Tributes have been paid to a Melton woman whose love of dogs led her to become a champion breeder and a judge at Crufts, following her death at the age of 92.
Doreen Posnett lived the last four years of her life at the town’s Egerton Lodge nursing home due to having Alzheimer’s disease.
Her 100-year-old husband Jim, who still lives independently, remained devoted to her throughout their 72 years of marriage.
St Mary’s Church, in Melton, is expected to be packed for Doreen’s funeral service on Monday November 11 at noon with many of her friends and colleagues from the dog breeding and showing world due to pay their last respects.
Her daughter, Amanda, told the Melton Times: “Mum always said she preferred dogs to people.
“She liked to maintain the integrity of a dog breed so that it met Kennel Club standards.
“But her life wasn’t all about dogs because she raised over £100,000 for Cancer Research UK with fundraising events in Melton.
“She was a talented oil painter and clay sculptor and she was also a founder member of the Melton Toy Soldiers band many years ago.”
Doreen was born at Asfordby Hill and attended the old Modern Girls’ School in Melton.
She left school aged just 14 to start work at the town’s former Woolworth store on Sherrard Street, progressing to the role of window dresser.
Towards the end of the Second World War, Doreen decided to join the Auxilliary Territorial Service (ATS) which was the women’s branch of the British Army.
She had to lie about her age to get in but her father signed her papers because he was so proud to see her join up, having been an ex-serviceman himself.
Doreen was stationed in Kensington in London and after the war, in 1946, she was posted back to Leicester, where she met future husband Jack, who was serving with the Military Police.
The couple were married at All Saints’ Church, at Asfordby, in 1947 and went on to have three children - Amanda, Gareth and Anthony, who passed away seven years ago. Anthony was married to Melton borough councillor and county council chair, Pam Posnett.
Doreen, who was also at one time a church watch at St Mary’s, doted on her grandchildren, Polly and Charles, and great-grandson, Arthur.
Amanda said: “Dad was totally devoted to mum for the whole of their 72 years together.
“Although she had Alzheimer’s in her last years she always recognised family members up until her last days.
“It is such a tragic and sad disease to have because you can feel the person you once knew gradually drifting away.”
Doreen’s love of dogs stemmed from the border terrier called Rinty which her family had from when she was aged three.
He lived until the age of 21 and even attended the Posnetts’ wedding with a big blue bow tied around him.
She began breeding dogs, starting out with a corgi, and quickly grew a reputation as a breeder and a judge at competitions abroad as well as in the UK.
Doreen showed multiple champions at Crufts - mainly Schipperkes and griffons - and became a judge at the world famous show in 1997, which she considered the pinnacle of her career.
Amanda added: “Mum loved living in Melton.
“She always tried to attend as many borough council and town estate meetings as she could because she liked to ruffle a few feathers.
“She was a true Meltonian and really loved the history and the buildings in the town.”
After Doreen’s funeral on November 11 there will be a cremation at Loughborough at 1.15pm followed by a wake at the Conservative Club in Melton.