MERLE F. SAUNDERS
August 29, 1903 - September 18, 1980
Day Ferrald, Eugene, OR
A familiar face to all Rhododendron enthusiasts, Merle Saunders spent the past thirty years loving and sharing his plants. As a founding member of the Camellia Society, Merle was instrumental in establishing affiliation with the American Rhododendron Society. On September 18, 1951 the club chose to direct their efforts toward a plant more suitable to the wet climate in Eugene and the Eugene Chapter of the A.R.S. was formed. He was on the board of directors and was president of the Eugene Chapter numerous times. He was also instrumental in developing Hendrick's Park as a garden for rhododendrons.
When God passed out green thumbs He must have looked at Merle twice. His yard was brimming with rhododendrons and his plants surpassed most men's dreams. Merle enjoyed showing his garden and was especially proud of his larger specimen plants. An unselfish man, he made certain that others shared in his bounty. Merle offered plants from cutting size to ten foot Bow Bells and his only requirement was that they be loved.
Merle Saunders enriched the lives of people he touched. His plants are living memories of a kind and generous man.