In Memoriam: Robert Lee Perry, Jr.
W. George Beasley, Greenville, S.C.
On January 2nd, 1982, Bob Perry transferred his membership to the largest and best chapter of the American Rhododendron Society. His physical service to us is ended, but his spiritual influence is as bright and fresh as the day we met him. Bob's days as a master gardener will never end. His great spirit will continue to serve through his dedication to love and beauty. Bob taught many of us how to grow beautiful flowers. Through an aura of kindness, generosity and courage, his inner spirit reached out and touched our lives with another kind of beauty.
Bob was a charter member of the William Bartram Chapter. He served on the Board of Directors and as President. He has long been recognized as a leader in rhododendron culture throughout the Southeast. In January, 1980, Bob received from the chapter the ARS Bronze Medal in recognition of his many contributions.
We like to contemplate Bob tending a garden in Heaven. Could he be exchanging cultural information with his predecessors? We imagine men like Donald Hardgrove, Joseph Gable, Charles Dexter and Lionel de Rothschild making heavenly crosses and using earthly hybrids with names like Celestial Bells, Heavenly Scent, Windbeam, Yaku Angel, Blue Cloud, Halolight, Return to Paradise, Yellow Sunbeam, Golden Star and Tranquility.