Jane Chopson Tribute

The Board of Directors of the GDCA and the Trustees of the GDCA Charitable Trust announce the passing of our colleague and friend Jane Chopson. Jane left us last night, May 25, 2013 @ 7:35PM.
Many in the Great Dane World and in this Sport knew her and called her their friend. To those that did not know her personally most certainly knew who she was…. and if not…this is who she was.
Jane was a person of great intellect. She was wise and her wisdom will prevail. She was passionate about this breed, her first breed, the Great Dane. She was born to this breed. Her father was a breeder and exhibitor before Jane was born. She showed her beloved Great Danes from the age of 4 years. Through the years she stretched herself as a breeder, exhibitor and professional handler as well as personally through her professional and personal life.
Jane was equally as passionate about many breeds not just the Great Dane. In reality she has owned and bred multiple Champions and Best In Show winners in Great Danes, Vizlas, Dobermans, Cocker Spaniels and recently Field Spaniels. She was friends with the best and the greatest in the Sport of Pure bred dogs. She was a mentor to many who will always be grateful for her patience and to whom she willingly shared the depth of her knowledge and as much of her experience in a way that the best teacher you ever knew could.
Jane achieved great heights in this sport as she did in the “real world”. Professionally she retired from being a Sr. Director of Social and Health Services in Marin County, CA. In this capacity, as ever a sponge, she sought the opportunity to soak up new knowledge and experiences. She worked with many non-profits to help those in need, and for whose benefit she worked for 30 years. Her experience in this area provided her with the skills that we needed for the GDCA Charitable Trust. Jane working with two other Trustees and the GDCA in 2001 started to develop and weave the fabric of an enterprise that has sponsored Research, Rescue, Scholarship, and Education for both the Breed, the stakeholders of this breed as well as to all of us, the guardians of the breed. The Trust has expanded to 9 Trustees and to date has raised and spent funds approaching $650,000.00 to support ventures ascribed to its charter which is the health and overall well-being and welfare of this breed.
Jane was a leader to the GDCA. She had guts and penache. She was a woman of style. She served as one of its most respected Presidents. She had served most diligently as a member of its Board and on many Committees which were only too grateful for those pearls of wisdom for which she was so well known and which she unsolicited would often drop. She was a great advocate for Health testing in this breed. She preached the benefits to breeders of health testing and what it meant to the future of this breed.
Jane passionately spoke about Coat Color genetics. She published articles in breed specific publications about this topic and spoke to the controversies surrounding the issue in those days (30+ years ago) when it was a forbidden subject and at a time when ignorance prevailed as a guiding light. Today we know differently. Jane worked in the past with many people in this breed to not only plant the seeds for change but to fertilize these ideas and bring them to fruition. Jane was not so much a rebel but a believer that truth and facts should prevail and they should be guiding and leading us.
For those who knew her well enough to have enjoyed her unique sense of humor (she did not often get ours), she always had a story. Her story about clients of hers from the past viz.Tim and Tammy Tommeny and their dog Tonka is a well-known Jane classic.
Jane, just before she died, expressed how grateful she was that the membership of this Club had selected her to judge the Breed at the Great Dane National in 2014. She did not believe that she would have achieved that honor without having a Judge’s License. This meant so much to her. The honor was given to her … the act of doing so denied.
We are grateful to Jane for all that she has done for us and this breed. Most of all Jane we will keep you in our hearts as a true friend. In the coming weeks and months there will be many accolades for Jane and all of these will speak to the woman and human being that she was.
Jane you were and still are a part of our history and who we are, Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. ~ Paul Hardiman. Posted by Grady Harp


  1. GDC of Cleveland
    June 1, 2013

    The GDC of Cleveland would like to express our deepest sympathy to the family of Ms. Jane Chopson. We are greatly saddend by the passing of Jane who was so much to members of this club, many people in the dog world and as we say many people “in the REAL world”.
    Callie Davis-Caffey

  2. Teri Taketa-Graham
    June 1, 2013

    Godspeed Ms. Chopson ~ know all your four-legged furry friends at the rainbow bridge welcome you with lots of wags, licks and kisses….. To your loved ones left behind, death cannot diminish the love you shared ~ may fond memories give you comfort at this time…

  3. Lucretia Marcus
    June 2, 2013

    My memories about Jane could write a book!We met her in 1991 when she showed our first Dane for us.She was a great mentor.I hope/wish that someone took notes:she was a terrific Dane historian. It won’t be the same at dog shows without her.

  4. Jay & Lorie Roden
    June 3, 2013

    Thank you to such a GREAT LADY for giving us the honor of owning one of your dogs. You will be deeply missed by all who have had the honor of knowing you.

  5. Beve Hauer
    June 25, 2013

    Jane was a “One of a Kind” Honest to the core with a wonderful strange sense of humor. I could always call her with questions and she was there to help every time.My daughter started handling in the 80’s and watched Jane all the time to learn her style..She could present a dog with the best of them and was so kind to the”Juniors” who looked up to her. Rest softly until we meet again my friend!

  6. Dan Palantino
    June 27, 2013

    Jane was one of the most incredible person anyone could call a friend. I was so grateful to spend time with Jane in California in 2011. Many conversations will be missed about not only the Danes, but our love for our Field Spaniels. I was never more honorned in my life than when Jane handed me the GDCA breed winning trophy in 2004. Her knowledge for all breeds was outstanding – and her stories beautiful. My heart goes out to Nikki, and the family. Jane my friend your memory will always remain in my heart! Love – Dan

  7. Bette Zemaitis Reese
    January 23, 2014

    I was looking for Jane after being away from the show ring for a couple of years and did a Google search to find her because I’m ready for another Dane to show. I came across this very sad aricle. I bought my first Dane from Jane (co-owned with Isabelle) in the 1970’s. My Great Dane was Ch Rebelro’s Heller. I traveled to many shows in the 1970’s with Jane as she showed ‘Heller’. Jane was such an inspiration for me and I feel I learned everything I hold dear to this day with showing my dogs. I’m weak with grief…. But my memories with Jane are as strong and wonderful as they were 40 years ago.


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