In Loving Memory

Dr. John B. Symes, DVM

December 20, 1953 - March 16, 2020


John Baker Symes, DVM, passed away peacefully on March 16, 2020 in Daphne Alabama. 

Dr. Symes was a prominent Veterinarian in Mobile, AL and was the owner-operator of Beltline Animal Clinic.  In veterinary circles and to his many clients and friends, he was known as Doctor J.  He was not only known for his veterinarian work but also for his many years of in-depth study of animal nutrition and overall animal and human wellness. Dr. Symes published a vast assortment of educational literature and conducted many television and podcast interviews on the subject. For this, he will be long remembered.

Dr. Symes was a graduate of UMS in Mobile, AL and graduated from Auburn University in 1979, receiving the Upjohn Award as outstanding senior in small animal medicine. He completed his residency at Angell Memorial Hospital in Boston, Mass.

Being the son of a career military officer, John traveled the world with his family, living in England, Turkey, and eventually moving to Mobile.

John leaves behind a daughter, Carly Symes Brant (Steve), his son, Zack Symes; grandson, Eli Brant; and former wife of 35 years, Darcy Bell Symes; sister, Elizabeth Ray (Robert), and a brother, Robert Symes (Joan); and nieces & nephews.  He was preceded in death by his father, Col. Isaac M.B. Symes and mother, Edith L. Symes. He will be missed by his faithful employees, Gena and Howard, as well as many friends.

As a Christian, John lived his life in service of God. In his spare time, John enjoyed golfing with best friends, spending time at the beach, and celebrating family occasions.  John’s love of golf will be carried on through his grandson Eli, who was overjoyed when his Papa John joined him on the course.

But Dr. John’s true love and purpose in life was defined by a countless assortment of four legged miracles of nature that came to know him with their owners or their caretakers.  He was at his best with his patients that couldn’t speak of their pains and troubles, but just gave him their trust and affection unconditionally.  He will be missed more than anyone can express.

There will be a visitation on Friday, March 20, 2020 from 1:00 – 3:00pm at Hughes Funeral Home in Daphne. Please be advised that the funeral home will be adhering to the guidelines placed by the CDC and the ADPH, regarding the community health restrictions at this time. The Funeral Home will allow only 25 people in the building at a time, at 6’ apart and exiting the building immediately.   The family will announce a service celebrating Dr. John’s life in the coming weeks when larger gatherings are permitted.

In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation in John’s memory to Pawsitively Mobile AL,, a non-profit group close to his heart.

Expressions of condolence for the family may be made at  Hughes Funeral Home, 26209 Pollard Road, Daphne, AL, is handling service arrangements for the family.


  1. Donna Hughes

    To the family of Dr John Symes

    My name is Lisa Carroll/Bradford. Dr Symes was a God send to me, my husband and our German Shepherd Max. I had Max since he was 2 months old. He was constantly battling something (hot spots esp) throughout his 13 years of life. We will ever be so grateful and thankful for his guidance, care and bedside manor that flowed over to his dedicated staff as well, Howard and Gina. Dr Symes’ care gave us 2 more years with our beloved boy.
    Dr Symes was one of the most gracious people we have ever met as he was always available and willing to share his time, natural way of healing and nutritional knowledge.
    What a remarkable man! He will be sadly missed and we are grateful to have known such a gentle soul. Our hearts are broken for you loss.

    Lisa Bradford

  2. Liz Welker

    John, I will miss you so much! RIP, Friend!! <3 <3 <3

  3. Rachelle

    I am so sorry to hear of your loss – I actually came across Dr Symes and his work regarding dogs and seizures many years ago when researching seizure recovery for my daughter. His work in that area inspired me to dig deeper with his findings and actually was a crucial point of direction in what is now a 4 year seizure free testimony! I am so grateful to him, and actually sent him a message years ago to let him know that he was touching people’s lives in ways he could never imagine – I look forward to the day when I can rejoice with Him in heaven. My heartfelt prayers to his family and friends.

  4. Dawna vejar

    Dr. Symes…you helped me thru some very difficult times, loosing a beloved pet is very hard, you seemed to totally understand that, you seemed to relate to the pain, probably because you felt it too….. l cried when Howard told me you passed, l was in shock.☹ thank you, you are a kind man…..Dawna Vejar

  5. Beth J

    I just learned of this dear mans passing today, I have never known anyone so kind and loving to animals and people. Thank you for all the years you helped me with my pets, I don’t know what we would have done without you. Heaven has a new Angel.

  6. Wes

    Dr J was a great person who had a true compassion for helping people and animals. I loved the conversations we would get into when in the office, he will be missed by many.

  7. Tanya Scharton

    You saved my dogs life who inturn saved mine. I copy and paste your link more then any other.

    An Angel you are


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