNTY — “They say all dogs go to heaven,” Mary Gaither remarked.

“Well, Dr. Brester will have a huge welcoming committee.”

Veterinarian James “Doc” Brester, 78, died at his Bean Blossom home on Dec. 22 due to a previously diagnosed heart condition, Brown County Coroner Earl Piper said.

Brester retired from his Bean Blossom Animal Clinic in 2017, selling it to the owners of the Franklin Animal Clinic. He had operated it since 1966.

He continued to live next door after retiring, in the same part of Brown County where he’d spent most of his life.

Brester went to school all 12 years in Helmsburg and was active in 4-H as a child, according to Brown County Democrat archives. He was valedictorian of the Class of 1960 at Helmsburg High School.

He graduated from veterinary school at Purdue University in 1964, and married his high school sweetheart, Paulette, the same year. The couple has four children.

Brester served the community in many roles, including terms on the Brown County Board of Health and Brown County Schools Board of Trustees. But he was best known for taking care of creatures great and small.

A man of few words, his treatment of animals spoke for him.

He was known to work at least six days a week from before dawn to after dark, seeing up to 100 animals a day.

“Wonderful man,” Arthur Omberg said.

“He would always talk more to the animal than the pet’s owner. He will be missed.”

For more on this story, see Tuesday’s Republic.