A. Nelson Sills
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Thread: A. Nelson Sills

  1. #1
    Administrator Vicky Trainor's Avatar
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    Default A. Nelson Sills

    It is with great sadness that we have learned of the passing of A. Nelson Sills.

    Below is a post to Del Bay Retriever Club:

    We have lost one of our dear friends & great mentor. A. Nelson Sills passed away earlier today. This man gave so much to so many. He was a man of great wisdom & integrity.
    His contributions to the Labrador Retriever breed and to our sports through his work with the American Kennel Club are quite numerous. Nelson was instrumental in establishing the Hunting Test program.
    Rest In Peace.
    Vicky
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    Say not in grief he is no more but live in thankfulness that he was. Condolences to his family
    Gentle in what you do. Firm in how you do it.

    CH SILVERCREEK MURRAY SAMUEL (MURRAY) WDQ CGC MH, QAA2 2/16/00 - 12/26/12
    WESTWIND WHISPERING COVE (LARRY son of Murray) WDQ MH, QAA2 8/5/05-3/20/18
    LPK DELAWARE RIVER WHISPERING COVE, WDQ, QAA2, MH (SAVAGE SAM son of FC Chester MH)
    WESTWIND WHISPERING COVE JAY QAA, MH (Larry's son and Murray's grandson)

  4. #3
    Senior Member crackerd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moscowitz View Post
    Say not in grief he is no more but live in thankfulness that he was. Condolences to his family
    And to others on rtf and elsewhere with retrievers who considered themselves Nelson & Nancy's "training family." Set up some of the best tests and designed some of the best training water in North America - and knew the ins and outs of college football like nobody's business largely through his grandson David Sills V of football phenom note and Nelson's own alma mater VaTech.

    On a personal note, I also remember Nelson judging the 2002 Master National, where the pass ratio under him and his co-judge in their flight was about 22 percent - while the other flight's success rate was a robust 60 percent. Immediately afterward, in having done a "FT whacking" on MN numbers, Nelson was "drafted" by DelBay RC to judge the club's fall master hunt test after entries hit 90 dogs, meaning that there would need to be an A and B flight. Nelson and his co-judge, the great Crimson Tider and Chessie man Coach Bob Gutermuth (tor whom Nelson was as much an idol as Bear Bryant) were looking at a flight of 45 or 46 dogs running under them when they were summoned - within about an hour of their illustrious names having been posted as MH judges, scratches had reduced the ranks of their flight to, if I recall correctly, a paltry field of 18 dogs. I ran one of them - a toller - and it's been a lifelong "blush" when recalling the first series - a triple middle-indent - where the toller overran the short middle bird and headed toward New Jersey, and not via the Del Memorial Bridge, either.

    A consummate gentleman, family man, and also the man many would call "Mr. Labrador Retriever," Nelson Sills - deeply missed on about 10 different fronts from contract bridge to college football to fronting an LRC "conformation" case (when he was essentially club "president for life") heard by the Supreme Court, but most of all for sharing his lifelong passion for retrievers.

    MG

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  6. #4
    Senior Member EdA's Avatar
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    Nelson’s Obituary


    A. (Andrew) Nelson Sills
    Of Houston, DE, died on Friday, 24 January 2020. He was 95.
    Nelson was born on 1 Nov 1924 in Baltimore, MD. He was the son of the late David N. Sills Sr. and Helen
    (Nelson) Sills, and brother of David N. Sills, Jr. and Winifred Leithiser, all of Milford, DE. He graduated
    from the Virginia Tech class or 1945 with a degree in civil engineering and later became a Professional
    Engineer. Nelson served in the United States Navy during WWII. He became the chief construction
    engineer for the State of Delaware Highway Department and later became the General Superintendent
    at Delaware Park Racetrack from 1963 to 1982. He finished his career working as an engineering and
    construction consultant for Rollins Truck Leasing, building facilities while getting to train his dogs
    throughout the country. Nelson also enjoyed designing and building dog training facilities for people in
    the field trial community. Nelson enjoyed all things Labrador Retriever and Retriever Field Trials. His wife, Nancy bought him his first Labrador in 1957 .He won the National Amateur Retriever Championship in 1964 (Dutchmoor’s Black Mood (Moe)).
    He was the Chairman of the Field Trial Committee of the National Retriever Club in 1965.
    He judged the National Retriever Championship twice in 1967 and 1975.
    He was President of the National Retriever Club in 1969.
    He was voted “Judge of the Year” by the Professional Retriever Trainer’ Association in 1974.
    He judged the National Amateur Retriever Championship in 1995.
    He has accumulated 129 judging points (1 of 6 people to accumulate over 100 Points)
    He was an active member of the Del Bay Retriever Club from 1957 until his death and served as
    its President.
    He was a member of the Labrador Retriever Club.
    He served as President of the Labrador Retriever Club from 1992-2012.
    He served as Delegate to the American Kennel Club (from the LRC) from 1980-2012.
    He served on the Board of Directors of the American Kennel Club from 1980-1995.
    He served as Treasurer for the American Kennel Club from 1992-1995.
    He was the winner of the 2001 American Kennel Club Lifetime Achievement Award in the
    Category of Performance.
    He was the Founder of the Master National Retriever Stake.
    He is a recipient of the Master National Retriever Club Vision Award in 1993.
    He judged the Master National in 2002.
    He was inducted into the Birddog Hall of Fame in 1995.
    He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Nancy (Jones) Sills, of Bridgeville, DE., Daughter Wynne Brantner
    and her husband Jim of Johnson City, TN, son David N. Sills, IV and his wife Denise of Bear, DE, son
    Andrew N. Sills Jr. and his wife Lisa, of Roswell, GA., daughter Nancy Ross of Johnson City, TN and 15
    grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren. ​
    A memorial service will be held at 1 PM on 29 February 2020 at Independent Bible Fellowship Church,
    Harrington, DE. with a reception to follow at Nancy and Nelson’s home in Houston, DE. Burial will be
    private.
    In lieu of flowers the family has suggested donations to the Labrador Retriever Club (Breed Club) or Del
    Bay Retriever Club.
    Arrangements made by Rogers Funeral Home, Milford, DE. 302-422-4025

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    What a great friend to the field trial world! I had the pleasure of judging with him once, a great weekend!
    RIP Nelson
    LUCK - WHEN PREPARATION MEETS REALITY!
    NAFC FC Cody Cut A Lean Grade "Grady" NAFC Paddle Creek's Pack Your Grip "Traveler"
    www.paddlecreekretrievers.com

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    Senior Member Aaron Homburg's Avatar
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    Thoughts and Prayers to all!!

    Aaron
    AFC Iron Lines Sergeant Pepper "Pepper"
    FC FTCH Westwood's Sunday Silence "Buck"
    Sweet Swingin' Fred MH ***

  9. #7
    Senior Member EdA's Avatar
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    Not in the obit some interesting things about Nelson, he was the GM/Superintendent of Delaware Park race track (horses) for 20 years, a position he held when I became acquainted with him. Additionally he was Augie Belmont’s chosen replacement for Chairman of the Subcommittee on Rules to the Retriever Advisory Committee, arguably perhaps the single most influential position in the world of AKC retriever field trials. He held that position for many years eventually passing the baton to Marshall Simonds who we all knew as Pete Simonds, a very prominent Boston attorney.

  10. #8
    Senior Member crackerd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EdA View Post
    Not in the obit some interesting things about Nelson, he was the GM/Superintendent of Delaware Park race track (horses) for 20 years, a position he held when I became acquainted with him. Additionally he was Augie Belmont’s chosen replacement for Chairman of the Subcommittee on Rules to the Retriever Advisory Committee, arguably perhaps the single most influential position in the world of AKC retriever field trials. He held that position for many years eventually passing the baton to Marshall Simonds who we all knew as Pete Simonds, a very prominent Boston attorney.
    So many interesting things, EdA - at Delaware Park he had what essentially amounted to training ponds built in the infield (but not on the steeplechase course!), you may recall them. Same was planned - my understanding, anyhow - for some of his state's highways and byways; some of the ponds came to fruition, access to them, alas, did not. Also think it would have been great to have listed his "wife and training partner," because Nancy was something else as a force of training nature! (Rex Carr disciple, too, right?)

    MG

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    Senior Member BonMallari's Avatar
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    I see that Mr Sills in in the Bird Dog HOF. Is he also in the RHOF ?
    Executor of the Alanson C Brown III - Trust

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    A few things that I learned still ring true. "Lanse when you get a gift, say thank you and walk away. When you get a screwing walk away. You are going to get a lot more screwings than gifts"

  12. #10
    Senior Member EdA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BonMallari View Post
    I see that Mr Sills in in the Bird Dog HOF. Is he also in the RHOF ?
    yes, some use RHOF and BDHOF synonymously

    https://www.theretrievernews.com/hal...last-name.html

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