Deanna Thornell has gained popularity by her professional name Dr. Dee Thornell. This Veterinarian based in Alaska dedicates herself to caring for animals health. She oversees all kinds, from typical pets like dogs, cats to exotic cases like snakes, owl, macaws, eagles in general bird, and even wild animals like moose, bear, elephants.
Dr. Dee provides service at her highly equipped Animal House Veterinary Hospital in Fairbanks, Alaska and as well she attends different Alaskan Villages using a small plane, four-wheeler or a horse and carriage. Despite the difficulties of access routes and the daunting task of facing below sub-zero temperature, Dr. Dee makes her service available to the remotest corner of Alaska.
This astonishing doctor has her own reality TV show “Dr. Dee Alaska Vet” on Animal Planet network. The show focuses on her adventure in the remote Alaskan villages as well, work at her clinic in Alaska.
In this article, we will bring everything about Dr. Dee Thornell including her age, family, married life, divorce and net worth.
Dr. Dee Thornell Career and Progression
Dr. Dee is Ohio native born and raised in Michigan. As a child, she had no intention of becoming a Veterinarian in future, but the unfortunate happening in her childhood lured her to pursue the very profession. She is the youngest of four siblings from her parents including a brother Dickie who died in Vietnam war.
Although her father wanted to see his only son, Dickie as a veterinary doctor he was good in athletic aspect but poor in Algebra, so he could not pursue. When the country came calling former marine father encouraged him to join the army. What returned was misery and sad truth, the death of his only son. This precise moment Dr. Dee knew she wanted to pursue veterinary education and her dad was very much supportive of her. As she said in an interview ;
“After he died it was something unspeakable that pulled me to the field of veterinary medicine.”
The future veterinarian attended Benzie Central High School. She had made herself distinctive as an A-student in her high school. She was student council president and originator of the first school store, which sold candy bars and school supplies to earn money for homecoming and library carpet.
The aspiring girl graduated at the top of her class. In addition to her academics, she put in 20 hours a week with former Benzonia veterinarian Russell Wagner to help get into vet school. She received four years scholarship at the Michigan State University of Veterinary Medicine and earned her doctorate, Cum Laude, in 1981.
Dr. Dee came to Alaska in 1982 and since has been practicing her veterinary skills there. It was her doctor boyfriend who had asked to join him in Alaska, and she did not pass up the chance. Before that, she worked in Lansing at the Waverly Animal Hospital where her boyfriend completed his residency.
Although her relationship and boyfriend did not last, she ended up staying. In early years she started as mobile veterinarian riding her pickup truck from Cantwell to Circle City to Delta Junction. Besides treating animals, she would perform spay and neutering. She had done 36,000 spays and neuters before her move to an apartment clinic.
In 1996 this animal health practitioner renovated and moved her facility to the current location in Fairbanks, Alaska. Currently, she owns and runs 11,000 square-foot facility which includes Animal House Veterinary Hospital, Noah’s Ark and Muttessori School for Dogs.
Dr. Dee is not concerned about performing in front of the camera. She made her TV debut as the cast of Animal Planet show ” Dr. Dee Alaska Vet” on On Nov 7, 2015. Till now the show has completed two seasons.
Dr. Dee Thornell Net Worth
Besides an 11,000 square-foot facility, Dr. Dee owns a beautiful log home up in the hills surrounding Fairbanks with her now husband Ken who helped her built it.
She earned an impressive salary as the main cast of ” Dr. Dee Alaska Vet.” Her net worth is composed of her properties and the earning she makes from the profession. However, there is no reliable source to confirm her net worth at the moment.
During an interview, Dr. Dee told that she and her husband Ken do not have any saving account but that was a few years back, and stance could have changed.
Dr. Dee Thornell Personal Life: Married to second husband and mother of a son
Although she has endured a divorce, it serves a memory and a lesson to move on with life. She is currently married to second husband Kenneth Rodriguez who is incredibly supportive of her work.
The couple first met in 2005 and got married in 2007. So far their conjugal life has been blissful however they are yet to bear any children together.
Dr. Dee and her husband Ken takes care of horses, goats, donkeys and other household chores. He also joins her in outdoor activities. When Dr. Dee could not attend the patient house through road access, Ken is there to fly her across the remotes of Alaska. Herself as licensed pilot sometime she has to go on a solo trip.
Ken owns instrument rating and commercial pilot’s license. When he is not working as head of maintenance for several buildings owned by the State of Alaska, he heads out flying in remotes of Alaska. Also, Ken convinced her to take the flying lessons, and she eventually got her license too. She earned her first solo flight on December 7 of 2013.
Dr. Dee has a son named Jesse James Sanderson from her ex-husband Chuck Sanderson. Her first marriage lasted for seven years. Although many of us will assume her son Jesse who is in his 20’s to follow her footsteps, it has not been the case. He looks for a career in auto body repair and hopes to open his own shop in Anchorage, Alaska. In the past, he pushed for a career in motocross racing, but after breaking too many bones, he ended up giving up.
Dr. Dee Thornell Wiki/Bio, Age
She was born as Deanna Thornell on July 29, 1958, in Michigan, Ohio, U.S. She is currently 59 years of age and as it stands she will be celebrating her 60th birthday this July. She is the youngest of four siblings including a brother who died in Vietnam.
Her mother Geraldine Thornell was a typical housewife and a farmer. Her father was a tool and die specialist for General Motors who also served as a marine in WWII.
After spending her early years in Kalamazoo, Dr. Dee moved to Beulah, a small town in Benzonia Michigan with her parents and sister Pam Thornell in 1968. He father owned and ran two motels there. Also, the country setting helped her get close to animals where she had her first horse named Tuffy.