Is pleased to recognize
Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient
Jeanne Singer with GC Aria of Singa
1966 CFA Yearbook
GC Singa Blue Minstrel, D.M.
Memories of Jeanne
No one will ever forget that Jeanne Singer wrote our Siamese standard as well as the preface to all of CFA's Breed Standards. These two things will keep her name in our memories forever. There are, however, many other facets to the person of Jeanne Singer that are little known but very deserving of remembrance also.
In the Cat Fancy, breeders come and go on a regular basis. One might call it a "passing fancy," and it would be an accurate statement. I could name dozens of Siamese breeders that combined a few bloodlines, made some splashy wins at the shows, and were gone within a five-year period. Most of you have never heard of them.
Jeanne, on the other hand, bred consistently fine Siamese for over 47 years. She blended and made some of the finest bloodlines still in existence today. Her eye has shaped and molded the Siamese as we know them today. She herself only showed in local shows, and only rarely pursued finishing a grand championship. I say rarely because I can probably count over 50 Singa bred grand champions, more than half of which she sold to other breeders.
Ed and I had to beg Jeanne to show one of her best, GRC Singa Blue Minstrel, in the early 1970's. She took her time about it, finally bringing him out at a year old. His first class included a dozen bluepoint males. Blue Minstrel was timid and the judges had to handle him in mid-air, as he would not stand on the table. Still, he left those other bluepoint males in the dust and granded very quickly. He was retired just as quickly and found his true calling at stud. Blue Minstrel became a DM several times over, and was the sire of GRC NW Thaibok Tyrone, CFA's third best cat in 1976.
Jeanne bred her GRC Singa Symphonette to our English import, Lymekiln Lochinvar of Thaibok. Symphonette had been dropped at a show and was frightened by strangers. Ed and I trusted Jeanne enough to allow her to take Lochinvar to her house for the breeding (Teriyaki, Lochinvar's most famous son, had not even been born yet!). Within an hour Jeanne called us frantically - Lochinvar was chasing Jeanne all around the room! She was trying to stay out of his reach and communicate her predicament to us - and remember - this was in the days before there were cordless phones!
From that breeding Jeanne kept a sealpoint male, Singa Maestro, who was never shown. Maestro produced another famous Singa male, Singa Ballad of San-Toi, a DM who has had and who continues to have a major influence on today's bloodlines.
A few years later Jeanne brought her beloved Blue Bell (one of her all time favorites) to Teriyaki. That breeding produced the very well known GRC Singa Mikado of Fan-C, DM. Barbara Baylor purchased him as second pick of the litter. A repeat of this breeding produced a beautiful female grand champion, whom Jeanne also sold.
In the mid 80's Jeanne insisted that I come to see a sealpoint male kitten that she wanted me to have. I had recently lost both Teriyaki and Tyrone and was not in the mood to replace either of them. Jeanne would invite me once a week to come and visit this kitten she felt belonged with me. We would talk for hours with the young kitten on her lap. As I would prepare to leave Jeanne would produce a carrier and hold out the boy, saying "Try him, you'll like him." We continued this ritual until the kitten was nine months old, giving us lots of opportunity for great talks. I finally left with "Concerto" or Concho as I called him. Although I never showed him, he was the most loving male I have ever known.
Jeanne hosted our National Siamese annual picnics for many years. When Ed and I first joined the club I offered to help and she asked me to make macaroni salad, which I had never done. Jeanne gave me her recipe and then had to stay on the phone with me and talk me through it. I showed up at the picnic with six Tupperware bowls of this salad, and Jeanne said "Good Lord! What will we do with all of it?"
As National Siamese is an incorporated club, you might say that a "corporate take-over" was attempted in 1975. Overnight the club grew from about 150 members to around a thousand, and all of those new "members" voted for a particular slate of officers. Jeanne enlisted the aid of Sy Howard and we went to court. The results were in Jeanne's favor, as many of the addresses of new members turned out to be factories or vacant lots, and the treasury did not reflect the membership dues that should have been collected. Jeanne insisted that the judgement in favor of the pre-take-over club be read into the minutes of the 1976 CFA Annual, thereby documenting the incident for all posterity. (Note: those present day members who wish for more depth of information on this subject can refer to the CFA 1976 Yearbook.)
Jeanne's husband Dick had surgery in the early 70's to repair a heart condition that he had lived with all his life. Ed gave blood for him; I couldn't as I was pregnant with Teddy. Dick died in the hospital. Both Ed and I were so fond of him - he was the one who convinced us to move to Port Washington. We were in shock, but no one was more in shock than Jeanne. After the burial and hospital costs, less than $2000 was left of his insurance money.
Jeanne became a serious stock market investor, studying, reading and watching everything pertaining to investing. By the time of her death, almost 30 years of wise selecting had grown from the initial $2000 to well over a million.
Jeanne was a selective breeder of healthy and consistently good colored Siamese. She was a composer of music that was produced in concert many times over. She was an astute investor who took an adverse circumstance and turned it into a profitable experience. She served for many years as President of the National Siamese Cat Club and was a staunch fighter for the club. She also served for many years as President of the American Pen Women, an organization for women of importance in the arts. And lastly, and perhaps mostly, she was a great friend.
As Ed (Davis) has said, she was the last of the Great Siamese Ladies, who laid the foundations and who made our breed what it is today.
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