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Columbia Missourian

Former MU professor loved horses, teaching

By Kristi Luther
September 5, 2012 | 6:27 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — Dr. Wayne Loch had a passion for teaching and horses, and he served both of them devoutly.

Dr. Loch was a professor of equine science at MU for 35 years. 

"His whole life, he didn't know anything but horses," said Bill Slemp, 79, his long-time friend and colleague.

Dr. Wayne E. Loch of Centralia died Saturday, Sept. 1, 2012. He was 73.

He was born Feb. 24, 1939, in Maryville to Paul Newton and Lita (Bearden) Loch. 

Growing up on a farm with his uncle and father, Dr. Loch was around horses his whole life. Slemp said Dr. Loch loved to ride when he was young and competed in rodeos in high school, even making it to the finals.

According to the MU Division of Animal Science's website, Dr. Loch received his bachelor's degree in 1961 and master's degree in 1963, both in animal husbandry.

After working in nutrition at various feed companies, he returned to MU to pursue his doctoral degree in animal science. He earned his degree in 1979.

"I've known him longer than I've known anyone in the area," Slemp said. "I managed the animals, and he did the teaching. He did a nice job, and the students really liked him."

By 1990, Dr. Loch was a member of the Missouri Equine Council and an adviser and teacher to MU students. He also instructed MU's Rodeo Club.

Former MU student Shelia Short, vice president of the Missouri Equine Council, remembers her experiences with Dr. Loch. He taught several horse science classes and coached the horse judging team, even traveling with Short and the team to the American Quarter Horse Association show in Oklahoma City, she said.

"He was always a very kind, generous person," Short said, "and he was always willing to try and help people."

He was especially patient with students that had limited equine experience, she said.

According to the division of animal science's website, Dr. Loch received numerous awards from the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources and was a member of the American Society of Animal Science and the Equine Nutrition and Psychology Society.

Dr. Loch is survived by his wife Barbara (Gerau) Loch; his two daughters, Jennifer Ann Loch-Manczuk and her husband Mikel of Napoleon, Mo., and Sarah Beth Loch of Centralia; four grandchildren Emily, Grant, Molly and Drew Manczuk of Napoleon, Mo.; his sister Pat Thomson of Raytown, his brother and sister-in-law Robert and Audrey Gerau, of Columbia, his aunt and uncle Gene and Marian Loch of Maryville, as well as several nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

Wayne's brother-in-law, Harold Thomson, died earlier.

The family will greet friends at 10 a.m. Monday at Hallsville United Methodist Church , and a memorial service will follow.

Condolences can be posted at