Sari Brewster Tietjen, a second-generation dog fancier and lifetime participant in the sport of purebred dogs.
Sharon (Sari) Brewster Tietjen, a long-time resident of Rhinebeck, died after a long illness on Saturday May 11 at Northern Dutchess Hospital.
Mrs. Tietjen was an award-winning author and journalist with four books published. In 1990 she published, as part of Rhinebeck’s 300th Anniversary, a book entitled “Rhinebeck, Portrait of a Town” which traced the Town’s history from the Civil War era to the then current era. In addition to this book she wrote “The Dog Judge’s Handbook” and two breed related books on the Pomeranian and Miniature Pincher. Sari was a weekly columnist since 1983 with her previous column titled "Sari . . . the Way It Is" appearing in Dog News. She also writes feature articles for various other publications. She won the "Fido" for Dog Writer of the Year and another one for Dog Woman of the Year. She also received an Outstanding Journalist award.
As a young girl, Mrs. Tietjen learned to recognize and breed quality, completing her first breeder/owner/handler champion at 7 years of age. She raised and showed over 14 different breeds representing almost all the Groups. However, the breed she is most closely associated with is the Japanese Chin. Mrs. Tietjen has had the breed for over 65 years and, in the '50s and '60s, established a line of five-generation Group-placing Japanese Spaniels (as the breed was known at that time). She and her sister Joy, have both followed in the footsteps of their pre-deceased mother, Mary S. Brewster, a retired dog show judge, who founded Robwood Kennels.
At age 21, Sari was first approved by the American Kennel Club. to judge dogs becoming the youngest person permitted to judge in confirmation shows. Throughout the next fifty years, she was approved to judge numerous other breads and groups. Throughout her judging career she has judged in 17 foreign counties including Canada and Mexico and in the United States she judged in virtually every State. In 2009 she was tapped by the Westminster Kennel Club to be its Best in Show Judge. She gave the Best in Show award to Stump, a 10 year old Sussex Spaniel, being a first for the Breed and also the oldest dog to have achieve that honor.
In the 1970’s Sari became Rhinebeck first women Republican Party Chair. She championed diversity on the Town Board and fostered the first women seated on that Board. Since that time women have become a regular members of the Town and Village Boards.
Born November 8, 1945 in Washington, DC she lived in McLean and Upperville, Virginia prior to relocating to Ancramdale in 1955, and then to Rhinebeck in 1968.
She was married on April 27, 1968 to attorney Herman Tietjen, who resides at home in Rhinebeck. She is also survived by her son Herman Jr. “ Rick”, his wife Lori and grandson Wesley of Rhinebeck; Sister Joy Brewster of Newtown, CT, and brother Jack Brewster of LaGrangeville.
There are no calling hours, services and interment will be private.
In lieu of flowers the family requests memorial donations to be made to Hospice of Hudson Valley, 374 Violet Ave. Poughkeepsie, NY 12601 or Take the Lead, a national charity supporting members of the dog show fancy, 215 Washington Street, Suite 110, Watertown, NY 13601