Douglas Dell Withers
November 23, 1887 to April 11, 1979
Austin C. Kennell, Waynesboro, VA
D. D., as he was always known, was a rare human being. A smallish, unassuming man, he was a legend in the Middle Atlantic Chapter of which he was one of the founders and a charter member. Few persons had greater interest and wider knowledge of plants in general and the genus Rhododendron in particular.
But what made D. D. unique was not his knowledge and experience but his inexhaustible energy and boundless enthusiasm that captivated everyone fortunate enough to spend any time with him. To listen to D. D. was a singular experience that transformed even the most common plant into a thing of beauty - the drabbest day into something to enjoy.
No ARS chapter had a more supportive member. He was a constant booster of the ARS and was probably responsible for more new members over his many years than anyone else. He always had time to help others. Among his many other contributions was assisting in formation of the Potomac Valley Chapter. As an ARS member, he embodied the very best type of unselfish, devoted, and tireless service.
D. D. will be sorely missed by many. No person I have ever known was more loved by everyone who knew him. None have been a greater credit to his Chapter - to the ARS - or to mankind. It may be true that no man is irreplaceable - but D. D. comes as close as anyone whose path ever crossed mine.
If people were rated like rhodos, D. D. was a 5/5.