Greater Milwaukee Norwegian Elkhound Association

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In a small club like the GMNEA, our members become well known to each other, and the friendship, and comaraderie becomes nearly as important as that of family . It is, in fact, often thought of , fondly , as our GMNEA family.
webmaster Kari Olson

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2015
 RICHARD IRWIN OXLEY

12-12-1941 TO 1-18-2015

GMNEA MEMBER SINCE   1980

Richard and Bobbie Oxley joined the GMNEA around 1980, and were very active members from that time until they moved to Colorado about 2000. Dick is remembered for his sense of humor and ability to look at things from a positive point of view.  He was always a participator… No matter what  the GMNEA was up to, he seemed to be there and was a part  of things. He especially enjoyed the social interaction with the other club members. That is not to say he wasn’t involved with his dogs. He put a CD on his elkhound  Gus and participated in obedience and our annual efforts at the Wisconsin State Fair, attended shows and specialties with Bobbie and always loved our great buffet dinners.

His obituary says he was an avid sports fan, the Chicago Cubs and Bears were followed closely by him.

He also enjoyed working in wood as time would allow when otherwise not engaged with his pride and joy, his Norwegian Elkhounds.  The Oxley’s kennel produced a number of champions and obedience title holders.

I remember what fun we had when the GMNEA was involved with the NEAA Specialty in Illinois 1992. Someone came up with the idea that we should attend the rather formal banquet with a dairy approach. Dick, of course, wore the Cheese head…I wonder if it was all his idea. In 1997 he was the hunter in our State Fair booth, along with his dog Joker.

When Dick and Bobbie moved to Colorado, it left a void in our club, but they remained members and took part in whatever ways they could.  Regardless of distance , Dick will be so missed by our club.

Rest in Peace Dick.

 

Dick and Joker 1997
(UAG1 CH ThomThom Jokers Wild CD)
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2014
GMNEA lost two long time members within 24 hours.
Michelle R "Shelly" Brown (nee Unger)
February 1, 1954 to February 1,2014

SHELLEY BROWN and "Shiny" Ch Sterling HIll Shining Remembrance .

 

 

In 1984, Shelley and Sal Ferrito joined the GMNEA. At that time they had one elkhound, Thom Thom Jup Don Mighty Thor. We saw much of them at the shows, and they were an integral part of the club history in establishing our sanction by the AKC. Shelley took various club positions including vice president. Shelley and Sal hosted a fun match in 1985 at their beautiful home and spacious yard. It was so successful that they again were the host for our second B-OB match in 1987. I remember well our first Sanctioned A-OA Match, in 1989, required for GMNEA to be accepted by AKC as a sanctioned AKC club. Shelley was so proud when her own homebred young male, “Sterling Hill One for Scoots” won top honors as Best in Match .

It was a hard time for Shelley, when she and Sal divorced, and she dropped out of the club for a number of years, but she never gave up her beloved Norwegian Elkhounds. She continued showing on a limited basis and later she remarried. She rejoined the club and was warmly welcomed along with her new husband, Ted Brown ; the year was 2004. Their dogs at the time were Thom Thom N Kingdom II Wind, Thom Thom N Kingdom Velvet, and Thom Thom Luv’s Burning Ember. I believe all of these dogs finished their championships, as did Thor from years back. Through the years, they finished a number of breed champions.

Shelley’s happiest times were when she bred a litter of puppies. Although she never bred often, she planned carefully and socialized for health and sound temperament. Some of her puppies were shown and she was very proud of one who became a therapy dog.

Shelley became sick about five years ago, but she never let poor health stop her. When she was no longer able to show her own dogs, her granddaughter Kaylie or husband Ted helped out. It was a family affair. It was a very proud day for Shelley, and the whole club cheered when their dog won Best of Winners at our show, the March 5, 2011 GMNEA Regional Specialty Show. Later Ted finished Ch Sterling Hill Shining Remembrance “Shiny”.

Never one to give up, she continued to fight for life and family. She was truly one of the strongest women we know. During the past year, she bred one last litter, which turned out to be only two puppies. Some might say Shelley was wrong to do that with her poor health, but she had friends ready to take over if needed, and those two little puppies enriched her life, perhaps even lengthened it. She said they really kept her going. Her family became closer and her daughters, always dear to her, became her staunchest supporters, in addition to her husband Ted. She had continued to hold positions in the Greater Milwaukee Norwegian Elkhound Association, on the Judges Selection Committee, and Board of Directors, and was able to give some input until recent months.

She was also a long time member of the Norwegian Elkhound Association of America and the North Eastern Illinois Norwegian Elkhound Association , and will be missed by so many from both clubs, her family and friends. Shelley was an inspiration to all of us on how to live with adversity, hope and grace.


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Sally Fortney

1939 -January 31 , 2014

 

Sally Fortney and Touie proudly accepting their High in Trial Trophy

Although she may not have been known by all of the GMNEA members, some of us remember her well. I first met Sally in the mid 1980’s and will not forget the day. She and I had entered the Milwaukee Dog Training Club Obedience Club in Milwaukee. My elkhound Kjella and her elkhound, were competing for the High Scoring Hound Trophy. I introduced myself to Sally and wished her luck. I invited her to join our club and shortly after we received her application in the mail. The application was dated 6/28/1986.

 

At that time Sally had two female elkhounds, Thom Thom Per Hex CD “Spice” and Thom Thom B Tiny Little Dove CD . In 1987 she brought Dove to our 2nd B-OB match at Shelley and Sal Ferrito’s home in Muskego. Sally and Dove won the top obedience award, High in Match!

 

From that time on, Sally and her friend Jim Feifarek, owned a number of elkhounds , and even some other Nordic breeds, and mostly they were rescues. One memorable rescue was Cinder, the elderly elkhound she fostered for us in March 2000. We asked her to help us out and check on the dog at the shelter. Sally took her for a veterinarian checkup and because of her age felt no one would adopt her. Sally offered to “foster” her forever and gave her a lifelong home. In 2003, several dogs later, and many more obedience trials later , she gave a home to one of a trio of neglected shy elkhounds who had never been out of the barn they in which they were kept . Sally had joined the Western Waukesha Obedience Training Club, and worked with the dog she named Touie, to overcome her shyness and fears. With her gentle training and lots of love, Sally was more than successful .

 

In our 2007 GMNEA Specialty, Tu Tu Touie Borealis won High in Trial with a wagging tail. For all who knew her story, we applauded not only the dog and the win, but Sally too for her persistence and training.

 

Sally had a tender heart and it was shown in the love she had for her dogs. They didn’t need to be show dogs, they didn’t need to be the top dogs, they just had to be dogs in need. I will always remember Sally for her love of her dogs and her kind heart.

 

Rest in Peace Sally, I can imagine there was quite a clamor of barking when you were greeted at the Rainbow bridge by all of your dogs.

 

 




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2012 -FRANCIS SUTTER

Francis J Sutter, September 30, 2012. Loving husband of Lois Sutter (nee Kramlich). Caring father of Mark (Kimberlee) Karla (Cas) Fernandez and Kurt (Christina) . Devoted grandfather of David Phillip, Samantha, Alexander, Nicholas, Amanda and Arthur. Memorials to the Alzheimers'Association appreciated. Private services were held
"Old Broke and Tired "

Francis was one of the founding members of the GMNEA, and a member in good standing for 38 years.
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1922 TO 2010 - DOROTHY JOHNSON


1945 - 2003 - REBECCA THOMPSON

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1928-1995 -ALLEN BJORK JOHNSON
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