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Mr Leonard Pagliero OBE FCIS

Leonard Pagliero OBE FCIS

OUR DOGS is sorry to report the death of Mr Len Pagliero on Friday August 8th following a heart attack.

Having contributed obituaries to Our Dogs over many years the time has finally come to record with sadness the death from a heart attack of a stalwart of the UK dog scene, Leonard Pagliero at 94 years old.

Leonard had a life long interest in dogs as owner, judge and administrator. He was probably best known for his five year stint as Chairman of the General Committee when the decision was taken to admit women as full members in 1978. He was also instrumental in developing the idea of the first World Conference of Kennel Clubs (thirty-two countries attended) and began the process of modernisation of the KC with a revision of its committee structure and the appointment of its first chief executive, Donald Adams. He served as Chairman of the Judge Sub-committee and was a Vice-president of the Kennel Club.

Although his interest in dogs began with Terriers he will be best remembered for his Forradon Beagles (co-owned with Pamela Harris) which twice won the Hound group at Crufts. He also took an active interest in obedience and was one of the few championship show judges who also officiated in the obedience ring. He was an international judge being passed for tickets in 26 breeds and judged Best in Show at Crufts in 1991. He was a founder member of the Hound Association, where he introduced the parade of working hounds and later became its President He was also President of Windsor Championship Show, the Beagle Club, the GSD (Alsatian) Club of the UK, the Working Breeds Association of Wales and the Hampshire Working Trial Society.
Despite operations on his knee and his eyes in the last few years he was amazingly fit, attending his last show, the Eastern Counties Rottweiler Championship Show, on the Sunday before his death. And on the night before he died he was planning his 95th birthday party and organising his Christmas holiday in Tenerife.

His friends and acquaintances will remember him as a kind and gentle man who always had time to talk – especially about dogs.

Liz Cartledge writes: ‘To attempt to write an obituary about Leonard Pagliero is an alomst impossible task. He had become so many things to me as a close, totally loyal friend and companion for well over 20 years, as well as my mentor, confidant and common sense advisor. Having virtually no sight at all in the last year, due to macular degeneration, he was naturally frustrated not to be able to drive, read or watch TV. Mentally and physically he was quite incredible for his age. A true dog lover, he hated being without a house pet; when he stayed with me he grudgingly succumbed to the charms of my two old Heelers akthough he still referred to them as ”mongrels!” His first love was Alsatians, then Beagles, of course, but his last two house dogs were Pembroke Corgis who adored him and he them.

After and eventful week to go so suddenly and unexpectedly in the early hours of August 8th (suspected heart attack), exactly two weeks before his 95th birthday, was a wonderful way for Len but a huge shock to everyone close to him. On August 2nd with Chris Seidler, Sussie and Richard Wiles and my Dutch next door neighbour, we spent a beautiful evening in the grounds of Stonor Park, nr Henley, for the Spitfire Proms Concert. Perfect weather, the elaborate picnic was a great success and we all came away glowing with happy memories. Next morning was early departure for the E Cts Rottweiler Club Ch show where I judged males and Len chatted to old friends and made a fuss of quite a few Rottweilers which he greatly enjoyed. Two quiet days at Coombe Ross and then we went out to supper at the restaurant he had booked for his birthday/ RAF reunion party to check a few details. On August 7th Norman Field (Houndsmark Beagles), his very kind and supportive friend of many years, took him to Windsor to collect his first ever hearing aid. (Len maintained he was not at all hard of hearing; it was just that everybody mumbled these days and did not project their voices properly!) They had a pub lunch and later on I popped in to see him and deliver his shopping. We talked for quite a while, I poured him a drink and then left about 7.30pm with Len’s firm instructions to get in touch with a travel agent to organise our annual Christmas holiday to Tenerife. So he certainly had no plans to leave this earth!

Others will no doubt write about his achievements in the world of dogs and his many other fields of interest but I know that winning Reserve BIS with Ch Forrardon Appeline Beeswing in 1965, judging the Working Group, Best in Show and the Hound group twice at Crufts were his most treasured and proud moments in the ring.

Len earned and deserved great respect from anyone he came into contact with. A tough, strong character with impeccable manners. I am sure his RAF training and war experience stood him in good stead for the rest of his life. He put his own unique stamp of authority on any organisation where he became involved, be it the Kennel Club, paper industry, his RAF crew and squadron, or the many breed clubs and general canine societies - obedience and beauty - where he held various positions.

As a chairman he had no equal, a master of committee procedure, he was able to control any difficult meeting superbly. At AGM’s he would give his chairman’s report masterly, speaking at length without any notes. The GSD (Alsatian) Club of the UK, Beagle Club and Hound Association benefitted greatly from his expertise and passionated input in the past. In more recent years Len played an important and active part as President of Windsor Dog Show Society. Disciplined and organised, paying meticulous attention to detail, I know that he sometimes despaired of my scatterbrain and hap hazard last minute arrangements but he was always fair and would be the first to admit that I still “got the job done!”

A very long, rich and interesting life has come to an end and I shall miss him more than any words can describe. He was my rock and I trusted and depended on him totally. He leaves two sons, Michael and John, their wives Ann and Vicki, six grandchildren and two great grandchildren, all as shocked and unprepared as I feel. Leonard Pagliero was a very special man, one of a kind - the world will not be the same without him.’

Shirley Rawlings, secretary of the Hound Show, said: ‘Len was a lovely man and a great supporter of the Hound Association. He was not just a founder member and latterly it’s President but he was responsible for making the Hound Show so special through his enthusiasm and attention to detail’

Marion Spavin writes ‘I got to know Leonard really well when I joined the committee of the Beagle Club in the early 60s. Through the 70s up to the 90s Leonard was the Chairman and then he became the President. He was in partnership with the late Pam Harris and jointly owned the prefix Forrardon. Between them they made up several champions. After Pam died, Leonard continued showing the dogs for a while and was thrilled when he won B.O.B. at Crufts with Ch. Forradon Warrior, and Ch. D. Gambeson.

‘In the 60s Leonard instigated the start of the Hound Association and became Chairman. In 2002 he resigned his position and was made president. It was Leonard’s idea to invite the Hound packs to attand the show and as many as 12 different packs would be there, much to the exhibitors delight.

‘Leonard will be missed in the Beagle world as they were his great love. Our sympathies go to his two sons and to his great friend Liz Cartledge. Marion Spavin and all at Dialynne.’

The funeral, which open to all will be held on Tuesday August 26th at St Mary’s Church, Harefield, Middlesex at 12 noon. Family flowers only.