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2023 Field Trial Obituaries

In Memoriam

December 29, 2023

Notices Received In December

Dr. David B. Kuykendall, DVM
David Blanton Kuykendall passed away on December 3, 2023, at 80 years old. He was born in Gordo, Alabama, but moved to Carrollton, Alabama, at the age of 5. When he was 12, the family moved to Clayton, Alabama, as his dad became Superintendent of Education for Barbour County. He graduated from Eufaula High School in the class of 1960. He started Auburn that fall as a pre-vet student and graduated with his DVM degree in 1968. While at Auburn, he met the love of his life, Patricia Bailey. They were married in December 1967 and had been married for 55 years.

After graduating from Auburn, they moved to Birmingham, where he joined Center Point Animal Clinic to practice with Dr. Marcus F. Martin. They became the longest-practicing veterinary partnership in Alabama until David retired in 2010. David and Pat had two children, Chip and Karen. They both shared their love of the outdoors with their dad. This continued with his three grandchildren, Ana, Aaron, and David, at an early age.

In addition to his numerous outdoor pursuits--hunting, especially turkeys, bird dogs, and field trials (he co-owned Nat. Ch./HOF Native Tango with Jack Allen, successfully campaigned by handler Collier Smith, and also owned Ch. Hook's Bounty Hunter), fishing, and arrowhead hunting--David enjoyed Auburn football, travel, playing bridge, and reading.

He had a magnetic personality with a gift of making all who met him feel at ease and enjoy his company. He developed numerous friendships in all walks of life over his time here. His ability to tell a story was an experience. He will surely be missed by all those who knew him.

He was predeceased by his parents, Ira and Velma Kuykendall, and his brother, Dan Kuykendall. He is survived by his wife Pat, children Chip (Joan Kuykendall) and Karen (Keith Smith), as well his three grandchildren, Ana (Anderson Givhan), Aaron (Paige Kuykendall), and David III (fianc Abbey McDanal) and a great-grandchild (Charlotte Givhan), sister-in-law Liz Kuykendall, niece Kathy Elrod (Johnny), nephew Danny Kuykendall (Meredith), and several great and great-great nieces and nephews.

Notices Received In November

William Faust

William Faust

With a heavy heart, Bill Faust of Warsaw, North Carolina, passed away on July 8, 2023, at his home surrounded by friends and family. Born and raised in La Grange, North Carolina, he was one of six children of the late Edna and Fred Rouse. He worked at New River Nursery in Jacksonville for 11 years until he met Mary "Tina" Bland Jones from Bland's BBQ on his many trips to Warsaw Floral Co. With his two sons, Donny and Bill Jr., and her two sons, Wayne and Doug and the promise of "going out every day after lunch with his dogs," they married on June 25, 1965. They later had a daughter, Cindy. Bill opened his own nursery next to the restaurant in which he specialized in rose gardens. If you drive by a rose garden in Duplin County, it was most likely created by Faust Nursery.

Bill was a Scout Master for 11 years for Troop 20. His proudest accomplishment is helping 52 boys obtain their Eagle Scout status. He also led these scouts on 100-mile pilgrimages to Bath and Halifax. Because of his scouting achievements, he earned the Silver Beaver Award.

He was an avid outdoorsman with quail, dove, and pheasant hunting. He was a judge in the National Wild Food Cooking Contest for 25 years, which led him to be in the Wild Food Hall of Fame in Parkersburg, Virginia. He helped establish the North Carolina Wild Food Weekends, which has been going on for over 45 years. He was famous for his earthworm cake and loved the reactions of any new unsuspecting victims. He also attended the Wild Flower Pilgrimage for 40 years at Blackwater Falls, Virginia. Bill was the President of the Duplin County Gun Club for 25 years, where he hosted the Eastern Carolina Championship Bird Dog Trials. His most famous dog was Mac, who won the Eastern Carolina Championship.

If you didn't know how to speak "dog," "flowers," "hunting," or his various interests, then he didn't have too much to say. When bringing home friends, they were always warned, "I hope you like hugs." Bill loved to hug a woman. He always said he thought it helped brighten their day. I know it did his. His philosophy on life was "ten hugs a day and learn something new."

He was preceded in death by his spouse, Mary Grey Bland, and sons, William Eugene Faust and Robert Wayne Jones. He is survived by sons Donald Wayne Faust, William Douglas Jones and wife Paulette, Tony Randal Faust and fiance Lynn, Cynthia Diane Faust and wife Katherine, and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

The greatest thanks to special friends Carolyn Quinn and Dr. Corazon Ngo, who took on the primary role of caring for him after his automobile accident and during this journey as well. Special thanks to his granddaughter Buffie Niebauer Barnett, who also helped with caregiving during this time. Many thanks to ECU Hospice for your professionalism and compassion. Many thanks to the community of Warsaw and the many friends whom he has touched with his generosity and kindness.

Eddie Earl Rayl

Eddie Rayl

Eddie Earl Rayl, 75, of Fitzgerald, Georgia, passed away Monday, September 11, 2023, at his residence.
Mr. Rayl was born February 10, 1948, in Athens, Tennessee, to the late William Fred and Alma Jean White Rayl. He attended Brewton-Parker College and served his country honorably in the United States Marine Corps. Mr. Rayl had a notable career training bird dogs. He has two dogs in the Hall of Fame and won over 30 championships. He enjoyed playing golf, being outdoors, and was an avid poker player. Mr. Rayl was a devoted family man who loved his grandchildren.
He is survived by his three daughters: Leah Rayl of Dunedin, Florida, Jodie Rayl Snow & Matt of Tifton, and Kathryn Rayl Petrie & Curt of Fitzgerald; grandchildren: Eleanor "Elle" Petrie, Emme Petrie, Ripp Petrie, Matthew Snow, and Raylie Grace Snow; a brother, William Fred Rayl & Benita of Sylvester; a niece, Winnie Jean Martino and a great-nephew, Hardy Rayl Martino. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife of 35 years, Eleanor Moran Rayl.

Notices Received In October

Donald E. Hilliard

Donald E. Hilliard

Donald E. Hilliard, 98, of Queen City, Missouri, formerly of Lancaster, Missouri, passed away on Friday, September 22, 2023, at the Northeast Regional Medical Center in Kirksville, Missouri.

The son of Merville Arnold Hilliard and Merle (Watson) Hilliard Oliver, he was born on October 16, 1924, in Granger, Missouri. Don attended Granger School and Black Oak School and graduated from Granger High School in 1941. On December 23, 1946, in Troy, Kansas, he was united in marriage to Donna Jean Drummond, and to this union, three children were born: Jackie Wayne, Penny Sue, and Donald Rex.

Don is survived by his daughter, Penny Probasco, and husband, Rick of Lancaster, Missouri; two grandsons, Cory Alan Probasco and wife, Andrea of Denver, Colorado, and Donald Erik Probasco and wife, Shannon of Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin; three great-grandchildren, Hilliard Probasco of Denver, Colorado, Ryen and Kylie Probasco of Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin; one sister-in-law, Nita Cragg of Gallatin, Missouri; nieces and nephews and other family members.

Don is preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Donna Jean Hilliard, on April 27, 2023; two sons, Jackie Wayne and Donald Rex, in infancy; and one brother, Edwin Arnold Hilliard.

Don enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1943, serving in World War II, and was honorably discharged in 1945. While in the service, he was a Radio Operator on a B17 aircraft. Following his military tour, he primarily farmed. He and Donna lived in LaBelle, Lancaster, and Downing, Missouri, returning to Lancaster in 1958. With the encouragement of friends attending Kirksville State Teachers College in Kirksville, Missouri, he joined their daily commute. He went to school in the morning and worked for Beeler Motor Company in the afternoon. He earned his BS in Education in 1962 and his MA in 1965. Don began teaching Math at Queen City High School in Queen City, Missouri, in August of 1962 and shortly after became the principal. After the reorganization of the county schools, he served the Schuyler R-I Schools as High School Principal of the Queen City Unit, Junior High Principal, and eventually went back to teach high school math. After 32 years, he retired from teaching in 1994 and went back to farming but continued to support the school by running the time clock for Schuyler R-I basketball and football games. During these years at Queen City and Schuyler, Don also taught night classes during the school year and workshops in the summer for the College.

Don and Donna were members of the Lancaster Christian Church in Lancaster, Missouri, and attended regularly as long as their health permitted. He was baptized there in 1964 on the same day as his daughter, Penny, and served the Church as a deacon and several terms as Chairman of the Board. He was initiated into Phi Delta Kappa at Northeast Missouri State College (formerly Kirksville State Teachers College) on March 21, 1970, and was a member of and supported several professional organizations. He was a member of the Schuyler County American Legion Post 784, VFW in Scotland County Post 4958, and a 50-year member of the Glenwood Masonic Lodge 427.

Don almost always owned a dog and usually had a horse. He was a member of the North Missouri Field Trial Association, served as treasurer of his local group for many years, and helped set up and run many field trials. He judged field trials on horseback and on foot in Missouri and the surrounding states. He raised and trained pointers and ran them in field trials, earning many first and second-place trophies.

Don was a long-time member and secretary/treasurer of the North Missouri Field Trial Club. We could always count on Don to handle the preliminary tasks to host a field trial. He was always ready to step in and do whatever it took to get the job done. We also could always count on Don to keep everyone in line and keep the trial moving at a pace to make sure we were able to finish when we were supposed to.

Don taught school for years at Schuyler County. I remember in high school, I had completed all of my math requirements but decided to take Geometry my senior year. Don told me the story that on the first day of class, he walked in and saw me sitting by my future bride, and he thought that I was going to be trouble. The fact of the matter, I was no trouble, and I am sure he gave me a passing grade because he knew that I would have a hard time making it without my helper Heather.

I was just getting started field trialing, and one morning, Don and I were sitting in the truck warming up, and our friend, Bob Catlett, rode by on a big sorrel mare that moved out like a dream. Don looked at me and told me that he was going to go home with that horse, and he did. Don had some good horses, but this mare was his favorite. To this day, she is still the best horse that I ever had the pleasure to ride.

Over the years, Don had some good dogs. I didn't have the opportunity to see some of Don's early winners, but I did get to see one of Don's special dogs. It was a dog that had been passed around to several owners, including me. The female pointer, Bell, was a good dog, but no one seemed to be able to win with her. Don got a chance to run her, and instead of calling her Bell, he called her Nell, and what do you know, he won some stakes with her. He told all of us that we just had her name wrong, and I believe he was right.

Don was a good judge of character and a very good friend to me and a friend to many. He will be sorely missed.

-- By Kevin Western

Notices Received In September

Robert Bruce Kerans

Robert Kerans

Robert (Bob) Bruce Kerans departed from his earthly life at St. Mary's Hospital in Decatur, Illinois, on September 6, 2023. Bob was born July 29, 1939, in Brocton, Illinois, to Wendel (Lefty) and Jean Vaught Kerans, who preceded him in death. Bob loved his childhood in Brocton as it stimulated his love for the outdoors. A proud graduate of Brocton High School, Bob was involved with several varsity athletic teams, the school's theater and band programs, the yearbook, and the student council. Bob went on to earn his bachelor's and master's degrees from Eastern Illinois University, where he was an active leader in several campus organizations. It was there that he met the love of his life, Lolly; they were married on August 21, 1960, in Newton, Illinois. The couple recently celebrated their 63rd wedding anniversary.

Bob passionately served the Jasper County community in various roles, including high school principal, athletic director, girls basketball coach, and guidance counselor. Following retirement from Newton Community High School, Bob served as Principal at St. Thomas Grade School, Jasper County Director of Economic Development, and Mayor of Newton, Illinois. Bob founded several organizations that reflected his passion for outdoor recreation and education, including the NCHS Staff Fishing Team, the Sand Hill Archery Club, the Illinois Red Setter Field Trial Club, and the Illinois Muskie Tournament Trail. Bob served as Vice President of the Illini Muskies Alliance, Secretary/Treasurer of the Lake Shelbyville Muskie Club, Director of the National Red Setter Field Trial Club, Vice Chairman of the Lake Shelbyville Fish Habitat Alliance, and President of the Illinois Taxidermist Association. Bob was a prominent member of the Muskies Inc. National Association, Jasper County Bass Club, Central Illinois Crappie Club, and the Illini Muskie Alliance Hall of Fame. A true steward of the earth, Bob was devoted to leading efforts to restore Lake Shelbyville's muskie population in cooperation with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, the Illinois Natural History Survey, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the Lake Shelbyville Muskie Club. Bob was also deeply committed to the Shawnee Muskie Hunters, the USACE Youth Ambassadors Program, the National Red Setter Field Trial Club, and, more recently, the American Red Setter Bird Dog Club. In recognition of his commitment and interest in the outdoors, Bob was recently named the 2023 Illinois Outdoor News Person of the Year.

Bob served the National Red Setter Field Trial Club as a director, trial chair, editor, and exceptional breeder. The Barnhouse Kennel Banner produced competitive dogs eager to win. A few of his best-remembered dogs were Barnhouse McKalips and Barnhouse Puppy. Bob was a gifted writer, and in the mid-70s, he served as Editor of The Flushing Whip, the official newsletter of the National Red Setter Field Trial Club. In those days, the editions were run on a school mimeograph machine and hand-assembled. Bob's entire family helped get the issue out each time. When the NRSFTC celebrated its 25th Anniversary, Bob (and his family) attached silver covers to the newsletters they published. Bob eventually passed his pen on to future editors, but he continued serving the club in other capacities. Most recently, he served several terms as a director as well as reporting the Honor Roll. In 2022, he was awarded an Honorary Lifetime Membership in the National Red Setter Field Trial Club. Bob was a well-known contributing author in several outdoor magazines and newsletters. During the COVID pandemic, he collaborated with several friends and colleagues to author three books: Re-Living the Dream, Chalk Talk, and Memory Maker. These books detail his life experiences in outdoor adventures and as an educator, mentor, and coach. In summary, Bob lived life to the fullest, and those of us who knew him were ever blessed by his guidance, friendship, humor, and support! He'll be deeply missed!

An affectionate and loving husband, father, and grandfather, Bob is survived by his wife, Laurel (Lolly) Emmerich Kerans, daughters Lori Kerans and Lisa Hollis, and grandchildren Hannah and Zachary Hollis. Along with his family, Bob loved all the animals of God's creation, most especially his dogs, including the family's Red Setter, Barnhouse Ginger Red.

A private family service will be held at Holy Family Catholic Church. Bob will be laid to rest at Payne Cemetery in Brocton, Illinois. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Jasper County Retired Teachers Scholarship Fund, ... Pete Pasero, 6 Jeffrey Lane, Newton, IL 62448, or to the Hannah and Zachary Hollis Education Fund, ... Lori Kerans, 1st MidAmerica Credit Union, 202 E. Ash, Decatur, IL 62526.

The family would like to extend their deepest gratitude to the staff at St. Mary's Hospital, as well as Dr. Alan Bilyeu and Dr. Luis Caceres, for their excellent and compassionate care.

Notices Received In March

Roger W. Martens
We are saddened to report the passing of long-time field trial patron Roger Martens of Ridgeville, Ontario. Roger passed away on March 11, 2023, at age 85.

During the 70s, 80s, and '90s, Roger and his devoted partner and wife, Donna, campaigned numerous dogs on the major horseback shooting dog circuit, most carrying the prefix kennel name of "Springtime." Roger was a fierce competitor and an excellent amateur handler. Roger also campaigned dogs on the open circuit with professional George Tracy for many years. Roger's winners included Springtime Buddy, Jim, Kay, Yankee, Rocky, Aberdeen Abby, Cross Rail, and Kelly's Girl, to name a few.

Roger campaigned dogs and served the sport as a leader in many ways. He donated his talent to assist with several organizations, including the National Shooting Dog Futurity, U. S. Quail Shooting Dog Futurity, National Open Pheasant Shooting Dog Championship, AFTCA Region 13, and Ohio-Pennsylvania Open Shooting Dog Championship, plus several others in the capacity of director, vice president, and president.

Roger will be sorely missed. Rest in peace, my friend.

Mike Husenits, West Lebanon, Penn.

Notices Received In January

Donald Norman Wood
Donald Wood passed away on November 29, 2022, after a lengthy battle with cancer. He is survived by his wife, Sharon, three sons, two daughters, and his grandchildren.
Don grew up in Needham, Mass.; he attended Needham High School and went on to earn his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and a Master of Business Administration.

Don moved to Davie, Fla., from Sugarloaf, Penn., in 1978. He met his wife-to-be, Sharon, while horseback riding with a local riding club. They were married on April 1, 1990. When Don moved to Florida from Pennsylvania, he was field trialing English setters, renting a horse from a hack line, and sleeping in the bed of his pickup truck. This was a man who loved to field trial. He often said, "I don't care about a placement as long as the dog pleases me." Don gradually transitioned from setters to pointers as he realized they were more suited to the local conditions.

A long-standing member of the American Field and the American Field Trial Clubs of Southwest Florida, Don was recognized for his tireless efforts at bettering the sport of field trialing. Often called the "Ever-Ready Bunny" for his boundless energy, he was a joy to work with or compete against. The Cecil B. Webb field trial grounds in Punta Gorda, Fla., were his home turf. He took every opportunity to train there and competed in every trial. He worked tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure that the trials were run professionally and remained fun-filled events for all. New members are the lifeblood of the sport, and if Don introduced them, they would be hooked. He was the most gracious and welcoming host one could ever know. His wit and the twinkle in his eye lit up every event. Don was loved by all who knew him.

Rest in Peace, Don Wood.

Ruth A. Bozeman
Ruth A. Bozeman, 84, of Taylor Ridge, Ill., died Wednesday, December 28, 2022, at Genesis Medical Center, Illini Campus.

Ruth was born on September 20, 1938, in Streator, Ill., the daughter of Stanley Fredel and Amanda Theolyn (Bingham) Olson. She married Loyd Bozeman on May 5, 1957, in Caledonia, Miss. Ruth was a pedigree researcher and president of Bozeann Setters. She also served as the secretary of the National Field Trial Association. Ruth loved to tend to her flower garden, was an avid shopper, and loved traveling, especially to Sanibel Island, Fla. She collected Santa Claus ornaments and was a wonderful cook. Her family meant the world to her, and she made sure that she always spent time with her husband, children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Survivors include her husband; daughters, Kimberly Bozeman, Sandra (Scott) Rundall, Diane (Andy) Bozeman Woods; grandchildren, Jimmy, Chris, Joey, Steve, Lindsay, Jeff, Jenna, Alex, Tanner, and Jackson; 10 great-grandchildren, with two on the way; sister, Marilyn Carr; and beloved dog, Goldie. She was preceded in death by her parents; brothers Gerald and Larry Olson; and sister, Karen Boeckmann.

An official entity of United Kennel Club (UKC), the American Field legacy, mission, and Field Dog Stud Book certified pedigree database is carefully managed by UKC for the continued betterment of field trial dogs. UKC is committed to the American Field community, and all hunters, breeders, clubs, associations, and participants.

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