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Obituary - Ron Parkes (Vaderson)
6.12.1926 - 20.3.2009

Ron ParkesRON PARKES, the well-liked and respected figure known on the Dog Circuit since the early 1960s, has died following a short illness.

Having grown up in a dog-friendly household which kept Bull Terriers and Rough Collies Ron developed an early affinity with dogs.

As a young man he served in North Africa with the King’s Royal Rifle Corps and was responsible for the welfare and training of the Regiment’s Bull Mastiff.

On returning to this country he entered the teaching profession and in his spare time became a boxing referee. He later became Senior Education & Welfare Officer.

Ron enjoyed photography, music, jive and ballroom dancing and it was at a dance studio he met Pat, whom he married in 1947. Pat encouraged Ron’s interest in dogs so in those early days Staffies and Min Pins soon joined their household together with Airedale Terriers.

While visiting a village primary school he was introduced to a Keeshond by the dog-friendly headteacher. Ron liked the breed, researched it and told Pat - also a headteacher - that she would like it too. Then in 1959 he surprised her by taking a lively Gaiety Girl of Evenlode to her office and Pat found herself sharing a chair with a smiling Keeshond for the first time. Ron later purchased Sinterklaas Test Pilot, a son of Vader Kerstmis of Vorden and campaigned him to his title. The dog proved to be a good sire and the Vaderson kennel was soon established.

Ron joined the Keeshond Club in the early 1960s, then joined the committee and held senior office until 2004 when he retired and was made a Life member. His last homebred Champion was Vaderson Solario and his last dog was Sw Ch Repeta’s Make My Day who is descended from Vaderson bloodlines.

His judging career began in 1967 and he first awarded CCs to Keeshonds at Richmond in 1973. A popular judge across the breeds he stewarded around the country every year throughout the season. A genial host with a fund of tales and the occasional dram, many of us enjoyed the good company of Ron and Pat after shows.

In this country he awarded CCs to eight breeds across the Groups and also undertook many overseas appointments where he judged Groups and BIS, always supported by Pat who had her own full schedule. Ron’s latest BIS appointment was at the Jersey Kennel Club Show in 2008.
A long time member and President of the Gravesend & Medway Towns CS Ron did sterling work for this and several other Open show societies in Kent. At one time GMTCS held three shows each year and also ran a dog training section. Locally, Ron and his wife (Secretary for 35 years) were affectionately known as ‘Mr & Mrs Medway Towns’.

The world of dogs has lost a kindly and gentle man whose tall, commanding figure will be missed at shows and our condolences go to Pat and family in their loss.

Ron’s funeral will be held at Vinter’s Park Crematorium in Maidstone, Kent, on 17th April at 2pm. Family flowers only, please. Donations may be made to The British Heart Foundation or Diabetes UK.

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