Milton V. Walker, M.D., Palm Springs, Calif.
The recent death of Wales Wood of St. Helens, Oregon, leaves all of us who knew him saddened and the world of Rhododendron Culture poorer. Wales was a quiet, unassuming man of vast knowledge and with a deep love for rhododendrons, especially the smaller most exquisite species. He was fortunate in having a wife who shared his enthusiasms and they both traveled widely, visiting outstanding gardens and adding to their growing collection in their lovely garden on the banks of the Columbia river. People from all over the world were welcomed and entertained by the Woods.
The American Rhododendron Society benefited over many years from the quiet opinions and wisdom of Wales Wood. He sought no publicity. When he and Ruth joined the A.R.S. in the early part of 1946 they missed being charter members by only a few months. Their support and help continued over the years. Wales was an occasional contributor of articles and pictures to the Bulletin. Proceedings of the International Rhododendron Conference of 1961 etc. He was elected and reelected as a Director of the A.R.S. for a number of years during the 1952 and 1963 period and in his quiet way had a real influence by his sound judgments.
Wales and Ruth Wood have been in great demand over many years as judges at Rhododendron Shows all over the Northwest because of their tremendous knowledge. They were awarded the Bronze Medal by the A.R.S. in May 1968.
Wales Wood took a very active interest in the Rhododendron Species Foundation during the past fourteen years. Probably his greatest contribution to the future of rhododendron culture both here in America as well as the world, was as one of the founders of the Rhododendron Species Foundation in 1964. An intelligent student of species and a discerning collector much of his life, he understood better than most people the difficulties in recognizing and finding true forms of the genus Rhododendron.
Wales was a graduate of Northwestern College of Law and a member of the Oregon Bar. His knowledge of law as well as the species problem, was invaluable in establishing the Foundation and he was the one who wrote the Constitution and Bylaws and the Articles of Incorporation for the Foundation. His careful work in putting the Foundation on a solid legal footing greatly contributed to the Foundation's present success.
Wales Wood was proud of the Rhododendron Species Foundation and had served either as an Officer or Director since its inauguration and continuously until his death. We are all glad he lived to see the Foundation well on the way toward accomplishing the Aims and Objectives that he had helped formulate.
We will all miss him very much and realize how much richer we are for having known this fine man.