FREDA LEWIS, who died on December 31st, was a contemporary of mine and it was with great sadness that I learned of her death. Those of us who knew her well were aware of her serious illness which had overtaken her several years ago and, in spite of the best treatment and her fighting spirit, she was unable to win the battle and died peacefully on New Years Eve.
Although the Walkmyll Danes were always in Freda’s name, one was aware that it was a husband and wife partnership behind the successes of the many Champions that carried the affix.
Freda and Ron can be described as true stockpeople, both having been born into farming families. Freda grew up knowing what it was to feed the pigs and milk the cows, and her mother had some success in breeding Bullmastiffs, so it was not surprising that Freda showed she had the green-finger touch, when it came to breeding Great Danes.
Ron and Freda would have celebrated their golden wedding this coming year, and it was for most of that time, at Bridge Farm, Cannock, where they continued to farm that the Danes were housed and bred. Over the years the large farmhouse and surrounding buildings suitably adapted for the dogs. Puppies were never over produced, but a number of splendid Champions were bred over the years and one could always spot a Walkmyll, when it became a strain recognisable by its stamp.
With the passing of Freda, we have lost one of the most important people in our breed. Great breeder, great stockwoman, whose Walkmyll bloodline has had an influence behind many of our present day successful Danes.
Friends of Ron will be pleased to know that he intends keeping the several Danes and in due course hopes to bring out some of Freda’s younger stock into the show ring. Our thoughts are with him at this sad time. I shall miss Freda and our in-depth chats about the breed, and most of all her happy laugh.
No funeral arrangements at the time of going to press.