Obituary – A. Nelson Sills

  1. A.(Andrew) Nelson Sills

of Houston, DE, died on Friday, 24 January 2020. He was 95.

ANS portrait

Nelson was born on 1 Nov 1924 in Baltimore, MD. He was the son of the late David N. Sills Sr. and Helen (Nelson) Sills, and brother of David N. Sills, Jr. and Winifred Leithiser, all of Milford, DE. He graduated from the Virginia Tech class or 1945 with a degree in civil engineering and later became a Professional Engineer. Nelson served in the United States Navy during WWII. He became the chief construction engineer for the State of Delaware Highway Department and later became the General Superintendent at Delaware Park Racetrack from 1963 to 1982. He finished his career working as an engineering and construction consultant for Rollins Truck Leasing, building facilities while getting to train his dogs throughout the country. Nelson also enjoyed designing and building dog training facilities for people in the field trial community.

Nelson enjoyed all things Labrador Retriever and Retriever Field Trials. His wife, Nancy bought him his first Labrador in 1957.

  • He won the National Amateur Retriever Championship in 1964 (Dutchmoor’s Black Mood (Moe)).
  • He was the Chairman of the Field Trial Committee of the National Retriever Club in 1965.
  • He judged the National Retriever Championship twice in 1967 and 1975.
  • He was President of the National Retriever Club in 1969.
  • He was voted “Judge of the Year” by the Professional Retriever Trainer’ Association in 1974.
  • He judged the National Amateur Retriever Championship in 1995.
  • He has accumulated 129 judging points (1 of 6 people to accumulate over 100 Points)
Cole 2009

Nelson & Cole. 2009 NRC event. Dover, Delaware

  • He was an active member of the Del Bay Retriever Club from 1957 until his death and served as its President.
  • He was a member of the Labrador Retriever Club and served as President of the Club from 1992-2012.
  • He served as Delegate to the American Kennel Club (from the LRC) from 1980-2012 and served on the Board of Directors from 1980-1995. During part of that time, he also served as Treasurer for the AKC (1992-1995).
  • He was the winner of the 2001 American Kennel Club Lifetime Achievement Award in the Category of Performance.
  • He was the Founder of the Master National Retriever Stake.
  • He is a recipient of the Master National Retriever Club Vision Award in 1993.
  • He judged the Master National in 2002.
  • He was inducted into the Birddog Hall of Fame in 1995.

Nelson is survived by his wife of 62 years, Nancy (Jones) Sills, of Bridgeville, DE., Daughter Wynne Brantner and her husband Jim of Johnson City, TN, son David N. Sills, IV and his wife Denise of Bear, DE, son Andrew N. Sills Jr. and his wife Lisa, of Roswell, GA., daughter Nancy Ross of Johnson City, TN and 15 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at 1 PM on 29 February 2020 at Independent Bible Fellowship Church, Harrington, DE. with a reception to follow at Nancy and Nelson’s home in Houston, DE. Burial will be private.

In lieu of flowers the family has suggested donations to the Labrador Retriever Club (Breed Club) or Del Bay Retriever Club. Arrangements made by Rogers Funeral Home, Milford, DE. 302-422-4025

Events Hosted by LRC – 2020

April 25-27. Maryland.  Field trial cancelled

June 27-28. Minnesota. Field Trial

August 7-9. Maryland. D/Q Field Trial. with Del Bay RC.

August 29-31. Maryland. Field Trial.

September 11-13. Michigan. Field Trial

September 19-21. Maryland. Field Trial.

October 3-4. National Specialty. Pennsylvania. Hunt Test.

Dog for All Reasons – 2019

dfar qualifiers

2019 LRC Inc Qualifiers.

Nineteen Labrador Retrievers qualified for the Dog For All Reasons award. Presented by Show Chair and LRC Director Barb Nowak and LRC Board Secretary Nancy Brandow on behalf of the LRC Inc – well done!

Another LRC First!

No club in the history of the AKC Canine Health Foundation has donated as much money in one year as the Labrador Retriever Club has done in 2019!

chf poster

A Record in CHF History

AKC Canine Health Foundation Earns Consecutive Four-Star Rating from Charity Navigator

The AKC Canine Health Foundation (CHF) has once again earned a highest possible four-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s premier independent charity evaluator.

This year, CHF received its highest overall score in over a decade, demonstrating the efficient use of donations, programs growth, and commitment to good governance. CHF earned Charity Navigator’s top distinction based on an independent review of our financial health and commitment to accountability and transparency. We also earned the 2019 Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.
Learn more about the AKC Canine Health Foundation at
At CHF, it is important that our donors know that their investment in canine health is being used wisely to improve the lives of dogs. We value your support and thank you for continuing to work together for healthy dogs!

Diane Brown signature (no initial)
Diane Brown, DVM, PhD
Chief Executive Officer
AKC Canine Health Foundation

Puppy Fact Sheet – no longer sent with new puppy registrations

The puppy fact sheet is no longer being distributed by the AKC with new registrations. Previously the LRC, Inc paid for this document and the AKC included them with the registration certificate. AKC wanted to control the content and wanted to change previously approved content that decried the silver color. Please use THIS fact sheet which is approved and endorsed by the Labrador Retriever Club, Inc.

NARC Finalist!

Yvonne and "Be"

Yvonne and “Be”

Congratulations to LRC Director, Yvonne Hays, and her Lab, “Be,” a finalist at the 2019 National Amateur Retriever Championship in Ronan, MT.


5/5/2012 (NAFC-FC Texas Troubador ex FC Hardscrabbles Captain Morgan)
Breeder: Gregory Cross
Owners: Yvonne & Charlie Hays, Pavo, GA
Handler: Yvonne Hays

2019 Raffle

T. J. McCann writes, “I am this year’s Raffle Chairman and I am inviting all the clubs to donate a basket. Please consider participating again this year. We always have a great raffle. ”

Baskets can be sent to the show hotel and may arrive as early as Friday, October 4th. The address is:

Doubletree by Hilton
ATTN: Marilyn Little
222 North Vineyard Avenue
Ontario, CA. 91764


An end to all canine field trials and hunt tests in Oregon?!

UPDATE:The bill was sent back to committee for a rewrite, specifying predator hunting derbies. This change would exclude field trials and hunt tests.

But stay alert. We are on a slippery slope here!

Oregon SB 723 could bring an end to all canine field trials and hunt tests in the state. Oppose today!

Contact Oregon legislators with your opposition to SB 723, which would prohibit any taking of wildlife in contests. The bill would be devastating to the vibrant and large hunting community of Oregon that is a boon to the state economy while serving only the narrow interests of anti-hunting and animal rights groups. See our letter to the Oregon Senate Judiciary Committee here.

SB 723 would prohibit any “contest, competition, tournament or derby in this state that has the objective of taking wildlife for prizes or other inducement or for the purpose of entertainment.” The bill is so broadly worded as to be vastly over-inclusive; it will certainly include all field trials, hunt tests, and perhaps even events such as Barnhunt. Not only would SB 723 be devastating to hunting, but would hurt preservation breeding of many breeds proven through testing that would be banned under the bill.

Please write Oregon legislators today and urge them to oppose SB 723!

Write a letter.


 Judges Education
October 9, 2019 (Wednesday)
Prado Regional Park, Chino, CA
Cost $50.00
Mentoring Wednesday afternoon, Thursday and Friday
Presenters: Marilyn Little and Barbara Nowak
Contact: Marilyn Little okaklabs@frontier. com  Cell 602 568 0374 or Hm 928 535 5385 for registration or additional information