Handler Memorials

  • Daryl Lee

    Daryl Lee, CARDA 394, passed away on November 25, 2017 after a battle with cancer.

    Daryl had been a search and rescue volunteer for CARDA and for the Alameda County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue team.  Together with his dog, Kaze, he went on searches throughout California.  He searched in Fresno, Tuolumne, Sonoma, Merced, Santa Cruz, Marin, San Mateo, Calaveras, El Dorado, Contra Costa and Alameda counties as well as in Sequoia Kings National Park.

    Daryl’s dog, Kaze, was the first (only?) Mission Ready Alaskan Malamute in CARDA.  Together they saved at least one life.  Kaze was also Daryl’s lead sled dog.  Kaze would have done anything for Daryl, and Daryl would have done anything for Kaze.  They were a search and rescue team in every sense.

    Daryl was known for his sense of humor, love of adventure, strength, confidence, courage and passion for helping others.  He worked for Habitat for Humanity, where he loved to be part of making a real difference.   He, along with his family, also had a longstanding involvement with various nordic breed rescue groups.

    Although Daryl has left this world he will never be truly gone because he inspired his friends and family to continue his good works.   He will be deeply missed and never forgotten.

  • Eugenia West Woodard

    “The light that burns so very bright, burns half as long, and you my dear have burned so very bright.”

    -Lao Tzu, Te Tao Ching.

    “Time was not on our side to kiss you goodbye, you will live on in our hearts and memories.”

    “The things we feel so deeply are the hardest things to say, you will always be remembered in our hearts.”

    -Unknown Authors

  • Larry Peabody

    Larry Peabody was one of the earliest members of CARDA and our only full-time dispatcher until November 2005. During his 28 years, he was on call 24/7/365 and he dispatched search dogs teams to over 6000 requests from law enforcement, fire departments, FBI, ATF and DOJ.

    CARDA is a large organization, with members spread throughout the state, but everyone in CARDA knew and depended on Larry. He took care of us all. One of the special touches Larry added to his job was to keep the families of the searchers informed. Larry understood how stressful it is on our families when we are called out on a search. He knew because he thought of us all as his family and he worried about us, too. So he kept our families apprised of the status of the search, as well as our estimated time of arrival back home. Not only did all CARDA handlers know the sound of Larry’s voice (at any hour) but our families also knew the warm voice of the friendly CARDA dispatcher.

    Larry never seemed to sleep; he would answer the phone at any hour ready to dispatch a search. He was also there in the middle of the night when you needed someone to talk to about a sad or frustrating search. And he never forgot to pass along a kind word that the requesting agency had said about you. Along with his dispatching job, Larry was also responsible for CARDA’s paging system and served on the radio committee. Larry loved his job and he made ours possible.

    In 1985, Larry’s skilled techniques and know-how made it possible for CARDA handlers to respond to the Mexico City Earthquake, our first responce out of the country. He arranged everything with one call; teams were at the air base and deployed within hours.

    He had 2 Aussies, Runner and Bullet, that were his constant companions. After their too soon deaths, he got another Aussie, Taos. Larry is survived by his wife, Bev (who is still active in search) 6 boys, 10 grandchilden, and 4 great-grandchildren.

    We always felt safe and taken care of on a search because we knew Larry would not stop until he knew we were home safe. In honor of Larrry’s years of service, his identification number “CARDA 100” has been retired. Thank you Larry, for so many years of service, caring, and dedication to search and rescue… so that others may live.

  • Mary J. Wong

    Mary started volunteering with CARDA in 1990 while she was still a Nordic Ski Patrol volunteer. She became a Mission Ready handler in 1992. During her time in CARDA, she became a qualified searcher with five dogs: Tellus, Jock, Chaser, Timber, and Thunder. Between them, and often in the company of her husband, Bill, they responded to nearly 300 searches all over the State of California. Mary achieved Mission Ready status in Area search, avalanche search and in both land and water body recovery.

    Mary’s support of CARDA went beyond searching.   Starting from the time she was an Apprentice, when she helped copy and mail the CARDA newsletter, her work for CARDA included nearly every key role in the organization. She served as Membership Chair, Storekeeper, Dispatcher, and Training Group Leader. She served 12 years on the CARDA Board, including as president and vice president. She sponsored 16 Apprentices to Mission Ready status and conducted countless evaluations for CARDA teams. Mary’s work was honored with a Larry Peabody Award and with a special patch showing four gold stars. In 2015, Mary received CARDA’s highest honor: the Lifetime Achievement Award.

    Mary will be deeply missed for her hard work and willingness to help others. She spoke her mind and used many moments as unforgettable teaching moments. She will be remembered for her sense of humor, love of her dogs, devotion to Bill, and constant energy.

     

  • Rita Comden

    Rita and her husband Dave started out in the search world by joining Wilderness Finders (WOOF) in 1980/81. Dave dropped out after a year to run the family business. Rita continued in WOOF and then joined CARDA in 1984. She was a skilled handler and dedicated searcher, one who always made time to advise novice handlers on improving their skills. Rita was convinced that handlers needed more training than the dog and was fascinated with dogs scenting ability.

    Rita’s first K-9 was Ego, a large golden retriever, who was a hard working certified wilderness search dog. Ego was trained and certified for water, cadaver, and evidence search. Rita’s next project was to train Mason, a german shepherd, who suffered from a skin disease and had a short career. Her next dog was Radar, a special guy. A rather small golden retriever with a big heart and a love for search work. Radar is retired and lives with husband Dave and his new family on 30 acres in the South Oregon.

    There is pride that son Dan is actively involved in search and rescue work. Daughter Cathy joined CARDA and trained her GSD until she moved out of state. Cathy is still involved in dogs as a professional trainer. So a little bit of Rita’s joy in dogs is carried on by her children.