Dr. Dee Thornell, facts TV show does not tells about this Alaska Vet.

Wow! , life has an amazing way of deciding someone’s destiny. We all know what we will be doing in next 10-15 years is predictable but it’s totally uncertain, similar is the case of this Lady too. She never knew that one day she will turn into a good veterinarian along with her own reality television show called “Dr. Dee: Alaska Vet.” Dr. Dee Thornell is such a passionate lady that she flew to a remote area of Alaska just to take care of animals. Catch up with us to learn details on Dr. Dee Thornell life including facts on her professional as well personal life.

Her brother death led her into veterinarian career path

Dr. Dee Thornell’s brother Dickie is the source of inspiration for her carrier as a vet. Her brother was interested in becoming a vet doctor. Dickie would walk to the veterinary clinic on the way to his school every day to help and observe after his school time. Although keen on the profession his inability to perform well in math class let him down and so his aspiration of becoming a veterinarian.

Dr Dee Thornell

Alaska based veterinarian Dr. Dee Thornell

When the country came calling his former marine father encouraged him to join the army. What returned was misery and sad truth, the death of his only son. Dickie was shot dead in Vietnam war as a bullet passed into his heart. The little sister who had nothing but love for him then felt like she is the one who must fulfill her brother’s dream. As she said in an interview ;

“After he died it was something unspeakable that pulled me to the field of veterinary medicine.”

Another portion of her successful carrier was the all-time support of her father. After death, she was raised in the country setting in a small town in Benzie, Michigan and got along with animals. Her father would buy her horses or any animals she liked as long as she pursued her veterinary studies.

Dr. Dee Thornell married for the second time; her current husband is Kenneth Rodriguez

True relationships are rare to find, only a few of them last longer. Dr. Dee has also felt it in her life. She was married to Chuck Sanderson who is her first husband.

Dr. Dee met him after she opened up her clinic in Alaska. They spent seven years together after their wedding and were blessed with a son named Jesse Sanderson. Chuck owned a ranch and Dee also helped him in looking after those animals on the ranch. She also learned a lot about hunting and other outdoors from the Chuck.

Dr Dee Thornell Alaska Vet Husband

Dr. Dee Thornell and her husband, Kenneth Rodriguez

Kenneth R. Rodriguez is the second husband of Dee. They met in 2005 after they get along and decided to get married in 2007, till then they both were together and even built a log cabin in the Hills of Fairbanks, Alaska.

Kenneth is very supportive in nature and helps her a lot in work. As a licensed pilot he flies her across remote Alaska, he also convinced Dee to take lessons on flying a plane and helped her learning. She finally learned how to fly planes and took her solo flight on December 7, 2013.

Dr. Dee is much older than her husband, Kenneth

At the age of 59 still, this lady is stunning. Dr. Dee celebrates her birthdate each year on July 29 after she was born in 1958.

Although it is evident Kenneth is younger than Dr. Dee through their photo together, your guess for their age difference might not come close to the actual number. Kenneth was born on February 11, 1972, which currently makes him 46 years of age.

Dr Dee Thornell and her husband Kenneth Rodriguez

Kenneth Rodriguez(L) and Dr. Dee (R)

The supportive couple leads a blissful married life, and they are not fussed by number what their age counts on.

Dr. Dee came to Alaska with boyfriend

After Dee graduated from the Michigan State University of Veterinary Medicine in 1981, she was working at Waverly Animal Hospital in Lansing Michigan. While her boyfriend, an emergency room doctor had residency. After completion, he bought Emergency Room practice in Fairbanks, Alaska and asked if Dee wanted to go along with him, which she did. Dee and her boyfriend came to Alaska in 1982.  Dee ended up staying and eventually opened her Animal health practice in Alaska while her boyfriend hated the place and left. Currently, she owns and runs 11,000 square-foot facility which includes Animal House Veterinary Hospital, Noah’s Ark and Muttessori School for Dogs.

More Facts on Dr. Dee Thornell

  • She was born as Deanna Thornell in Ohio, Michigan, U.S.
  • She is the youngest of four siblings including her brother Dickie who died in Vietnam war.
  • When she was ten years of age, she moved from Kalamazoo to Beulah, Michigan with her family.
  • Her first horse name is Tuffy which is buried in her family farm.
  • She attended Benzie Central High School, and she received a four-year scholarship at the Michigan State University of Veterinary.
  • She was Couples Champion for bodybuilding in 1995 and Ms. Alaska in 1996.


  1. Kathleen Franz November 27, 2018
  2. Danette Murphy February 27, 2019
  3. Kathleen Finlayson June 28, 2019
  4. Marilyn brennan August 15, 2019

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