Dr. Ben Konishi passes away at age 92

Dr. Ben Konishi shares a laugh with former employee and lifelong friend Jocelyn Russell. Dr. Konishi worked until his 90th year and said he loved every minute./Courtesy photo

ALAMOSA — Dr. Ben Konishi, 92, who served as a veterinarian for more than six decades in the San Luis Valley, passed away on Tuesday.

Originally from Fort Lupton, Dr. Konishi was raised on a dairy farm where his love for animals was born. He graduated with highest honors from the Colorado A & M School of Veterinary Medicine and moved to the San Luis Valley where he first worked with Dr. Wadleigh from Monte Vista. He then moved to Alamosa where he began his own veterinary practice, and he and wife Bessie raised their three children.

Dr. Konishi worked as a veterinarian for 66 years until August of 2016. At the time he was 90.

When he retired he said, “I never felt like I had to work a day in my life. I loved every minute. Your clients become your friends. I didn’t have any interests in traveling or developing hobbies. I loved taking care of the animals from morning ‘til night, day in and day out … I loved every one of my patients, even had a crocodile and some monkeys through the years, but it’s been mainly cats, dogs, horses and cows. It seems like it went by so quickly. It’s really been a privilege and I loved what I did.”

Dr. Konishi was inducted into Colorado’s Ag Hall Of Fame in 2011. The announcement stated: “Dr. Ben Konishi of Alamosa, Colorado, is a veterinarian who has worked tirelessly and efficiently for his clients and their animals for more than 60 years. Known for his accuracy and speed of pregnancy checking his services are requested far and wide. ‘Doc Ben’ is known as a man of true generosity throughout his community and profession.”

Well known artist Jocelyn Russell, who worked for the doctor when she was young, stated on Tuesday, “Will forever love and miss one of the most important men in my life. There’s probably a few passed animals giving him a good talkin’ to right now. But a helluva lot more thanking him. The Incredible Dr. Ben.”

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