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Cindy Molburg

March 12, 1927-April 15, 2013

By Nancy Cowan

Cynthia Molburg, known as the publisher/editor of the monthly newspaper about sled dog racing, Team & Trail, passed away on April 15, at her home in Center Harbor, NH, surrounded by her family.

Although Cindy did not join her husband Richard (Dick Molburg), or her children on the race trail, she was at the races helping with their teams (daughter Debbie won the Laconia World Championship twice). As soon as a race was completed the dogs and the drivers might rest, but Cindy would be hard at work typing up race results and news for her paper that was to sled dog sports what Variety was to movies and theatre.

For nearly forty years, she ran the paper, until 2004, when she turned running Team & Trail over to her granddaughter, Christina Molburg Slack. She and Dick expected to kick back, and to take some well deserved time off. Unfortunately, Dick succumbed to heart failure less than six months after they retired.

Cindy never lost her enthusiasm for sled dog racing. In 2008, she watched excitedly as Debbie Molburg ran the Iditarod. Deb finished as the Red Lantern carrier with all the honor and prestige that comes with being an Iditarod finisher.

Lakes Region inhabitants all of their adult lives, Cindy and Dick moved to Center Harbor in 1956. At that time they owned and ran a restaurant called The Lobster Pound. Later, Dick started up a dog team to follow his traplines and one of those dogs, a St Bernard, was the first Molburg racing dog when it pulled Debbie in a Kid-n-Mutt race in 1957. It was not long before Dick had his own string of racing huskies so that he could compete as well.

At a race in Quebec, the Molburgs became friends with Lee and Mel Fishback who had begun Team & Trail in 1963. Cindy had some newspaper experience having worked first as a proofreader and then as a reporter for local papers. Mel asked Cindy to become the Eastern Editor for the sled dog newspaper, and in 1966, Cindy became Publisher/Editor.

The paper was printed on a press that Cindy bought and set up in the front room of her house, and her six children all took a role in collating the pages lined up on the long kitchen table. From Cindy’s kitchen table, Team & Trail became a major factor in the growth of sled dog racing around the world. When sled dog racing needed an international association to standardize rules and racing events, the Molburgs assisted with the formation of ISDRA , and then helped write the rules for that organization.

Now sled dog racing takes place in the form of different kinds of events in nearly every part of the world. Team & Trail reported sled dog races as hard news stories, much as major sports events are reported in newspapers, and not as “local color” which was the norm at the time.

The Molburgs not only supported sled dog racing in far-flung places, but also devoted tremendous amounts of time and effort with the Lakes Region Sled Dog Club in keeping the Laconia World Championship a yearly event. The Laconia race was a special favorite of Cindy’s as, living in the Lakes Region, it was her “hometown” race.

Cindy may have retired as Editor/Publisher, but she never retired from loving sled dogs. In 2011, she co-authored a book, The History of Dog Sledding in New England. Her hand as an editor and the wealth of information and photos from Team & Trail archives has made that book a truly definitive history.

Cynthia Molburg leaves her six children: Deborah, Sherry, Johnn, Pamela, Rick and Joe and their families.

As per Cindy’s request, there is no formal service. There is, however, a celebration of Cindy’s life being held by her family at the Molburg home in Center Harbor, beginning at 1 PM on Saturday, April 20.

In lieu of flowers, if anyone wants to make a donation in memory of Cindy Molburg, it should be to the Central NH VNA&Hospice, 780 N. Main St., Laconia, NH 03246.

Checks should be made payable to Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice and somewhere on the check or in the correspondence there should be a note of who the gift is in memory of, Cynthia J. Molburg

For individuals who may wish to make a credit card donation or an electronic donation, the website  allows for memorial gifts.

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