to Denton C Sharp
JANUARY 4, 1918 - May 13, 2009
Denton was born January 4, 1918 in the community of
Greasy Bend, about 20 miles East of Ardmore, OK on the Washita River.
At age three he moved with his family, across the river, to Ravia
where he grew up and attended school.
He married Norbie Jo Caperton, the love of his life, on August 13,
1938. To this union three sons were born; David, Dan, and Richard.
He worked in the ship yards of South Texas prior to entering the U.S.
Marin Corps in WWII.
After his discharge from the Marine Corps in 1946 he went to work in
March 1947, as a welder for Halliburton in Duncan. He retired
thirty years later as lead welder in Halliburton's Mechanical
Research and Development Shop.
I first met Denton about 1958 when we ran into each other while working
dogs West of Duncan. I already knew who he was because he was a well
known bird hunter and we had mutual acquaintances among the local bird
hunting fraternity. I did not have much contact with him for a
few years because he had his circle of bird hunting partners and I had
mine. Also my time was pretty well taken up, completing work for an
Engineering degree from the University of Oklahoma. In January 1963, I
returned to work for Halliburton in the Research department where I had
almost daily job-contact with Denton until his retirement in 1976. In
the meantime starting about 1968 we were neighbors about a half mile
apart here Southwest of Duncan. In 1987 he and Norbie built a new
home, horse barn, and kennel on Norbie's childhood home place in
the South edge of Ravia. This proved to be very handy because it was
only twenty-five miles from the Lake Murray Field Trial grounds at
Denton got his first birddog in 1947 and his last was Mark's
Promise which he and Norbie gave to Tom and Linda Milam sometime ago.
Mark was Shooting Dog Derby of the year for both Oklahoma and Region 7
this year. Denton thoroughly enjoyed Tom's success with him. His
involvement with dogs covered most of seven decades.
Denton always trained his own dogs but on occasion would put a finished
dog with a professional to run in open stakes. Over the years, he had
dogs with Ernest Allen, John Rex Gates, and Fred Dileo.
Denton was always a great fan of the National Championship and owned
several puppies sired by National Champions. His first field trial dog
was obtained from Clyde Morton. With this dog he won the Oklahoma
Amateur Derby about 1957 as a puppy and the following year as a derby
age dog. His most famous dog was Hiway, winner of the 1970 Quail
Futurity, the last year it was run at Crab Orchard. Hiway also won the
Georgia and Oklahoma all age championships under the whistle of John
Rex Gates. Sharp spent the Summers of 1976, 1977, and 1978 with John
Rex at his camp in Canada.
In my opinion, his best birddog was Sharpsman, a Gunsmoke dog he
obtained from Herb Holmes in the early 1960s. He won a few trials with
Man and harvested a lot of quail and pheasants.
Perhaps his favorite dog was Crystal, a daughter of Hiway who won
the Region 8 Amateur all age championship and also was Oklahoma Amateur
all age dog of the year. His favorite family of dogs was the
Addition's Go Boy/Go Boy's Shadow Family. He lamented
many times that these dogs should have come into his life twenty years
earlier, when he would have been better able physically, to enjoy (cope
One of his favorites and his best known breeding dog was
Shadow's Mark. Mark's most famous offspring was HOF Ch.
Joe Shadow. Denton followed Joe's career with a great deal of
pride, but I don't think he ever forgave him for being liver
marked instead of black.
His hero among the fraternity would have most likely been Bill Brown,
long time editor of The American
Field. He held Bill in high esteem for
his ability, knowledge, and integrity.
Denton was an avid reader and read the Field
cover-to-cover (including ads and dog registrations, as long as they
were included) from the 1940s until the time of his death. He also
liked Western novels and Western movies on TV.
After his family, his main loves were people, running birddogs, and
horses that could catch them--maybe not in that order.
A mutual friend told me a long time ago, You will always know
exactly how you stand with Denton, because if you do not know, he will
tell you. I found this observation to be quite true.
Denton was a good friend, co-worker, neighbor, fellow field trialer,
and hunting partner for many years. He has only been gone a short while
and I miss him.
Ph. (580) 255-6064