Betty D. Cummings, 84, died at her home in Accord New York.
Born on May 9, 1928 in Glen Head, NY, she was the daughter of the late
Patrick and Ella Dunn.
Betty married her husband Edwin G. Cummings upon his return from
active duty in the Korean War. They were married for 54 years until
Ned's passing in 2007.
Betty and Ned together ran Wynfomeer Kennels in Accord for many years.
Prior to that Betty was a highly accomplished dog and horse
trainer/handler. She even rode and exercised one of the most beloved
American thoroughbreds of all time, Sea Biscuit.
As a dog breeder and handler, Betty won many national and
international awards. For many years she was always a contender (and
winner) at the Westminster Kennel Club in New York. She remained an
active dog handler until her recent illness and she enjoyed the
distinction of being the oldest professional dog handler in the
Betty had an uncanny way with all animals, and she could do amazing
things with wild creatures. She even fed wild deer from her hands (or
"paws"), as she called them.
Betty and her husband Ned were dedicated sponsors of the Ulster County
4H group Mutt Masters for many years. Under their tutelage, hundreds
of young participants learned to groom, train and show dogs. The group
won many state and national awards. Many of those young people are now
dog breeders and handlers of their own right.
In short, Betty had a profound influence upon the lives of all the
people that she touched. She was always positive in attitude and
demeanor and set a wonderful example and work ethic. Until her death
Betty has maintained close relationships with many of the youth she
taught and loved.
Survivors include Betty's sister-in-law, Nancy Thurber and her husband
Harry of Greenport, New York. Her very dear friends; Bob and Pat
Keagle, Debra Quick, Roy Pasko, Sue and Brian Kelly and Garrett
O'Dell. There are also several nieces and nephews.
There will be a memorial service to celebrate Betty's life on
Saturday, April 6th at 2PM at the Marbletown Reformed Church, Stone
Ridge, NY. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions to the
Accord-Kerhonkson Rescue Squad or to the ASPCA will be gratefully