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Ethel Conrad


Eileen Stein

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Ethel Conrad, one of the founders and first president of the USBCC, passed away today (Sunday, March 22, 2009). Ethel was an important figure in the history of the working border collie in the US, and her home at Sunnybrook, in White Post, VA, was the site of many sheepdog clinics and trials. She was always ready to lend a helping hand to newcomers to the breed, and she will be greatly missed by many.

 

Here is an article written by Kay Pine for the USBCC Newsletter in 1994, which recounts some of the highlights of Ethel's involvement with the dogs.

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Ethel was one of a kind, a ground-breaker, and a woman who always spoke her mind and lived her life with vigor and attitude (before attitude became commonplace).

 

I was honored to be able to attend the "revival" of the Blue Ridge SDT that was offered several years ago and meet Miss Ethel in person. As she came to the camper area by the trial field, she greeted everyone she did not know with a blunt (and rude, but let's give her slack for advanced age), "And who the hell are you?" Her memory wasn't what it had been (or maybe it was just because I was an absolute nobody) but she greeted me that way the entire two days I was there (Friday to help set up, which had largely already been accomplished, and Saturday for the running of a wonderful trial).

 

She even got out on the smaller field and ran her dog in ProNov, with a little bit of help. It was amazing to see all those big men turn into putty in her hands as they helped her solicitously.

 

I may have met her only one weekend, but I'll never forget her and neither will the working Border Collie community in the US (and beyond, perhaps) for her many contributions to testing, maintaining, and improving the breed as a working, useful stockdog.

 

It's been said about the great ones before, and it will be said again, but that'll do, Ethel.

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Its hard to believe Ethel is gone - but certainly in the physical world only! Her spicy character will live on forever in the sheepdog world, getting stronger and sassier with each told story. She is legend for sure.

 

I hope someone will share the particulars of the service.

 

Cheers to you Ethel - you give em heck up there!

 

 

Sue

Duff, Glen, Katy, Brook n Jed

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She closed her eyes and felt the rushing air,

The whispered secrets of her ebbing tide.

Angelic fingers gently brushed her hair.

Her errant spirit fled, her body died.

 

Now what majestic visions fill her view,

What brilliant stars to light her on her way.

Her soul set free, in lofty spiral flew

Leaving behind a useless hulk of clay.

 

Winging her way across celestial heights,

Traveling onwards in a heavenly sea,

Marveling at the wonder of such sights,

She claims her portion of Eternity.

 

Via con Dios, Ethel. The reunion at Rainbow Bridge will be quite a celebration!

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Winging her way across celestial heights,

Traveling onwards in a heavenly sea,

Marveling at the wonder of such sights,

She claims her portion of Eternity.

 

Why is it that I'm actually visualizing her tootling along in a golden golf cart (Jen at her side, numerous Sunnybrook dogs following), getting to the desk with the Archangel, he opens his mouth, and she says, "Who the hell are YOU?"

 

Bust them pearly gates wide open, Miss Ethel! :rolleyes:

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A memorial service for Ethel Conrad will be held at 11 am, Saturday, April 18, at the Cunningham Chapel Parish, 809 Bishop Meade Road, Boyce, VA.

 

In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Boyce Fire Department, PO Box 285, Boyce, Va. 22620, or Mid-Atlantic Border Collie Rescue, 24420 Chestertown Rd, Chestertown, Md. 21620.

 

You can read her obituary here.

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I can only offer my prayers.

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