Hiram Lasher(1920 - 2012)

Lasher, Hiram

Millsboro—Dr. Hiram N. Lasher, 92, a pioneer in avian vaccine development passed away Sunday, October 7th after a short illness. To the end Hiram was intellectually active corresponding with colleagues and actively participating in professional activities.

Dr. Lasher was born on February 8, 1920 to the late Nelson and Elizabeth Palmer Lasher. In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by a son, Steven, sister, Mary Alice and a brother William.

Dr. Lasher was raised on his family's farm (Sunrise Farms) in the Catskill, New York during The Depression. After graduating high school he worked his way through college graduating from Cornell University in 1942 with his DVM. His early professional years were spent in expanding poultry health in Delaware where he settled with his wife Bertha and started their family. He later established a succession of two poultry vaccine manufacturing concerns in Millsboro, DE, which were acquired by multinational biopharmaceutical concerns. He went on to found Lasher Consulting, Inc. in 1982 and until recently served as President providing technical advice and support to vaccine producers in the U.S and the international arena.

Hiram was instrumental in developing and commercializing a number of significant vaccines through his own efforts and through cooperation with colleagues in industry and academia.

His philanthropy was legendary, endowing Cornell University and the University of Delaware with research facilities and financial support. He participated in professional associations including the American Association of Avian Pathologists and contributed to a number of funds to support students and other activities. His civic and professional accolades included induction into the Poultry Hall of Fame, designation as an honorary Diplomate of the American College of Poultry Veterinarians and he received medals and awards from universities and his adopted home state of Delaware. He served as a founding board member of Delaware Technical Community College, served for twelve years on the Delaware State Board of Education and the Board of Directors of Beebe Hospital as well as numerous other civic boards. Additionally, Hiram along with his wife Bertha, served and financially supported The Boy Scouts of America and was awarded the prestigious The Silver Beaver Award by the Del-Mar-Va Council for his service.

Even though Dr. Lasher's life was led with a rigorous work ethic and insistence for quality his greatest accomplishment was his family. Hiram was devoted to his family and proud of his seven children, three grandchildren, and one great grandchild whom he considered a true blessing in his life.

Dr. Lasher's business partner and close friend Dr. Vergil Davis writes this about Dr. Lasher. "When the task appears too large or the time too short, one need search for an implementer no further than Hiram, a hero in his own right with very few peers. He reminds us all that the secret to fruitful longevity is activity, and not just any activity, but one that we love."

Dr. Hiram Lasher lived his life to the fullest doing the things he most loved while impacting those whom he met, worked with and cared for. His love for his community, profession and his family will continue despite his passing.

He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Bertha Lasher of Millsboro, DE; children; Douglas Lasher and his wife Carolyn of Decatur, AL; Sandra Gordon and her husband William of Big Pine Key, FL; Dennis Lasher and his wife Debbie of Milford, DE; Denise Lasher of Lutz, FL; Michael Lasher of Millsboro, DE; Michele Lasher of Millsboro; grandchildren, Sean, Elizabeth, and Sarah and one great grandchild Hiram.

A Memorial Service Celebrating Dr. Lasher's life will be held at 12:30 PM on Friday, Oct. 12, 2012 at the Watson Funeral Home, 211 S. Washington St., Millsboro, DE 19966. Friends may call on Thursday from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM at the Funeral Home. Burial will be private.

In Lieu of flowers contributions can be made in memory of Dr. Hiram Lasher to the BV Rao Poultry Scholarship fund at the University of Delaware which he helped establish in honor of his friend and colleague from India. Please mail contributions to Office of Gifts Processing, University of Delaware, 83 E. Main St., Newark, DE 19716.

Letters of condolence may be emailed via www.watsonfh.com

Published in The Daily Times on Oct. 10, 2012