Randy J. Boudrieau, DVM, Diplomate ACVS/ECVS of Sherborn, MA passed away peacefully on Wednesday, November 29, 2023, with his wife by his side at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital after a yearlong battle with esophageal cancer.
Born in Amityville NY, Randy grew up abroad in Mumbai, India, attending the Cathedral and John Connon School, and later lived in Central Africa, returning to the US before finishing high school. He was the son of the late Roland and Myra Boudrieau.
He received his BS with distinction in physics from the University of Washington and after graduation, decided to pursue a career in veterinary medicine. He said, “My uncle was a dog trainer and I have always enjoyed being around dogs and always wanted to be able to treat the issues we were faced with without going to someone else”. He received a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Washington State University in 1978. Given his background in physics and love of “fixing” things, he completed a surgical internship at Rowley Memorial Animal Hospital in Springfield, MA and his surgical residency at Ohio State University (1984), where he developed his passion for orthopedics.
After his surgical residency, Randy joined the faculty of Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine in Grafton, MA thinking he would later move on to private practice. He quickly became involved with the development of the new school and enjoyed seeing it grow with the very diverse and busy caseload as the school became and still is a major referral center. He was a small animal surgeon specializing in orthopedics with a special interest in fracture healing, joint replacement, and maxillofacial surgery. He occasionally operated and consulted on large animals (horses, cows, llamas, etc.), zoo animals (kangaroos, tigers, a wallaby, etc.), and wildlife (sea turtle, Canadian lynx, a cougar with a broken tooth, eagles, etc.). He was featured on Nova performing a total hip replacement for a German Shepherd and Animal Planet repairing a fractured shell in a 200-pound sea turtle from the New England Aquarium named “Green. He was a perfectionist at heart and never hesitated to go back to surgery to fix a repair that was not up to his expectations. His anesthesiologist wife often explained, “you don’t understand, he is not looking for good, he is looking for perfect”.
Randy’s other passion was teaching. He loved working with the students when they entered the clinics and especially enjoyed mentoring the surgical residents. He was a tough and demanding teacher but many of the residents that he mentored went on to win awards at various veterinary meetings. He was very proud of their post-residency accomplishments and was especially pleased when they called him for advice. He was an instructor for decades at the AO/ASIF (Arbeitsgemeinschaft fur Osteosynthesefragen/Association for the Study of Internal Fixation) courses both in the US and Europe and a frequent lecturer at US and European veterinary meetings. As a longstanding member of the AO Veterinary Expert Group, he contributed to the development of veterinary surgical implants.
Randy was a Diplomate of the American and European College of Veterinary Surgeons, a founding fellow of the ACVS Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, and past President of the Veterinary Orthopedic Society (he jokingly called this Vets on Skis as the annual meeting is held at a ski area). He was a prolific contributor to peer reviewed scientific veterinary journals and textbooks. He retired from Tufts in 2018 as Professor Emeritus, Clinical Sciences.
His passions outside of veterinary orthopedic surgery included anything fast: skiing, cars (his replica 1965 Cobra), and cycling. He loved “home orthopedics” having built a sunroom, deck, ballet studio in the barn for his wife, and other additions to their home. He thought of himself as a gentleman farmer and loved his tractor and especially the giant snowblower attachment. He was always very happy when contractors would come to the house and say, “Did you build this?” Having been introduced to the world of ballet by his wife, he became a ballet enthusiast and was always game to attend the Boston Ballet and other ballet company productions here and in Europe.
Randy’s best friends were his wife of 33 years and his pack of dogs, usually 4 or 5 at one time (Giant Schnauzers, Labradors, and a Boerboel). He found immense joy in being at home but also traveling the world with his wife. As a lover of all things French, he spoke French with a decent accent, even giving a couple of scientific presentations in French. His description of a good day would be cycling with his wife on their tandem up and down the hills (his wife did not necessarily approve of the speed of the downhill) of Provence and then enjoying a good bottle of French wine with great cheese. As a friend, he was fiercely loyal, always willing to lend a hand (especially with a power tool), ready with this infectious laugh and beautiful smile and a great ability to make you laugh with his witty sense of humor.
He is survived by his wife, Leslie Williams of Sherborn, MA, his loving sister, Tracy Johnson of Parker, CO, and his niece, Christie Johnson and nephews, Daniel, Michael, and Jason Johnson, loving in-laws, Bill and Georgia Williams of Lawton, OK, and a host of long time-friends including Dr. Sophie Gilbert of Montpellier, France. He is also survived by his very devoted Giant Schnauzers, Moose and Collette. Many thanks go out to Dr. Rishi Surana his care team at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and his long-time physician, Dr. Calum Macrae.
A celebration of Randy’s life will be held in the spring of 2024.
Arrangements are under the care of the Chesmore Funeral Home of Holliston. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Randy’s honor to the Jimmy Fund(https://danafarber.jimmyfund.org), Boston Ballet (https://www.bostonballet.org/home/support/donate/), or the Greater Boston Food Bank (https://my.gbfb.org)