Dr. Ronald Dumas DVM was known as the “quiet man.”
For more than 30 years, he quietly served the community as a veterinarian in Inverness and quietly made a difference in the lives of the animals and people he touched.
Citrus County native Ronald Dumas died Saturday, Sept. 11 at age 85.
Born in Crystal River on the old Dumas Dairy Farm off Turkey Oak Drive and raised caring for animals, Dumas opened his Inverness veterinary practice in 1964.
At that time, Inverness didn’t have a vet.
The following year, the county extension agent asked if he would help out with farm animals in the community.
Back then, he would travel from farm to farm checking on cattle and swine, known as the “circuit ride.” That eventually evolved into a yearly clinic, checking livestock, deworming and vaccinating them.
“He was our first veterinarian at Humanitarians of Florida and was instrumental in getting our clinic started,” said Donna Schmid, Humanitarians of Florida longtime volunteer and clinic founder. “As a vet, he was tremendously knowledgeable, and he was exact.
"He was a very, very good veterinarian ... and people listened to what he told them," she said. "He was good with domestic animals and also farm animals. But my first thought of him is that he was always a kind, courteous Southern gentleman,” she said.
On the occasion of Dr. Dumas Day in Inverness Sept. 26, 2009, honoring Dumas for his lifetime of service, Schmid said, “He just has to lay his hands on an animal and can tell you what is wrong.”
That event highlighted the many contributions Dumas had made to the community, which, at that time, included: a member of the Kiwanis of Inverness for 45 years, retired Air Force Reserve colonel, member of the Citrus County Historical Society and two-term past county commissioner.
Dumas himself a former Future Farmers of America member and active in the county fair association, he had a heart for kids who raised livestock through 4-H or FFA and often offered his veterinary services free of charge.
"I am deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Dr. Ron Dumas, and Marybeth and I would like to extend our deepest sympathy to his family and friends," said Dr. K.C. Nayfield, also a longtime veterinarian in Citrus County. "Ron was the first veterinarian to come and welcome me to Citrus County in 1982. We worked together with the county commission to write the animal control ordinance back then.
"He was a good man and a good veterinarian," Nayfield said. "He had a positive influence on the county for decades. He even sold me a bone plating kit back then, which kick-started my orthopedic career. He will be missed but remembered."
On Dr. Dumas Day in 2015, community members gathered on a cool Sept. 26 to watch a sign presentation designating Independence Highway as Dr. Ronald Dumas Highway, a unanimous decision by the board of county commissioners.
On that day, then-Fair Association president Lee Earl Stokes expressed gratitude for Dumas’s years of contributions and hard work, saying, “For the dedication that he’s shown the Citrus County Fair Association, and all the kids throughout the years in 4-H and FFA, and all that he has done for them, and all that he has taught them, and the way that he has guided them — Doobie, thank you.”
Memorial services for Dr. Ronald Dumas are being planned, also a Postscript about the life and legacy of this quiet yet influential man.