A Tribute to John L. Friend by John P. Riepenhoff, M.D.
In the March 1969 issue of OUTDOOR LIFE magazine, David Duffy, a prodigious outdoor writer of his time, wrote about the Open and Amateur National Championships of that year. John Friend, who lived in Columbus, Ohio, noticed my name in the article and that I also lived in the same city. Since he had recently acquired a springer spaniel and wanted to be a part of some spaniel activity, he placed a call to me. At that time, the Ohio Valley English Springer Spaniel Club was transitioning geographically from its original location near Cincinnati to a more central location around Columbus.
After his telephone call, John was invited to the next training session at the Idle R's Farm. There, he found the opportunity to be involved in springer training and fellowship. He also joined the emerging club and was quickly appointed to the offices of Club Secretary, Treasurer, and Field Trial Secretary. His many years of serving in the latter capacity afforded him the opportunity to be known throughout the east and midwest. He became the club ambassador as a friendly, gracious person.
He was an enthusiastic springer trainer and field trialer for many years. The ribbons and trophies adorning his office attest to his commitment to the sport. He was a proficient gunner and was always available at training sessions and some field trials. John was the consummate club member and virtually ran the Ohio Valley Club. In all his years with the club, he had a beautiful, jolly manner and was never known to complain about anything.
John was born and lived in Batavia, Ohio until he entered Ohio State University where he graduated in 1955 with a B.S. degree in bacteriology. However, he never peered into a microscope looking at microbes after graduation. He had developed an interest in photography in high school and became so proficient that he was hired by a local news network. Following this, he accepted a position in the photography department at OSU and became the chief cinematographer. In this capacity, he filmed all the OSU football and basketball games as well as many of their practices.
John died on Friday, August 6, 2010. He had been on dialysis for 11 years, but continued to lead an active, full life until the last three years as those were complicated with cancer. He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Mary Ann, three children and five grandchildren.
The Ohio Valley English Springer Spaniel Club wishes to share this eulogy with all its members and friends to celebrate the life of John L. Friend. He touched so many of us.
John P. Riepenhoff, M.D.