John Whitefield, the founder of Hudson Highlands who passed away in 2004, is still remembered fondly by staff and clients alike. We remember John as a dedicated veterinarian whose vision can be found in our mission statement: “To be passionately committed to practice the profession of Veterinary Medicine to the highest standard.”
We strive to maintain the reputation of excellence and integrity that he built over 30 years. At the Lime Kiln Road property, we have a memory garden that surrounds a cherry tree transplanted from John’s home to honor his love of gardening and the beauty of a blooming fruit tree. In this garden, people who were close to John have left stones engraved with words like inspire, teach, explore, passion, and faith – words that reflect the way John approached life.
Over the reception area in our Lime Kiln lobby, we have a horse-drawn doctor’s buggy. This carriage, from the early 1900s, was discovered by John in the eaves of a barn on a piece of property he owned. As a Morgan Horse owner, he had an enthusiasm for driving and he imagined how both human and animal doctors would travel to farms in such a buggy for house calls.
As a woodworker and tinkerer, he had an appreciation for the way things used to be made, and for the pride that went into good craftsmanship. That doctor’s buggy was professionally restored for John as a gift from his brother, and he loved the final product.
An accomplished photographer, clients and staff can appreciate photographs throughout the Hospital of the wildlife that he enjoyed during his travels. These great conversation pieces serve to remind us of a multifaceted man who lived his life to the fullest and with no regrets.