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Dr. Charles H. Belford, D.V.M.

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Laconia---Dr. Charles H. Belford, D.V.M., 85, of 164 Tiffany Drive, died at the Lakes Region General Hospital on Saturday, September 17, 2005.

Dr. Belford was born December 1, 1919 in Laconia, NH, the son of Alexander G. and Albina (Vigneault) Belford.

Dr. Belford graduated from Middlesex University, Waltham, MA in 1943 with a degree in Veterinary Medicine and practiced in Deerfield, MA for over 40 years, retiring in 1983. He was a member of the Massachusetts Veterinary Medical Association and in 1993, Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine recognized him as an Honorary Alumnus. Dr. Belford started racing Siberian Huskies at the age of 10, racing his teams all over New England, The Mid-West, Canada and Alaska. In 1956, he won for his first time the World Championship Sled Dog Race in Laconia, again winning in 1964, 1965 and 1966. When presented with the trophy in 1966, he presented it back to the club as a perpetual trophy in memory of his Mother, Mrs. Alex Belford, she had passed away the prior summer.

In 2003, he was given an Honorary Life Member by the New England Sled Dog Club. In that same year, The Siberian Husky Club of America gave Dr. Belford a Certificate of Appreciation for his lifelong dedication to the art and science of sled dog driving and for his pioneer work establishing the Siberian Husky in the United States and Canada. With his wife, Barbara, Dr. Belford traveled to the Scandinavian countries giving seminars on sled dogs, breeding, training and racing. His love of veterinary medicine was apparent in all he did, as he believed every day was a challenge and never tired of answering questions put to him by his concerned or worried client about their animal.

Having been born in Laconia, his desire to return to home brought many new friends and challenges. He loved building and flying model airplanes and belonged to the Winnipesaukee Radio Controllers.

Survivors include his wife of sixty-one years, Barbara Ruth (Hellner) Belford, of Laconia; two daughters, Paula Belford of Marlborough, MA and Barbara V. Gass and her husband, Jonathan, of West Roxbury, MA; two grandchildren, Jesse Gass and Jonathon Gass; a sister, Marcella Allen, of Laconia and several nephews and nieces. Besides his parents, he was predeceased by a sister, Martha Baker.

A Calling hour will be held from 10:00-11:00AM on Thursday, September 22, 2005 in the Carriage House of the Wilkinson-Beane Funeral Home, 164 Pleasant Street, Laconia, NH, A Mass of Christian Burial will follow at 11:00AM at St. Joseph Church, 30 Church Street, Laconia, NH. Burial will follow in the family lot in Union Cemetery, Academy Street, Laconia, NH.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the New Hampshire Humane Society, PO Box 772, Laconia, NH 032427-0572

Wilkinson-Beane Funeral Home & Cremation Services, 164 Pleasant Street, Laconia, NH is in charge of the arrangements.

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