Dr. Jerry J. Callis, D.V.M., the first employee of Plum Island Animal Disease Center, died Dec. 4, 2020. He was 94.
Dr. Callis was born July 28, 1926, in Sassar, Ga., the youngest of eight children. He opened the first Plum Island office for the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Front Street in Greenport in 1953. He graduated from Auburn and Purdue universities, where he specialized in virology and immunology. According to his family, he became the foremost authority on hoof and mouth disease in the world.
Dr. Callis became director of the Plum Island facility and served in that position for 25 years. He was a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the World Health Organization and the World Veterinary Congress.
He served as president of the Eastern Long Island Hospital board and volunteered with Boy Scouts of America. He was a founding board member of Peconic Landing in Greenport. His family said he enjoyed working around the house and on his antique automobiles.
Predeceased by his wife, Loisanne (née Roon), he is survived by his son, Fredrick.
Due to the coronavirus, no memorial service is currently planned.
Memorial donations may be made to Stony Brook Eastern Long Island Hospital.