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Kerry People of the Past

The United States Kerry Blue Terrier Club and our Breed owes a debt of gratitude to the breeders, exhibitors, and fanciers of Kerry Blues who have come before us. 

The United States Kerry Blue Terrier Club will never forget the contributions of the many members who have come before us.  We want to provide a way to remember those members regardless of role in the USKBTC who have supported our Club and Kerry Blue Terriers in the past.  This page is intended to that.

We are asking those of you who know a deceased USKBTC member (no matter how far in the past) to submit a brief write-up for this Page of Honor.  Digital material only and a photo (jpg format) will be included in the post.   All material will subject to editing for space.  Please submit your input to  For complete details and the format to submit please follow this link (Wall of Honor.)

It will take months to build this list and it will only be possible with your help.

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  • 02/15/2022 4:02 PM | Web Team (Administrator)

     Audra Laverne Prewitt, PhD, of Arlington, Texas passed away January 27, 2022. Audra was born on April 29, 1939, in Jasper Texas. Laverne was a Doctor of History at UT at Arlington Texas. 

    We (Nick & Doreen Fletcher) moved from California to Texas in the early 80’s and through our mutual love for the Kerry Blue Terrier, we met Laverne, who in turn introduced us to the wonderful members of The Texas Kerry Blue Terrier Club and who later became dear friends and part of our family. Over the years Laverne devoted much of her time as President of the Texas Kerry Blue Terrier Club, served as a Governor on the Board of the United States Kerry Blue Terrier Club and later went on to fulfill two terms as Club President  in the early 1980s. She was a life member of the USKBTC.

    Joe and Joanna Johnston joined the Texas club in 1970/1971 and Laverne was a member with her first Kerry, she was 31. Laverne got her first Kerry mid to late 60’s and bought her from Marie Shelley.
    As an AKC Breeder of Kerry Blue Terriers under the “KATIEC” prefix, Laverne was a true custodian of her beloved breed and dedicated most of her free time to this wonderful breed for over half a century.

     Submitted by Nick Fletcher

  • 02/15/2022 10:51 AM | Web Team (Administrator)

    Lynn’s first Kerry was a severely neglected rescue she adopted in the early 80s. “Sianna” overcame her bad beginnings to become a loving family pet and therapy dog extraordinaire, and began Lynn’s love affair with the breed. Her first show dogs inevitably followed. From a total of just six litters under her Kerigolf prefix, Lynn produced multiple breed and obedience/agility/other titled get, Specialty and Sweeps winners, a National Futurity winner, an Obedience Trial Champion, and three Agility Trial Champions (including the only MACH/PACH Kerry littermates to date). Lynn groomed and handled all her own dogs herself until her health no longer allowed it, and was very proud of the fact that the majority of her breed champions finished owner-handled.

    An active member of the USKBTC who embraced her role as a guardian of the breed, Lynn served on the Board of Governors and the Health and Genetics Committee, but was best known for her contributions to Rescue. A tireless rescue volunteer, she served as the USKBTC’s National Rescue Coordinator during an extremely difficult period in the early to mid-2000s when the breed saw a surge in the number of Kerries requiring rescue or rehoming assistance, fostering many herself and directly assisting with the placement of many others. Under Lynn’s leadership, the Club adopted a standardized, written Rescue policy (a revised version of which is still in use today), shaping the Club’s Rescue program into a model for other breed clubs and rescue organizations. In recognition of all of Lynn’s contributions as a breeder and Club volunteer, the 2017 National Specialty at Montgomery was dedicated to her memory.

    As the Wizard of Oz famously stated, “a heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others.” Lynn is missed greatly by her many friends, the people she mentored, the countless dogs she loved and advocated for (not just her own!), and most of all her beloved family.

  • 02/15/2022 10:48 AM | Web Team (Administrator)

    H. Jud Perry started in Kerry Blue terriers with the Kerry bitch Ch. Mi’Lady Maeve of Kernaghan as foundation matron. Choosing the kennel name Kearnach, he went on to breed and show numerous Kerry Blue terriers during his 30 years in the breed, sharing his knowledge and expertise along the way. As a breeder, handler and judge, he was always willing to share his knowledge of the breed with those who were interested. Jud’s opinions were sought by many, and you could be sure he told it like it was even if it wasn’t what you wanted to hear. His assistance with grooming was invaluable to many.

    Jud was a longtime member and supporter of the Empire Kerry Blue Terrier club, and under their auspices he wrote a pamphlet, The Horace J. Perry Commentary on the Kerry Blue Terrier Standard. He is remembered by those who attended grooming symposiums for grooming half of your dog, handing you the scissors and saying “You do the other side”. He always had time to teach and inspire, gluing ears, giving handling tips, offering advice and encouragement, all the while championing the Kerry Blue terrier.

    Condensed from the dedications written by Ralph and Ruth Ann Reilly, Hermine Munro, Zippy Fleisher, Bob and Judie Panciera, Rose Marie Mais and Sara Ann Gephart which appeared in the USKBTC National Specialty Show section of the 2001 Montgomery County Kennel Club catalog.

  • 02/15/2022 10:43 AM | Web Team (Administrator)

    Marian and George Gough purchased their first Kerry Blue Terrier in 1947 while living in Port Washington, NY and thus began their life with Kerry Blue Terriers and the Kerry community. They bred under the kennel name Gaymar, breeding their Kerry bitches to many of the well-known Kerry Blues of the day: Ch. Deeds Show Off, Ch. O’Mooney’s Michael of Galway, Ch. Carholme Charles, and Ch. Calkerry Defiant.  After moving to Cleveland, OH in 1964, Marian and George became founding members of the KBTC of Northern Ohio which held its first specialty show in August 1980. George passed away suddenly in 1975, and Marian halted her breeding program.

    After moving to Springfield, MO, Marian met Ellen Smith-Wexler and they merged their interests in the breed. Marian’s breeding program was resurrected, and Ellen provided grooming and handling. Their breeding program at this time produced multiple champions that contributed to or helped establish several other breeding programs including Kehalen, Pot O’Gold, Marko and Mistycael to name just a few.

    Marian served on the USKBTC Board of Governors beginning in 1978. She maintained membership in the USKBTC and the KBTC of Northern Ohio, and judged the USKBTC Traveling Specialty in conjunction with Great Western Terrier Association in 1991. She will be remembered for her commitment to the breed and wonderful stories of the “old days”.

    Condensed from a tribute article by Ellen Smith-Wexler published in the Spring 2007 issue of Kerry Blueprints.

  • 02/15/2022 10:37 AM | Web Team (Administrator)

    Edith Izant was introduced to the Kerry Blue Terrier in the 1940’s, going on to become a renowned and respected owner, breeder, exhibitor, author and AKC judge. She and her husband, Heard, bred Kerry Blue’s under the Townshend kennel prefix, producing numerous champions in conformation and obedience. She was a pioneer in training Kerry Blues in obedience, learning from practical experience. Although she occasionally used handlers, Edith did most of her own trimming and handling.

    Edith had a keen eye for a Kerry. Her “marked” catalogs, with a description of each dog being shown, were famous among the fancy. Beginning in 1945, she wrote columns for Popular Dogs. She also served as breed columnist for AKC Gazette, and wrote The Kerry Blue Terrier (William W. Denlinger, 1982) with a foreward written by Dr. E. S. Montgomery. She also served as an AKC judge of conformation, obedience and junior showmanship, honored by AKC for her 50 years of service.

    Edith was always willing to share her knowledge and experience. She was a founder of the Kerry Blue Terrier Club of Southern California, remaining active until the last few years. She worked actively for the USKBTC, serving multiple terms on the USKBTC Board of Governors; she contributed her expertise to the 1958, 1968, 1976, 1985, and 1992 editions of the USKBTC’s Kerry Blue Terrier Handbook. Edith also allowed the USKBTC to sell her grooming chart, and donated all profits from the sale back to USKBTC Charitable Funds. Edith was a true icon of the breed.

    Note: Heard Izant, Edith’s husband of 67 years, died one week after Edith’s passing.

    Condensed from the dedication written by Carol and Rich Basler, Margo Steinman, Barbara Beuter, and Gretchen Quinn, which appeared in the USKBTC National Specialty Show section of the 2005 Montgomery County Kennel Club catalog.

  • 02/15/2022 10:32 AM | Web Team (Administrator)

    Established in 1956, Fern Rogers’ time in Kerry Blue terriers began with Sharonellen’s Skibbereen, and she registered the kennel name Fellbrin in 1964. Fern piloted Skibbereen to 19 BIS wins as breeder-owner-handler. Fern linebred her Kerry Blue terriers thoughout her time in the breed; she personally watched or handled 99 of her dogs to their AKC championship and had plans for the 100th champion which she co-owned with Bob Caspers – Fellbrin’s Beginnegan.

    Fern was a friend and mentor to many in the dog world, and was a wealth of knowledge when it came to breed history. She was a Lifetime Member of the USKBTC who served on the Board intermittently for 20 years, holding the offices of both President and Vice President. She proudly displayed in her home the award recognizing her as Breeder, Owner and Handler of Ch. Sharonellen’s Skibbereen to 19 Best in Show wins.

    Condensed from a memorial tribute published in Kerry Blueprints, with particulars gleaned from USKBTC handbooks.  

  • 02/15/2022 10:13 AM | Web Team (Administrator)

    Barbara and Walter Bates, breeding under the kennel name Sanddollar, were founding members of the Kerry Blue Terrier Club of Central Florida. They serves as active members and officers of the club over several decades, and bred both Kerry Blue terriers and Soft Coated Wheatens. Although they used professional handlers on rare occasions, they most often entered the Bred By exhibitor class and handled their own dogs. They piloted their dogs to top rankings ad breeder/owner/handlers long before NOHS class was created.

    Barbara and Walter were always helpful and supportive to anyone wishing to groom and show their own dogs. Barb shared all she knew with anyone interested in learning; they mentored many people in the sport, leading by example and encouraging them to go on and do the same with their own dogs. As staunch supporters of junior handlers, they shared their passion with their granddaughter and helped any child as if their own.

    In their memory, the Kerry Blue Terrier Club of Central Florida has established a new perpetual trophy in memory of Barbara and Walter Bates of Sanddollar Kennels.

  • 11/15/2019 3:32 PM | Web Team (Administrator)

    Frank and Linda Sousa’s contributions to Kerries are evident in the results of their breeding program. As Carl Ashby put it, “If you review the record books you will find their success in the ring across the board under many different judges, the test of a truly consistent, quality program”. Applying both analytical science and an innate ability to project results of a breeding, Frank bred many outstanding Kerries. I submit however, the foremost quality possessed by both Frank and Linda is a generosity of spirit and willingness to mentor in every way possible newcomers to the breed or for that matter, anyone who requested help.

    Based on Frank’s recommendation we purchased our first Kerry, not of Frank’s breeding but one he felt had an excellent pedigree and potential. Not only did he and Linda invest considerable time and effort in teaching us the dynamics of the breed but Frank made sure Don Wilde knew of O’Connell’s progress and quality, not trusting me to properly communicate the information! You’ve heard of people who give 110%, Frank gave 150%! He could never do enough to help improve the breed. Unfortunately Frank had numerous health related problems which severely impacted his quality of life. I never heard him complain. If asked how he was doing, the standard reply was “Oh, ok.”

    Frank and Linda donated a trophy to the USKBTC in Ray Perry’s memory. It was redesigned, at Frank’s urging, to improve its durability. If I didn’t call him with an update on the status of the work, he called me. I will never forget the smile on his face when the trophy was placed in his lap at Montgomery.

    We will miss him; he was a great dog man and a true friend.

    Dedication written by Tom Rogers, which appeared in the USKBTC National Specialty Show section of the 2005 Montgomery County Kennel Club catalog. 

  • 02/14/2019 4:08 PM | Web Team (Administrator)

    Bert came to Kerry Blue terriers in 1942 with a strictly “pet quality” Kerry, yet that Kerry’s personality inspired he and wife Peg to stay in the breed. Their love of the breed grew, and they registered the Marberlane kennel prefix in 1947. Bert and Peg’s first litter came from purchasing a bitch-in-whelp from a prominent Kerry kennel, with bloodlines going back to Ch. Michael of Somerset, Ch. Lisnalea Eager, Ch. Deed’s Showoff and Bluecote lines. Bert finished Marberlane’s Masquerader, his first as a breeder/owner/handler, in 1950 – the first of over 60 Marberlane champion greats.

    Bert obtained his handler certification in 1951, then went on to become a Terrier and BIS judge in the late 1960’s. He was an active charter member of two all-breed clubs in addition to belonging to the Greater Pittsburgh Kerry Blue Terrier Club and the Empire Kerry Blue Terrier Club. He served in a variety of leadership positions, including board member and show chairman, providing numerous educational programs and classes, often for no fee. He was a Lifetime Member of the USKBTC, and was featured on the cover of Terrier Type as “The Terrier Man”.

    Condensed from the memorial tribute which appeared in the USKBTC National Specialty Show section of the 2015 Montgomery County Kennel Club catalog.

  • 12/21/2018 4:40 PM | Web Team (Administrator)


         Bob Nazak was a dedicated family man, Naval Academy graduate, dog man, and a friend to all.  He, along with his wife Martha, bred and showed Kerry Blue Terriers for many years.  They owned 2 National Specialty Best of Breed winners.

        Bob served his country for 20 plus years as a naval officer and was the father of three children.  Bob always put family first but found time to give back to dogs.  He served the USKBTC in many capacities...perhaps best known for his math skills at our Futurity.

         It was with both sadness and extreme pride that we recognized Bob by dedicating the 2011 National Specialty to his memory. The Robert M. Nazak Breeder’s Challenge Trophy, recognizing the breeder of the Best of Breed at the  National Specialty was premiered at this Specialty as a lasting reminder of Bob and his contributions to Kerry Blue Terriers.


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