News of the passing of Dr. H. L. Todd "Doc" Addis, a singular force in the development of the Penn-Marydel breed and a tireless advocate for hounds and hunting, spread across the sporting world yesterday. Many who had the privilege of knowing him shared accolades and their favorite memories of his generosity and wisdom. A memorial service is planned for August 3 in Pennsylvania.
Photo courtesy of Karen L. Kennedy
"In 1989 a group of fledgling wannabe foxhunters in Tennessee posted an ad in the Chronicle seeking a huntsman. Of the dozens of responses, one hand-written letter stood out. 'I read your ad with interest and adventure. I’m retiring veterinary practice and need to get out of PA for a year. My wife, Happy, and I will help you learn to foxhunt.' Thus began an enduring friendship of over 30 years with Doc Addis, a man, generous of spirit, outrageously talented with hounds and a hell of a lot of fun. That year was one of the most exciting of our lives. It begat the Tennessee Valley Hunt, still running strong today, driven by the incredible voices of Doc’s Penn-Marydel foxhounds. I have so many great stories about Todd, but today, what stands out to me is a statement by John Glass, Keeper of the Studbook for the MFHA at the time. When I asked him if he thought we should accept Todd’s offer he stated emphatically, 'Doctor Addis is a diamond among rhinestones!' Indeed. Shine on, Doc." - Carla Hawkinson, ex-MFH, Tennessee Valley Hunt (TN)
"Doc was the most influential hound breeder in America in the last 50 years. He was a happy curmudgeon who relished helping people and stirring the pot. His big smile and love of hunting lives on through his children. I was honored to know him." - Fred Berry, MFH, Sedgefield Hunt (NC)
"Words cannot express our admiration for our friend, Doc. He was truly a legend and someone we all aspire to be. His wealth of knowledge, his exuberance and passion for the Penn-Marydels, and his tenacity, drive and keen spirit of the sport will always stand as Cedar Knob's core." - Rob Caldwell, MFH, Cedar Knob Hounds (TN)
"Doc Addis contributed so much to the development of the Penn-Marydel foxhound. His legacy will live on in his hounds. Condolences to his family." - Susan Boone, MFH, Oak Ridge Fox Hunt Club (VA)
"I was blessed to hunt with him once and then have dinner that same night and sat next to him. I asked all kinds of questions about hounds and hunting and he willingly answered, to my delight. The day had been stellar, for me at least, listening to 19 and a half couple with unbelievable cry run for hours on more red foxes through the corn fields than I'd ever seen. When I asked - on a scale of 1 to 10 - how good would he rate the day (I was thinking it was a 12) he responded, "Maybe a 4!'" - Lili Wykle, MFH, Stonewall Hounds (VA)
"It is with great sadness that I pass along the news that Dr. H.L. Todd 'Doc' Addis, Master of Foxhounds of Elverson's Warwick Village Hounds, passed away today. Our thoughts go out to his family during this difficult time. Thirty-one years ago Doc responded to a peculiar advertisement in the Chronicle of the Horse from a newly formed hunt club in Tennessee, looking for a huntsman. He and Happy loaded up 20 couple of PMD’s and headed south from Pennsylvania. Doc and Happy spent the next year in Tennessee doing everything they could do to help lay the foundation for what would become the current Tennessee Valley Hunt Club, gifting the club the 20 couple before heading back north. Your wisdom, encouragement and sense of adventure will never leave us... kick on dear friend." - Ryan Johnsey, MFH, Tennessee Valley Hunt (TN)
"The foxhunting world has had a tremendous loss today. Dr. Todd Addis passed away this morning. Recently, I once again got a chance to talk hounds and hunting and share some laughs with this extraordinary huntsman and houndsman. Known for his Penn-Marydel hounds and his generosity of giving hounds to many hunts - and proud to include the Middlebrook Hounds! Instrumental in starting the Friends of the Penn-Marydel and inspiring me to get the PMDs registered with the MFHA so they can be recognized as separate from the American foxhound. It was a privilege to know him and hunt with him - you haven’t lived until you’ve hunted with Doc and at least 40 PMDs that have struck a line and heard the MUSICAL CACOPHONY that ensued! I judged his hounds two years ago at Kimberton Hound Show and they were just about unbeatable! I can continue singing this man’s praises but most importantly he was a GREAT HUNTSMAN and I cannot stress how instrumental he was for the PMD! Although Dr Addis’ pack was unrecognized by the MFHA, I would love to see him inducted into the HUNTSMAN HALL OF FAME. I will never forget this great man and his passion for the PMDs and I am very saddened by his loss. Dr. Addis will live on forevermore through the great Penn-Marydel hounds. And this huntsman blows 'Gone Away.'" - Fred Getty, MFH, Middlebrook Hounds (VA)
To read and share additional memories, visit the public Facebook group, In Loving Memory of Dr. H. L. Todd "Doc" Addis.