In Memorium

Submitted by Ulmann on

In Memorium, Anita Kistler

One of the wonderful rock gardeners and member of NARGS for a LONG TIME, Anita Kistler, died at home on Thursday, 22 April.

I have been asked by NARGS to gather information on Anita Kistler and put together a short article about her that could be published in either the NARGS Quarterly or in the President's note that comes out with the Quarterly.

If you have remembrances of Anita that you would like to share with NARGS members world wide and probably with other related organizations that may pick up this article, please send them to me by no later than 10 May. I will either associate your name with the comment or make it an anonymous submission as you desire.

If you know someone who didn't get this note but can provide me with some memories of Anita, please pass my request along to them.

You may post your information as a response to this topic or may email me at [email protected]

If you don't want to write them down but would like to tell me about a memory of Anita, please feel free to give me a call at 610.431.2511 or 610.329.7884.

Chuck and Mary Ann Ulmann


Submitted by HughGmail on Fri, 01/14/2011 - 07:23

In Memorium, Frederick W. Case, Jr.  (1927-2011)
by Anton "Tony" Reznicek <[email protected]>

With great sadness, I must inform you of the passing of one of our eminent members, Fred Case on Jan. 12, 2011.

Fred was a dedicated high school teacher, who inspired students to study plants, establishing a number of them on botanical and horticultural careers. He was active his entire life in conservation, and served on the Board of Trustees of the Nature Conservancy of Michigan, as well as a long time member of the advisory committee for Michigan's Threatened and Endangered Species law.

Fred's wonderful garden, created over many years, with much help from his wife Roberta ("Boots") who passed away in 1998, was full of remarkable and beautiful plants. It was a Mecca for gardeners from throughout the world. He grew an enormous diversity of plants, but his first love was native species of our wonderful eastern woodlands, especially Trilliums, and our bog plants, especially orchids and pitcher plants. In addition to working in his garden, Fred also loved seeing plants in nature, and spent as much time as he could every summer studying orchids, trilliums, pitcher plants, alpines, and anything else that interested him in the wild.

Fred was a great photographer, and a superb speaker, much in demand internationally. His lectures were diverse, on topics including wildflowers, trilliums, orchids, western American alpines, woodland plants, and bog plants, among others. They always generated enthusiasm, were filled with original information, and never too short. He was always willing to speak to NARGS chapters and spoke at several Annual Meetings, always skillfully using two projectors.

We owe to Fred a number of highly regarded books. His first and probably best known book was Orchids of the Western Great Lake Region, first published in 1964, with a revised edition in 1987. In 1978, we saw Wildflowers of the Northeastern States, in the Wildflowers of the United States Color Slide Series from the New York Botanical Gardens. The text was accompanied by 35 mm slides, and this is now somewhat of a collectors item. Wildflowers of the Western Great Lakes Region (1999), with James R. Wells and T. Lawrence Mellichamp, was a more complete and modern rendition. Best known to NARGS members was his 1997 book Trilliums, coauthored with Roberta, which was an instant classic. All his books included much horticultural as well as botanical information.

Fred also wrote a number of articles for the Rock Garden Quarterly, including, among others, Growing Native Orchids (Vol. 39), Carnivorous plants for Bog Gardens (Vol. 50), and Trillium grandiflorum, forms, doubles, and diseases (Vol. 52). Fred was awarded the Edgar T. Wherry Award in 1974 and the Carleton R. Worth Award in 1997 for his contributions to the society, which also included serving as the President of the Great Lakes Chapter from 2005-2007.

In 2004, he was awarded the Scott Medal and Award for contributions to American horticulture by the Scott Foundation in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, one of the most prestigious honors in American horticulture.

So many NARGS members remember Fred for his mentoring and kindness to beginning rock gardeners, his willingness to open his magnificent garden to tours and individual visitors, his support of our local chapter with wonderful plants at donated to our the plant sale, and his generosity with his knowledge of all things natural. We will miss him greatly.

The following is a link to the funeral home with details of the service:

Submitted by Howey on Sat, 01/15/2011 - 05:20

Hugh:  I read with sadness about the death of Fred Case.  I had the good fortune to be able to visit him in his wonderful garden at Saginaw.  He had recently been widowed but graciously made me and a friend welcome.  We saw his collection of Trilliums - especially a double one he had encaged in chicken wire - he had problems with rodents too - also a small greenhouse overflowing with pictcher plants.  Came home loaded with plant gifts from him and, surprisingly, the border guard only asked where we had been and why.  Don't know if I still have any of his plants growing in my garden but I do have a lovely picture I took of him that I treasure.  Only met him the one time but was inspired by just talking with him and touring his amazing garden.  Fran

Frances Howey
London, Ontario, Canada
Zone 5b