Henry R. Yates
"Little Woods," Stewartstown, Pa.
1970 has ended sadly for his many friends in rhododendron circles with word of the death of Henry R. Yates on Dec. 15. Henry died unexpectedly of a heart attack in his sleep at his home at Frostburg, Md., at the age of 58.
Henry was a creative innovator ever concerned with the better way of accomplishing his dream of a better hardy rhododendron. His tried and proven method for starting seeds was described by him in the Quarterly Bulletin of July 15, 1966. It was just one example of many such practical ideas.
Henry's rapid progress from amateur to skilled plantsman was a joy to follow and a special pleasure to his old friend, Joe Gable. Starting only in 1955, Henry used the best existing hybrids and natives he could find, then his own hybrid selections to advance toward his goal of rock hardiness. The yet-to-be released group he called tentatively his "Mt. Savage" hybrids and his fine white azalea "Frostburg" will make their way. He had a longtime interest in deciduous azaleas and had worked recently with these plants.
Most of all, Henry contributed an outgoing warmth and enthusiasm. It was his delight to share his fine slides at ARS meetings and with anyone who wanted to drop by, and to polish his garden last summer for the Great Lakes Chapter meeting there. He will be missed.