Respect, Condolences For Russell Hackler

Veterinarian who died in plane crash Friday is remembered by the many people he touched in Castro Valley.


News that in a plane crash elicted an outpouring of memories, testimonials and condolences.

Here are some of the recollections shared by readers:

Carol Boganes: I met Russ in the 70's . . .  I remember a young girl who delivered newspapers on her adopted mustang. She was doing her route and was struck by a vehicle. The young horse had a flap hanging from his hip the size of a huge turkey . . . as he treated the horse he was trying to beat the helicopters thay were spraying for the first time for the med fly. He didn't want the chemical in the wound . . . He spent almost two hours with this girl and her horse. There are dozens and dozens of theses stories. He will be remembered by everyone of them.

Joyce Tavares: Dr. Hackler was our family vet for over 40 years . . . he was so kind to all our animals and I will miss his smile and the time we spent with him on visits to the vet . . . he was never rushed and always took time to talk with us, even about his vacations and love of flying. How sad that he had to leave us so soon . . . he was so looking forward to his semi-retirement.

Dan Willits: We will miss you Doc. We were blessed to spend Mother's Day this year with Russ on his plane for a flight around the Bay. He had donated this trip as an auction item to Chabot Elementary for many years and we happened to win the bid this year. He truly loved to fly and donated many trips and resources to transport ill children to receive medical attention.

Dr. Dennis M Barros: I wish the family my deepest condolences. I lived in Castro Valley and owned a veterinary hospital close to Russell's. I knew he had a huge following and his patients will sadly miss him.

Rene Galdolfi, DVM: Russ was a respected colleague and a valued friend for over 30 years. The loss to the community cannot be calculated. His good humor, gentleness, and generosity where unmatched. It was an honor to have known him.

Brenda Augustine: My heart is truly broken with the loss of Dr. Hackler . . . He has done so much for my animals, especially my bunnies, over the years, and always with the greatest kindness and compassion. We thank you, Dr. Hackler, for all that you've done and we will never forget you. 

Read more testimonials about Dr. Hackler, or leave your own memories in the comments section below.

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cindy December 05, 2012 at 12:34 AM
The posted link has over 110 responses....shouldn't we just continue with that one? http://castrovalley.patch.com/articles/plane-crash-kills-russell-hackler-of-groveway-veterinary#photo-12323771
Patti December 05, 2012 at 01:13 AM
The best doctor in the world is a Veterinarian, cause he can't ask his patients what's wrong ... He just has to know.....Will Rogers
Mel Ashford December 05, 2012 at 02:16 AM
He was just a fantastic person. When we had to put my dog down after a long fight to save her, he brought me her ashes at no charge, saying that we had fought so hard to save her that we deserved to not have to pay for the ashes. One fantastic, caring person.
Tracie Glaze December 06, 2012 at 07:34 AM
I worked for this man for over 20 years, he taught me everything I knew, and know about being a vet tech. I have cried everyday since his death, and will for many days to come... He was a good man, and a great mentor there are no more Russ Hacklers out there and my heart goes out to his wife, 2 children, and grandchildren. " When I look to the sky something tells me your right there with me " Train. Goodbye rocketman..
Carlos Meraz December 07, 2012 at 09:06 AM
My name is Carlos Meraz and I started working for Dr. Hackler when I was only 19 in 2000-2002, then was re hired from 2004-2006 and can honestly say that this is just a huge tragedy. Russ was one of the most generous, kind, funniest doctors I have ever worked with and miss him dearly. Because of Russ I fell in love with the field that I am still in, this year I turned 32 and I am a RVT and work emergency, he would think I am nuts for working grave. Never will I forget helping in the back, outside with a horse, or seeing a potbelly pig, sheep, or goat walk into treatmeant. Never will I forget all the lunches that he bought the hospital every Saturday, which I have to ad that no other doctor has ever done since I left Grove Way. Never will I forget his funny conversations during surgery, or they way he walked almost on his tip toes like if he was gliding. The man was an excellent doctor to work with that went out of his way to lend a helping hand even outside of work. Thank you from the bottom of my heart Russ for everything that you have done for me, I will NEVER forget you!, you where the best!. My heart goes out to everyone that Russ has touched, I know theres hundreds, my deepest condolence goes out to his lovely wife Kathy and beautiful family.
Edward Lee December 17, 2012 at 02:53 AM
Dr Russ took care of three bull dogs for us over a 10 year span he was awesome with our babies and with us, he will be missed..what a great Vet and person....


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