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People and Events Bronze Medal Awardees

Richard Jones
Noyo Chapter

The Noyo Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society presents its highest award, the Bronze Medal, to Richard Jones for your many years of dedicated service to our chapter. You have served as our chapter president for two terms and as chairman of our annual show and plant sale on three separate occasions.

Since 2002 you have done an outstanding job as editor our chapter newsletter and as the "unofficial" historian for our club. In addition, you have served on our board of directors as past president for two years. Your contributions to our chapter’s mission to promote the study and culture of rhododendrons and stimulate interest in rhododendrons in the general population are many.

It is with the deepest respect and appreciation that we proudly present you with this award.
 - Presented May 19, 2007


Mike Peterson
Noyo Chapter

We would like to dedicate our highest award, the Bronze Medal, to you, Mike Peterson, for all that you have done for the Noyo Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society. Your participation in our chapter is truly an important element of its success.

You have always shown a willingness to share your knowledge with others whether they be experienced or novice growers. The two years you served as president and the two years you served as our show chairman, along with serving many years on the board, is proof of your dedication to our chapter.

The generosity of your plant donations to our raffles never fails to amaze us. Yet, it is your wonderful stories and quiet humor that make us smile when your name is mentioned. For all of these wonderful qualities, it is a great privilege that we present to you this Bronze Medal.
 - Presented May 19, 2007


Bruce Philip
Noyo Chapter

The Noyo Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society proudly presents its highest award, the Bronze Medal, to you, Bruce Philip, for your years of contribution to the success of this chapter.

Your service has included several terms as vice-president and a year as co-chairman of our annual rhododendron show and plant sale. You are always ready to assist the club in its mission to promote the study and culture of rhododendrons, and to stimulate interest in rhododendrons in the general population. Your participation in Society activities, chapter work parties and shows is recognized and very much appreciated. As a charter member you helped to nurture and shape our chapter into the successful ARS group that it is.

Bruce, for all of the above, and so much, much more, a heartfelt "Thank You" from all your friends in the Noyo Chapter.

- Presented May 19, 2007.


Ian Duncan
Victoria Chapter

The Victoria Rhododendron Society is pleased to bestow its highest award, the Bronze Medal, to Ian Duncan, in recognition of his many contributions over the years.

In the past, Ian has been a board member, chairman of the annual Victoria Rhododendron Society Show and Sale, and won the Abkhazi Plate. For the 2005 ARS convention he did yeoman work in preparing the opening video presentation, organizing audio-visual support and taking on many other tasks throughout the event.

Today, Ian continues to provide outstanding service to the Chapter on an ongoing basis. Each year he organizes his vacation time so he can continue to spearhead setup and teardown for the show as well as preparing the sound system in the hall. At virtually every meeting he is our expert technician to ensure that slide and digital projectors perform, to troubleshoot, and to ensure that the sound system is 'sound'.

In summary, it is with great pleasure that we award Ian the ARS Bronze Medal to recognize his outstanding contributions to the Victoria Rhododendron Society.


June Walsh
Eureka Chapter

When you first began attending Eureka Chapter meetings, June Walsh, you called yourself a "dragee." Somewhere in the intervening years, that dragee became one of the chapter's most active and supportive members.

You have been involved in virtually everything the chapter does: plant sales, truss shows, potluck meetings, and garden tours. You have helped to provide refreshments at our meetings and been a gracious hostess for numerous board meetings and other functions.

You have served on our board for many years as membership chair and newsletter editor. And, shortly you will add treasurer to those responsibilities. You have also been active on behalf of other chapters of the Society as a truss show judge. And, you have taken on additional duties as secretary of the American Rhododendron Society.

You brought your considerable organizational skills to bear as the chapter planned and hosted two Western Regional Conferences. You were co-chair of the 2007 Annual Convention of the American Rhododendron Society, doing most of the hard work of organizing the South San Francisco Convention and winning well-deserved praise for your efforts.

The Eureka Chapter is proud to recognize your years of selfless service to our chapter and to the American Rhododendron Society by presenting the Bronze Medal to June Walsh this 17th day of June 2007.


Eureka Chapter Dedicates Trophy to Jerry Reynolds

Something over eighteen years ago, Jerry Reynolds became the Flower Show Chairman for the Eureka Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society. His generous and helping organization ability set the stage for many years of successful shows. Despite several major changes in venues, the shows remained well-attended and full of interest. The show sales started out at the Eureka Mall between Harris and Henderson Streets. When renovation of the mall was planned, the show moved to the Eureka Inn where the lobby was filled with tables full of trusses, ribbons, and visitors.

It grew and prospered with Jim Eagle as chairman for two years, until 2002. At that time an experimental location at the Bayshore Mall Food Court took place. The problems with a water source, security, and crowd control caused a move to the Caron Park basketball court on Carson Street between H and I Streets. For the three years at the park there were Bruce Palmer, Gayle Teter, Molly Eggle, and Nelda Palmer as co-chairs with Jerry who was trying to "retire". We were presented with the use of large tent from The Party Place and held the first "outside show". The Rhododendron Festival Parade passed right in front of the tent. The crowds were wonderful.

After an exciting wind and rain storm it was decided to look for a more permanent venue. Inquiries went out and St. Bernard's Elementary School multipurpose room, Mile's Hall, became ours after negotiations by Jerry with the school's administration. In all our moves to various sites, Jerry stressed the importance of being on the route of the Rhododendron Festival Parade. With the exception of the Bayshore Mall we met that requirement.

Jerry spent much time on planning, organizing, writing, and rewriting the Flower Show Handbook, rules for the show, training the clerks, printing the handbook, arranging for the truss classification labels, and getting judges for the show. His patience and good humor have endeared him to the chapter and those who have worked with him.

During his tenure as show chair he also held the offices of chapter secretary and newsletter editor. He also worked full time at Humboldt State University. The last few years he has been the publicity chairman of the American Rhododendron Society. Brochures for the care and feeding of rhododendrons, membership applications, and other publications were handled by Jerry.

In recognition of all he has done...and much may have been inadvertently left out...the chapter is pleased to honor his many contributions by establishing a perpetual trophy in his name. A large silver tray was donated by the Ferndale Jewelers of Fortuna and was engraved with Jerry's name. It was most appropriate that the first-time winner of this trophy was Jerry himself. The Eureka Chapter honors and thanks Jerry for all that he has done.


Meet Garnett Radebaugh...long-time ARS member

A year ago, Kathy Van Veen, Portland Chapter, had something very interesting happen to her. The story should have been brought forward at that time...but has now been recognized.

Kathy received a phone call from Garnett Radebaugh asking for certain information. Kathy responded and then started thinking. Who is this Mr. Radebaugh? The phonebook shows he lives with his wife, Leigh, in Dayton, Washington. Now, if you look at the map it is northeast of Walla Walla...not actually what you think of as rhododendron country.

Garnett is a sponsoring member and is listed as having joined the Society in 1946...1946? Yikes! She looked in the 1946 yearbook and there he is...Mr. G. D. Radebaugh, Jr, Dayton, Washington. That makes him only a year removed from being a charter member. Interesting!

a plant breeder, specializing in peas...

Garnett came out of the University of Maryland in 1936 to take a job at the western home of the Green Giant Company in Dayton, when he was 20. Green Giant had established itself there in 1934, specializing in peas and asparagus. Unfortunately, rising costs forced them to move their Dayton operation to Peru just last summer. Garnett was a plant breeder...specializing in peas. He retired 10 years ago. That explains the Dayton part.

how do rhododendrons fit into the picture?

Somewhere he saw an announcement about the formation of a rhododendron society. He joined just a little too late to be a charter member.

Garnett has grown rhododendrons and azaleas all these years where it is cold, hot, and dry. He says it is about half a zone colder than Walla Walla, and he chooses only plants hard to -15°F. He grows them under the shade of oak trees and mulches with pine sawdust or cedar bark. In recent years his water sources has changed...and he uses well water with a pH of 7.36. This necessitates applications of sulphur to make the soil more acid.

some of his favorite rhodos...

Especially good plants for him include: the deciduous eastern native azaleas and the evergreen azaleas of Joe Gable and Orlando Pride…who was a disciple of Gable. He has tried some Girard varieties, but has not found them to be as winter hardy.

He believes lack of humidity might be a problem. A favorite is 'Bride's Pride' and he thinks there should be a market for these azaleas in harsh climates like his. As far as rhodies go, the yellows and oranges of Wilhelm Bruuns in Germany are most striking and grow very well.

Now for the reason he contacted me. He has a problem with weevils and remembered reading about Talstar. I sent him a copy of E. White Smith's article. Let's hope it works for him.

salute to Garnett at age 91

Finally, here is a great big salute to Mr. Garnett Radbaugh, who at age 90 (now 91) is still teaching people about the glories of rhododendrons and azaleas...encouraging them to grow these plants where they not typically found.

a note from Garnett to Kathy...

"I didn't give any general information about the climate here in southeastern Washington in the foothills of the Blue Mountains: climate zone: 6; average annual rainfall: 22.5 inches; winters mostly cloudy and wet; summers from mid-June to October 1, mostly dry and warm to hot...with low humidity.

Forgot to mention the hybrid rhodies of Dietrich Hobbie and David Leach do very well."

Best regards,
Garnet Radebaugh

Editor's Note: The ARS is blessed with a number of members who are in their 90s. God bless their souls...and the amazing thing is...they are still "going strong" and love their rhododendrons and azaleas and want them to continue to bloom and bloom for their neighbors to see and enjoy. They are always sharing...just a wonderful trait of character of our members.




Paul Frank Fabio
Tappen Zee Chapter


Paul Frank Fabio died on July 20, 2007, in Mooresville, North Carolina. He was born in Elmshurst, N.Y. and was raised in the Fordham section of the Bronx, New York. He resided the last 13 years on Lake Norman in Mooresville, N.C. Paul was a graduate of Theodore Roosevelt High School; City College of New York, and earned a master’s degree in chemistry at Stevens Institute. Paul was employed as an organizer research chemist with American Cyanamid at the Lederie Laboratories Division in Pearl River, N.Y., for 42 years. Paul's wife, Nan, raised their four sons in Pear River until their move to North Carolina in 1994.

Paul was a member of the American Chemical Society, former past president of the American Rhododendron's Tappen Zee Chapter, Knights of Columbus, and a Master Gardener. He was also a member of the Lederle Employee Recreation Association, and actively participated in its garden club. Paul had a love of classical music especially Beethoven, which he encouraged his children to enjoy. Paul was proud of his Sicilian heritage and had the opportunity a number of times to visit the birthplaces of his parents in Galati Mamertino, and Corleone, Sicily, respectively.


Bob Riddell
California Chapter


Bob Riddell, a long-time member of the California Chapter, died August 16, 2007. There was a memorial service on Friday, October 12. During Bob's professional career, he was a physicist at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory. We know Bob, however, as a wonderful, thoughtful man with a wealth of knowledge about the plant world. Bob and his wife, Kay, have always been generous with their time and in sharing their beautiful El Cerrito garden with members of our chapter. We are going to miss him.


'Molly' Mary Latimer Smith
Portland Chapter

Molly Smith died November 3, 2007, at the age of 93. Molly and her husband Cecil were the founders and developers of what has become the internationally renowned Cecil and Molly Smith Garden.

Molly was born in Fergus Falls, Minnesota. She and Cecil were married in week after the attack on Pearl Harbor.

They started collecting rhododendrons in the late 1940s at their old house which was adjacent to the Newberg garden property. Cecil was an early member of the American Rhododendron Society in 1947...several years before he owned the garden site. In 1951 they had obtained their garden property, finished their new house and started the garden. The area had been logged in 1915...but by 1951 had reestablished its growth of Douglas fir and native plants.  Several Rhododendron 'Loderi' planted near the house were among Molly's favorites. Cecil pruned the large-growing rhododendrons into the present-day, tree-like forms.

Although never taking much credit for the garden, Molly contributed the years in the garden upkeep and maintenance. When the Smiths lived at the garden, they freely shared their garden with others and hosted many garden tours. No one interested in rhododendrons was denied a visit in the garden.

Cecil and Molly each received the American Rhododendron Society's Bronze Medals, the Portland Chapter's highest award. Molly humorously commented, "No one had ever received a Bronze Medal for baking cookies."

Molly was always the gracious hostess, welcoming her guests to her home with freshly baked cookies and to the garden.

Then in 1983...after more than 30 years of devoted stewardship, Cecil and Molly reached a point in their lives where they could no longer care for the garden. The Portland Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society found itself in a position to purchase the garden property after Cecil and Molly made it possible by selling their land to the ARS at half of its appraised value. The Portland Chapter, along with the help of Willamette and Tualatin Valley chapters, assumed its care and management.

After Cecil died, Molly continued to visit the garden on the Monday morning workdays and open garden days...and she always brought the crew cookies. She enjoyed helping in the garden and continued as long as her health permitted.


James Parker Holmes


James Parker Holmes, "Jim" of Flat Rock, North Carolina, passed away at the Elizabeth House, Hendersonville, N.C., on January 7, 2007, after a lengthy illness.

He was born in Chicago on November 6, 1940. He retired to Flat Rock in June 2000, after living in both Ridgewood and Chester, New Jersey for 28 years. His career in finance and investments, spanning 37 years, included Equitable Life Assurance (NY), Columbia Broadcasting Systems, Dean Witter, the Ford Foundation, Dreman Value Management, and Hartland Advisors.

He received a B.S. in Finance from Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 1962 and an M.B.A. in Finance from Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, in 1963. Professionally, Jim was a chartered financial analyst, a member of the New York Society Security Analysts, and a co-author of a chapter in the Handbook of Financial Markets, 6th Edition.

For the past 30 years, he has focused and devoted his spare time to the field of horticulture. He was a Master Gardener and the president of the Skylands Association for the Skylands Botanical Gardens in Ringwood, New Jersey. His love of plants included, membership in the American Rhododendron Society, American Rock Garden Society, Conifer Society, and the American Orchid Society. He was an active supporter of he North Carolina Arboretum in Asheville, North Carolina.


Juanita Tatte
Olympia Chapter


It is with great sadness to report the death of member and friend, Juanita Tatte, aka Jennifer Stevens, at age 75, on March 17, 2007. She was sick for a short time.

She was born as Juanita Dail Coss in Muskogee, Oklahoma, October 8, 1931. Her father was in the U.S. Navy and the family followed him to various Navy bases while he was on sea duty. Her father was killed in World War II.

She met her future husband, John (Jack) Tate, at Bryan College, Dayton, Tennessee. They were married in 1953 four years after they met. Juanita finished her education and obtained a nursing degree at Baylor University, Texas. After John served in the U.S. Army Chaplains Corps, they settled in the Chicago area. Later moving to California in 1965. She continued her nursing career and their sons grew up and married there.

In 1996, after retirement, she and John moved to Olympia, Washington. The old house, previously owned by her mother and stepfather, was razed after a flood in 1996, and son John built a new home for her stepfather. Juanita and John moved to take care of her stepfather and landscape the acreage. Twelve acres were dedicated to reforestation and to balance her creative endeavors.

To this end she joined the Olympia Chapter in 1997. She became an active member studying and learning about the native trees, shrubs and plants which gradually filled the area around her home. These included, rhododendrons, azaleas, maples, birches, and magnolias. She was interested in propagating methods and was always questioning her peers about species and newly introduced varieties. She also learned from the growers both in the Olympia Chapter and those she met on trips arranged by the chapter.

Juanita served in many capacities with the Olympia Chapter, including president, vice president, and a board member-at-large. She had a ready smile and twinkle in her years, as well as an optimistic heart. She always took part in arranging the annual rhododendron show at Tumwater Falls Park, was an avid bidder at the chapter’s annual auction, and participated in many chapter activities. Under her leadership and loving hands as president for two years, the chapter grew in membership. She will be sorely missed.


Barbara Wilkins
Toronto Chapter


Barbara Wilkins, a member of the Toronto Chapter, died on April 11, 2007.

Barbara was one of the first members of the Canadian Rhododendron Society, serving as president of the Toronto Chapter, and editor of the Canadian bulletin. She participated in numerous ways at meetings, plant sales, work parties, and social events. Her talks and wonderful slide presentations gave much information on plants and the scenes portrayed.

She was an accomplished horticulturist, and belonged to many garden and plant societies. Her superb garden featured numerous varieties of mature and unusual plants and rhododendrons. She won many awards and was deservedly honored with the American Rhododendron Society's Bronze Medal this last November 2006.

With her husband, Douglas, Barbara, was a world traveler, organizing plant tours in South America, South Africa, China, Europe, to name some of the locales.

Barbara's ability and knowledge and cheerful contributions of time and effort will be missed. She brightened our lives.


Robert M. Reuter
Olympia Chapter


Long-time member of the Olympia Chapter, Bob Reuter, passed away August 6, 2007, at the age of 78. Bob was born October 18, 1928, in Bronxville, New York. He spent his childhood in Fort Smith, Arkansas, and Tucumcari, New Mexico. His pattern of living was learned during those early years and included service to God, his country, and his community. He married Lucy Hudson in 1953.

After graduation from college and officer candidate school, he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. Following a series of troop command and staff assignments and aviation school, he commanded the Utility Tactical Transport Helicopter Company in Vietnam in 1963. After his service in Korea, he and Lucy and their daughters, Becky and Kathy, lived throughout the United States and Germany. They enjoyed camping as a family and visited many of the western national parks, as well as those along the East Coast.

Bob was a Senior Army Aviator, receiving many military awards. He was dedicated to serving the church and community wherever they lived. During their time in Germany he organized a group of their friends to visit and give birthday parties at the local orphanage. He was also involved in Boy Scouts of America activities, and was a lay reader in the Army chapels where they family attended.

In 1972 he received his bachelor of science degree from New Mexico Military Institute and his master of science degree from Shippensburg State College in Pennsylvania. Bob retired from the Army with a rank of full Colonel in 1980 after 30 years of service.

Bob was a Master Gardener and had a wealth of knowledge of rhododendrons and companion plants. He was a sports enthusiast and had a great appreciation for classical music. He was an avid fisherman and enjoyed teaching his grandchildren and other kids how to fish. He loved inventing gadgets and had a new solution to the mole problem every year. They didn't always work, but he sure enjoyed the process.

Bob was very active in the Olympia Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society and served the chapter in the capacity of publicity chairman for many years. He was always willing to help when we cleaned the park in March, made sure there was plenty of publicity about the May Show, and also arranged for the chapter to use his church for the Christmas party.

As his final act of service and in order to help research in the fight against Alzheimer's disease, Bob participated in several clinical studies conducted by the University of Washington. He was a brave, kind, and generous man and will be missed by the many people who knew him. He always lived his life to the fullest.



2008 ARS Annual Convention, Tulsa, Oklahoma, April 16 to 20


ARS 2008 Convention. April 16-20, 2008
Double Tree Hotel, Warren Place, 6110 South Yale Ave., Tulsa, OK

Schedule of Events
April 16
ARS Board of Directors meeting -  9 am to 4:30 pm
Registration - 8 am to 6 pm
Board of Directors Lunch - noon
Hooting (Social Hour) - 6 pm to 7 pm
Round-Up - 7 pm Barry Fugatt - Northeast Oklahoma Gardens
Plant Sale - After Round-Up till 11 pm
Over forty varieties of very rare heat tolerant rhododendrons plus new maple introductions

April 17
Registration - 8 am to 5 pm
Plant Sale - 8 am to 5 pm
Gilcrease Museum and Garden and Philbrook Museum and Garden tours -  9:30 am to 5 pm
Hooting - 6 pm to 7 pm
Round-Up - 7 pm - 9 pm
Oral Roberts Singers & speaker Tijs Huisman, Dutch hybridizer, "New Rhododendrons from the Old Country"
Plant Sale After Round-Up till 11 pm

April 18
Lendonwood and Elk Ridge Garden tours - 7:30 am to 5 pm, lunch included
Hooting  - 6:30 to 7:00 Western Dress
Chuck Wagon Barbecue - 7 pm to 8 pm
Entertainers Larry Dushane, native American flute player, and country comedian Willa Mae and Friends  - 8 pm
Speaker Steve Krebs Hybridizing for Disease Resistances  - 9 pm
Plant Sale after dinner till 11 pm

April 19
Linnaeus Garden, private gardens of Sara and Jim Bailey and Breniss and Daniel O'Neal   -  9 am - 3:00 pm, box lunch
Hooting  - 6 pm to 7 pm
Okkie Banquet & Awards and Annual Meeting ARS -  7 pm to 8 pm,
Entertainer Jana Jae and speaker Keith Johansson and Friends - 8:30pm
Plant Sale - 8 am till 5 pm - and after dinner till 11:00pm

April 20
Laura Grant talks ARS  - 8 am till 9 am
Hybridizer’s Round Table - 9 am till 11 am
Post Convention Trip - Willa Mae


2008 International Rhododendron Conference at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, Scotland, May 7-11, 2008


David Stark, president of the Scottish Chapter, sends a special invitation in the ARS Journal for all to come and celebrate the Silver Jubilee in 2008.  Because not all receive the Journal, it is to extend this invitation now that David writes...

Join us to celebrate the Silver Jubilee of the Scottish Rhododendron Society at an International Rhododendron Conference to be held at the Royal Botanic Garden in the city of Edinburgh, Scotland, in the Spring of 2008.  If you love rhododendrons and azaleas, are enthralled by interesting speakers, and magnificent gardens, and enjoy a friendly social atmosphere, then, this is an event for you!

Jointly hosted by the Scottish Rhododendron Society and the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, Rhododendron 2008: 50 Years of Modern Day Exploration, Hybridisation & Conservation will predominantly cover the post-World War II period through a wide-ranging program of lectures, garden tours, a rhododendron show, exhibitions, and social events in the evenings.

International speakers will entertain you with a schedule of contemporary exploration, hybridization and breeding, cultivation and propagation, historical, science and taxonomy, and conservation lectures.  To cater for all tastes there will be an opportunity to attend an alternative set of lectures when the science and taxonomy sessions are programmed.

Two full days of tours are being planned to a variety of gardens that will complement the theme of the Conference.  A specially arranged full-day sight-seeing tour is planned.  Also under consideration is a four-day Pre-Conference Tour with a wide-ranging itinerary of private gardens located in a completely different area than those visited on conference tours in 1996 and 2002.

This is a wake-up call to put the date on your diary, plan ahead and come to Scotland in 2008.  Further details will be available in early 2006.  You will find more details on their web site:


Something to think about through the winter...

To an optimist every weed is a flower;
To a pessimist every flower is a weed.
  - Finnish proverb


American Rhododendron Society
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