Miss Willy Baldwin, as she preferred to be referenced, was born one day before Pearl Harbor, and died on March 14, at home, surrounded by close friends. Most of us who knew Willy well and who are old enough to remember the 1960’s recognized her as a “flower child,” whose formative years were spent on a commune in Northern New Mexico.
Born in Wyoming, she moved with her mother to San Diego so that her mother could work in a war production aircraft plant. Willy grew up in San Diego, with her mother and stepfather Dave, graduating from the University of New Mexico, where she majored in anthropology. Following the decline of the Age of Aquarius, she began working for Kiku Kennedy in Albuquerque, together with Juxi, Kiku’s daughter and other “advanced” young women. From Kiku, Willy learned the care and grooming of Australian terriers, helped with the breeding and placement of numerous litters, and cleaned kennels.
We got to know Willy through participating in Kiku’s dog training classes. Willy helped us to breed our first litter, with Phoebe from Doris Robbins in Phoenix to Kiku’s last stud dog, Quantas Uranus, better known as “UU,” and 10 years of age. Willy became our mentor in breeding, training, and showing Aussies, guiding us to dog shows where majors were possible, sometimes as far afield as Great Forks, Nebraska, and Salina, Kansas. Along the way, Willy introduced us to other Aussie owners Julie Kirkpatrick, Mary Abbott, and Tammy and Patty Werner, all of us travelling together with Willy to dog shows. What great fun we had!
After we moved to California, Willy made sure that she always acquired one of our puppies, even though they were “blue-tans” and not her beloved “reds.” Kiku had always forbidden her to own red Aussies so as soon as she was free, she promptly bred some great ones under the O’Kiwi kennel name. I especially remember Tugger, whom we took for her to the Orlando Eukanuba show, and Humvee, another beautiful red male
--written by Bill Christensen
Mary was eleven when she bought her first show dog, an Irish Setter named Molly. Molly was a free- thinking, non-apologetic bundle of energy who was very bad about running away and not coming when called so Mary and her Dad joined the Milwaukee Irish Setter club and started training Molly in obedience. The kind people in the club took them on as a project and Molly obtained a CD. That was Mary’s introduction to show people. She has had at least one Irish Setter for 50 years because “the breed has her heart.”
Mary met her first Aussie while managing a training kennel where boarding, obedience and field training were done. A gentleman left his Aussie for boarding, then added training so the dog would get more attention while he was gone. This dog was a joy, smart and quick and enjoyed learning. He had an air about him as if he were smiling and knew it all already.
Her first Aussie was purchased from Dr. Rosamond Hathaway. Tasmanian Terror Victoria became a champion at a time when there were few Aussies in Colorado and many of her points were earned in “combined sexes” classes. Majors required travel.
Raymond Bay, a dear friend, terrier breeder, AKC judge and handler, taught Mary a great deal about how to pull down a terrier coat. This was in the 70’s when not a lot of grooming was done on Aussies. Together they developed a style. About that time she saw Christopher Tobin who was groomed along the same lines. Mary became quite expert at grooming and was often consulted by locals for help.
Tasmanian Terror bitches were wonderful mothers. They cleaned, fed, and nurtured the pups, and some of them actually potty trained them by rushing puppies outside in the morning and not allowing them to potty on the porch. They allowed other bitches to sit with them and Mary had one male who liked to sit in the box when the puppies were asleep.
Mary taught training classes, mentored people new to Aussies and showed other peoples’ dogs. She encouraged others to learn to groom and show their own dogs. Nothing is as much fun as walking into a ring with your own dog. Her most memorable win was at Montgomery where she won the 1992 ATCA National with CH Tasmanian Terror Windwalker (Baxter), who she bred, trained and groomed. Many friends were there to make the win extra special.
Mary loved a dog with an “own the world” attitude. The Irish Setters and the Australian Terriers fit the bill. The Irish Setters have a devil may care attitude and Aussies a more business like attitude. They both filled her life with joy.
Sandra Mary Lucy Theresa Weigle, age 79, of Morrisville, North Carolina passed away on Thursday, January 20, 2022 at WakeMed Cary Hospital. She was born on February 21, 1942 in New Orleans, Louisiana a daughter of the late Anthony Lawrence Vetter and Lilly Fererra Vetter. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her son Andrew and Husband Robert.
Sandra loved her family. She had a sharp mind and wit. Her smile was infectious. She was great with numbers and even built computers at one time. She raised her family in Southern California. For years she worked as a real estate agent, tennis center manager and insurance agent. She enjoyed playing bridge and tennis.
She retired in 1986 along with her husband Robert. She joined the Australian Terrier Club of America (ATCA) in 1992, shortly after acquiring her first "Aussie" Archie, Pleasant Pasture Marble Arch. This began her involvement and love affair with this special breed. In 1993 Sandra became the Treasurer of ATCA and served for many years. Later she became Breeder Referral and Public Education for the Parent Club of the ATCA. In 2012 she became a founding member of the Australian Terrier Trust, a 501c3 for the health and education of the Australian Terrier. She was made a Lifetime Member of ATCA after many years of service. Her beloved Aussies Ysabella and Angelo were her constant companions during her last years with Ysabella passing three years ago.
She was also treasurer of the Chattanooga Kennel Club for many years. She was also active with the Atlanta Terrier Club as well as ATCA. Sandra enjoyed participating in AKC Conformation events whereby she made friends throughout the United States and the world.
She is survived by daughters Stacy and her husband Jaime of California and Karen and her husband Trip of North Carolina. She is also survived by grandchildren Kathleen and her husband Jereme, Coley and her husband Spencer, Kevin and Kate along with great grandchildren Ryland and Violet.
Linda Russell DeMartine 8/21/1945 – 12/19/2021
Sometimes friends come out of nowhere and then they steal a big part of your heart. So much in common, same birthday, same love of dogs, same love of baking, laughter, and the search for a great restaurant;…but the biggest thing is the same love of God.
So many laughs along the way. Linda could make you laugh like no other. You would think she wouldn’t say much and them she would simply crack you up. I would say, “Hey Linda, let’s learn how to make kouign amans like they make a Le Creperiel” “Ok, let’s do it.” And do it we would and a half a dozen other new recipes at the same time…flour everywhere. Or let’s learn how to make those tuille cookies. Ok, and wouldn’t you know it, she would come over with some that were even better than the ones we ate at a great restaurant.
And, who would think your friend would be crazy enough to stay up all night and delver puppies with you? Lind would. And, I would hand her a puppy and she would be half awake and say now what was I supposed to do with this? She did that so I would not be stressed and relax and just let the puppies come, and of course, laugh.
And, at the national specialties for Australian Terriers, she would always get me with something. “Oh, Elaine, did you forget the leashes ‘cuz they aren’t in the bag?” Little stinker, she was just trying to get my goat. Or “If you don’t quit taking hair off of that dog it is going to be naked when you go in the ring.” “Elaine, I think we missed our ring time…what time is it?” She got me with that one way too many times. I always fell for it.
She would call me with a problem, I would call her with a problem. And, we would care about each other’s pain and heartache then encourage the other to stay the course and continue to run the race set before us.
Always up for an adventure. “Hey, Linda, let’s take Wellington to Westminster, and meet Anna there with a puppy she can take back to Krista” “Ok, let’s go”, And, we do go but that Linda was sure not going to tell me before we left that she had fallen out of the car and was black and blue and should not have gone (in a snowstorm that left NYC with 2 feet of snow everywhere). She was in big trouble when I caught her changing and that “black and blue” was all down her side. She was a trooper and she sure wasn’t going to be left at home…just because she was a “little” sore. “Hey, Linda, let’s go to the World Dog Show in Finland and see Helsinki and Estonia and Finland.” “Ok, let’s go.”
She as a grand friend, a great confidant, and a friend so easy to love. So many miles in the cars laughing and crying and hopeful and determined to no give up. That was Linda. Such a joy she was in my life. So miss her already. I am sure she is in heaven baking her little heart out and her beloved Conrad is sure glad she is there.
The Australian Terrier community lost one of its longtime supporters, mentors, trainers and competitors in 2021. Barbera Curtis was a military wife until she and Ken and the children moved to Colorado. Because they lived in military housing and moved around a lot, she looked for a smallish, active dog and found the Australian Terrier.
Barb became a master dog trainer and one of our breed’s most successful competitors. At that time there were very few Australian Terriers competing other than in Conformation, which she also did successfully. Only Obedience and Tracking titles were available to our breed in the early years, followed by Earthdog, Agility, and then Rally. Barb and her Aussies were successful at advanced levels in these venues. Barb was active in her local obedience club for many years, and she became one of the first AKC Rally judges. Some of her breed accomplishments and “firsts” have not been equaled since, such as competing at the AKC Invitational in both Rally and Agility with the same dog in the same year and acquiring all of the AKC titles available to our breed at the time on one of her dogs.
Barb was always there for others, as a mentor, by being the first to encourage those new to dog sports and always ready to congratulate a successful competitor, and by simply being a good friend and a good listener. She was a leader as well, serving as ATCA President, as President of the Australian Terrier Club of Colorado, and with her longstanding personal commitment to helping our breed, founded Australian Terrier Rescue and became its first President also.
Barb was a wife, a Mom, and a grandmother. She and Ken loved to travel and to be outdoors and I know he and her much loved dogs were waiting for her and they are together again hiking in the mountains they so enjoyed.
Margaret Ann Coder
Margaret was born in Lima, Ohio in 1928 and died in Fort Collins, CO in November 2016. In Lima, she attended grade school and High school. In college, she majored in History and Psychology. She then served in the US Navy, Pentagon, Washington D.C. and was honorably discharged on 1956.
She worked for Liberty Mutual as a commercial underwriter for 17 years in San Francisco, then Fireman’s fund in San Rafael. California. Subsequently she entered the Pet Portrait business and won several Merit ratings nationally. She was honored with a Life Membership by the Professional Photographers of America.
Margaret moved to San Francisco then to Larkspur CA where she bought a house and then her first Australian Terrier in 1971. She became a member of the Australian Terrier Club of Northern California and the Australian Terrier Club of America. Margaret began showing in Obedience and then in Conformation. Her first Australian Terriers were Regency’s Cy's Bound for Glory (Pete), and Glori's Speedy Miss.
Margaret loved and showed several Australian Terriers most recently her beloved Tommy. After moving to Fort Collins, Colorado, she became a member of the Australian Terrier Club of Colorado.
She is missed by her many Aussie friends and best friend of 43 years, Riana Renfrew.
Hal was born in 1924 and died this July at the age of 91. He served in the Coast Guard and U.S. Marine Corps during World War II. After returning from the war, he and Alice were married. Alice proceeded Hal in death in 2005. Surviving Hal and Alice are their three sons: Gary, Keith and Gene.
They purchased their foundation bitch, CH Landlyn Nancy, bred by Roland Taub and Carolyn Erickson in 1981. Nancy was bred to CH Crestwood’s Cavalier Robert in 1984 producing CH Halice’s Mighty Joshua who was the number one dog in the country at 4 yrs. old.
A second breeding produced CH Halice Ryba’s Carefree Kate who later won a National Specialty. Years later they bred CH Ryba’s Travl’n Matilda to Ch Benayr Reckless and Ch Ryba’s Diamond Jim was born. That was their last litter.
Hal served on the ATCA Board and attended numerous Specialties. For those of us who loved him, his passing represents a tremendous loss. Rest in eternal peace Hal.
A member of the ATCA for 37 years Randy and his wife Phyllis bred under the Brandywine prefix. A Viet Nam Veteran Randy taught school for 39 years prior to his retirement. A talented poet and song writer he was known for coming up with songs on the spur of the moment.
Randy was always willing to share his knowledge or to offer assistance. He and his wife Phyllis mentored many new people in the breed. Some of their most notable dogs were Ch Maiala Brandywine's Kingpin, Ch Brandywine's Big Bam Boom and Ch Brandwine's Jet Setter. Brandywine dogs can be found behind many of the current dogs today. Randy will be remembered fondly by friends and family for his quick wit and sense of humor and by all those who have Brandywine Aussies.
She was my friend and mentor.
A lot of people knew Jennie Worthing from dog shows, but I met and knew her in a more personal way, sort of like a mom. By the way, when CB radios were popular, her handle was “Rent-A-Mom.” She enjoyed her children’s friends and would call them her “rent-a-kids.”
I met Jennie in 1997 while trying to find an Australian Terrier breeder, as I had lost my two Aussies, which were pets. My first dogs didn’t come from a breeder, but from my vet (which is another story), so I started searching for Aussies. I phoned a local Cairn breeder, not knowing she was good friends with Jennie’s daughter and a rent-a-kid. She told me she knew a breeder and her name was Jennie Worthing. She had no pups when I contacted her, but she invited me to come to a dog show in our area. I went to the show and our friendship started. I was in awe over what I learned that day at the dog show and was so excited to have met her and many other people. She was the president and founding member of the Australian Terrier Club of Greater Chicago Area. I hadn’t even known there were such clubs for the Aussie!
After meeting Jennie and some other members of the ATCGCA, the search was on to find a pup. When I did find one from someone who was not with the Chicago group, Jennie came to my home to meet my pup. She then encouraged me to join the ATCGCA and to also think about showing him. I took him to a puppy match sponsored by the Chicago club, which he won! With that, I was hooked on showing him.
She wanted to celebrate his win, so on our way back to our hotel, we stopped and got a six-pack and a bottle of bourbon and a pizza. We celebrated!
I remember driving to the national in Greeley, CO with her and 4 dogs in 1999. We stopped on the way to see a few sights, and enjoyed ice cream and great conversation at a Dairy Queen along I-80 in Nebraska. On our way home, we stopped at the same DQ; we laughed about that for many years. This year, when I drove out to Longmont, she told me to stop at that DQ and have some ice cream in remembrance of our time there together. I looked for it, but sadly had to call her and tell her it was not there anymore.
Jennie always looked forward to the ATCGCA specialty held in Grayslake, IL every year in June. She enjoyed seeing the people and their dogs come from other states. Visiting with everyone who attended meant the world to her.
Jennie would do anything for an Aussie and was always willing to assist with rescues, driving to O’Hare to pick them up, helping me groom them and find them homes. I enjoyed all the shows, dinners, and travels I had with Jennie. There are so many good memories.
I love you, Jennie—thank you. Carole Larsen
Sad news for those of us who knew her...our long-time friend and breeder of Shastakin Australian Terriers passed away on Tuesday, Aug 5, at her home in Clifton NJ with her dogs by her side. I am so grateful for the opportunity to speak with her recently when she called to say she would not be able to make the trip to the ATCA Specialty 2014 in Longmont. These recent conversations with Esther were just like always...giving no indication that she was growing as vulnerable as she may have been, and that some may have reported. True to herself, Esther continued to participate with her dogs and to envision breeding plans for the future. Her friends never failed to assist her at shows, helping put her dog on the table, and even helping her show her dog.
Esther was a doer. She became a member of the ATCA in 1981. In those early years she was the first Aussie breeder in America to travel to a World Show in Europe (even Nell herself traveled only as far as Bermuda for World competition, if my memory serves me right). Esther returned with her dog, Shastakin Chucko-Jo (known as “Junior”) a World Champion! Her Shastakin Australian Terriers were among the most typey dogs I have ever seen. Grooming may not have been her forte, but breeding sound bodies, beautiful strong heads and dogs brimming with type revealed her fine eye for a dog. It was such fun evaluating puppies with her.
It appears Esther expected she had conquered the Big-C when it struck her several years ago; she certainly made a valiant effort to do so and to continue her life with her dogs uppermost in her actions and plans. Truthfully, none of us expected to lose her so soon despite degrees of incapacity she so bravely endured.
Esther will be missed by the many long-time friends and collaborators, breeders, exhibitors in the New Jersey-New York-Pennsylvania triangle, among them Alexa Samarotto, Ida Ellen Weinstock, Carol Jablonski and members of the Garden State Terrier Club and many others. She will be missed by her friends in other countries, Maureen Bottinga and other breeder/fanciers in Canada, and Lynn Bell in the UK, not to mention myself, Kerrie Bryan among other members of the Australian Terrier Club of America. Esther had earned the respect of many through the years since acquiring her first Aussie, “Shasta”, with whom she hunted to develop Shasta's terrier instincts. She appreciated the working terrier as much as the well-bred terrier, and her dogs’ measured up to this ideal of Esther’s over the years.
Rest in peace, dear Esther.
Aussie Rescuer and Friend of Aussies and Treasurer of ATCA
Sydney Butcher met her first Australian Terriers at a dog show, and even though it was not her idea of a cute little dog, her husband, Butch (or Doc as some know him) was hopelessly smitten with this breed after they first set their eyes on them. In her long Tulsa drawl, she asked her husband in disbelief , “You want one of those dogs!! I really thought Butch had entirely lost his mind!” Yet, since the day when Joyce McPherson delivered the 13 week old Australian Terrier pup Dolly to her new family, Sydney and Butch daily learned new lessons about these "little" dogs.
When little Dolly, who would collect pinecones in the yard then hide them in the house, crossed the Rainbow Bridge the bond between she and her guardians was never be broken. Sydney and her husband, maintained a loving home for aged Aussies that includes 17 year old Sparky (a former Missouri-23 survivor); six year old Annie, a newspaper discarded ‘free Aussie‘ and the 15 years old, half-sighted Aussie wannabe – Sammy, the once 5 lb. Yorkshire Terrier. It is quite simply unconditional love of animals and especially the Australian Terrier breed that keeps them going, and going and going further.
A 24 year ATCA member and 5 years as AT Rescue Treasurer, Sydney Butcher has given a chunk of her life dedicated to numerous aspects of the Australian Terrier breed. Her commitment to Aussies has taken her to the puppy mill with a gift of life, comfort and dignity as she brought home a deserving old ‘man’ who now knows his name is Sparky; and to the newspaper classifieds that she scans day after day in search of the Aussie perhaps discarded out the back porch. Her selfless diligence led them to the elderly Sammy, his abraded neck and tiny boney body chained to a tree; and to the home of another random castoff alerted by a veterinarian’s office. These little jewels of life are the hub of the Butcher household now, teaching each other lessons of patience and tolerance with a little terrier tossed in now and then.
Sydney says some folks cause these dogs to be characters and that she is no exception. But she has a serious side too: Sydney has trained and accompanied each of her fur-children through obedience school and the dogs have nearly all come away with at least their CD titles. Dolly earned her U-AG1, U-AG, U-AGCH, U-AGCHX, U-CD, U-CDX, CD, CDX, NA, OA, CGC, yet after 20 failed attempts, her repeated obedience ring antics ultimately kept her from obtaining her Utility title. Oh, she received lots of applause and laughter, but to her dismay there was no award for Extreme Comedy. The one exiting thought her Aussie companions had from the obedience ring that extended to their daily lives is “No matter what, each and every dog came away from the ring feeling brilliant, even if they were the only ones that thought so. You know…I really love my dogs!”
Sidney suffered a massive stroke and passed away on Jan. 14, 2012 With pictures of the favorite "fur-kids" on a bedside table. She always said that she wanted to go to the "big kennel in the sky" and we feel certain that she wwas met by Butch and all her dogs. She was a remarkable "one of a kind" lady, and is missed.
Joan L. Parr Holbert , age 77, on July 31, 2012 .
Joan was a true lover of the Canine family. She was a trainer in Obedience and Confirmation and showed Australian terriers while winning a wall full of trophies and ribbons. Later in life she fell in love with Therapy Dog Training and became an instructor and examiner for graduation of therapy dogs as to be able to enter hospitals to bring joy to patients. She was an active member & officer of the Clermont County Dog Training Club for many years Joan was a great friend of Australian Terrier Rescue.
Leslie passed away peacefully on Sunday, October 23, 2011, after a courageous battle with cancer.
Beloved wife of Bryan, loving and devoted mother of Alexander and Kristof. Survived by her brother, Drew (Lisa) Farkas, daughter of Lester and the late Eleanor Farkas, along with relatives and friends.
Leslie attended the Peabody Institute of the John Hopkins University (violin), the University of Michigan (BA History), and Marquette University Law School (J.D., 1988). She was the 1987 champion of the Marquette University Law School moot court competition, and after graduation became an Assistant District Attorney in Rock County.
She loved her dogs Fox, Sophie and Teddi. She was an active member in the Australian Terrier Club.
Sharon L. Adams, 61, passed away Saturday, Aug. 7, 2010. Sharon was born Mar. 8, 1949. A graduate of Harding HS, OKC, she was a longtime state employee. Sharon was a member and instructor for the OKC Obedience Training Club and the Australian Terrier Club of America in which she was very active. She fostered and trained many Rescue Aussies.
Dr Katharine Barnes, along with her husband Dr Eugene Barnes, acquired their first Australian Terrier and established Sprite Lea Kennels in the 60’s. Katharine said from the day they saw their first Aussie they were hooked! Katharine and Gene enjoyed many years of breeding and exhibiting dogs that they had imported and bred. Through the years they had numerous top winning dogs that had an impact on the breed.
Many of the top winning dogs, past and present, have Sprite Lea Kennels represented in their pedigrees.
In October of 1970, Katharine imported Australian Ch Taralee for Fame just after winning his Australian championship. He finished in the U.S. in four shows without defeat and then swept to his championship in Canada also without defeat. Winning his championships in 3 countries in less than 6 months! Katharine referred to “Fame” as their founding “father” due to his superb breeding record.
The Barnes previous import, Ch Taralee Sekelutu, was also among the top stud dogs but was best known for his Best in Show wins, including the first Best in Show in the United States.
Sprite Lea Kennels went on to produce a Best in Show winner, Ch Sprite Lea Nevil v. Knockland and sire another Best in Show winner, Ch Jeralen’s Christopher Tobin. Through the years they produced hundreds of home bred champions and many top winning dogs. This evidenced through the many Sprite Lea dogs represented on the ROM lists.
In later years, Katharine’s interests turned to obedience and in her 80’s have managed to finish a UD on an Australian Terrier. Dr Katharine Barnes remained a friend to the breed through her entire life. She will be missed by all who knew her.