September 3, 1927 – September 21, 2021
Margaret Lorraine Best, renowned dog trainer, handler and German Shepherd breeder, died on September 21, 2021. She was 94. Margaret was predeceased by her parents Bill Barton (1962) and Jessie Sophia Barton (2007); by her brothers Glenn (2016) and Jack (2016) Barton and her ex-husband Alfred Best (1995). She is survived by her daughter Donna MacFadden, her son Gregg Best (Anne), her daughter Cheryl Paterson (Nigel), and her grandchildren Rebecca (Mike), Lawren (Ingrid), and Christina. Margaret was extremely proud of her children and grandchildren and their accomplishments. She instilled a very strong work ethic in her family.
Margaret was born on September 3, 1927 in Regina, Saskatchewan. She grew up on the family farm near Ellisboro in the Qu’Appelle Valley. She moved to Barkerville in 1935 and lived there until her late teens. She moved to Vancouver in 1948 and married Al. They moved to Cadboro Bay, Comox, Kitimat, New Westminster, Crofton and Chemainus. Margaret bought her first two German Shepherds in 1964 and founded Wotanhalle Kennels (Perm. Reg.) She pursued her dream of breeding and raising German Shepherds for the next 30 years. She excelled as a handler in the confirmation ring. She was also an obedience instructor and a tracking judge. She bred many Canadian Champions. She was well known throughout B.C. for her expertise and knowledge. Her favourite dog was Mike, multi Best in Show winner and also U.D. and T.D.X. – twice top German Shepherd in Canada.
In 1968 Margaret moved to Nanaimo with Cheryl. She established the Nanaimo Poodle Salon in her house on Oakley Street and over the next 25 years enjoyed an excellent reputation as a dog groomer. She spent many happy years working during the week and heading off for a dog show on the weekend, all over B.C., with Cheryl and her best friend, Mary Avent, in her orange Ford van towing her beloved Boler trailer (where many happy gatherings were held.) The Okanagan and Interior dog show circuits were her summer holidays. She also attended many Canadian and U.S. National Shepherd Specialties.
After retiring, Margaret enjoyed many hobbies, including golf and bridge. She immersed herself in bridge and became a Master after attending many tournaments. She enjoyed travel and spent several years wintering in Arizona with her companion Ray James. She also went on several cruises with her friend Monica Christian. She loved to garden, especially growing tomatoes. Her favourite pastime was sitting on her patio with friends and family enjoying the sunshine and a delicious homecooked meal. She was an excellent cook and was renowned for her baking – shortbread, biscuits and pastry.
Margaret was living at Wexford Creek for the past two years. Our family is grateful to all the staff for their care and compassion.
There will be no service at her request. Cremation has already taken place by First Memorial Funeral Services.
Margaret will be forever loved and remembered.
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