In Memoriam

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 Wilcox

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.

Randy Knight

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.

Jennie Worthing

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

Esther Krom

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 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.
Carol Sazama

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 Fisher
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 Adams
Sharon L. Adams, 61, passed away Saturday, Aug. 7, 2010. Sharon was born Mar. 8, 1949A 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 in which she was very active. She fostered and trained many Rescue aussies.

Katherine Barnes
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.