Walter George Beasley, 1924 - 1984
Austin C. Kennell, Afton, VA
Will Rogers must have had George Beasley in mind when he penned the words, "he never met a man he didn't like". I don't think George ever met a person he didn't like and I am sure he never met anyone who didn't like him. He was that kind of person.
George died January 3, 1984, and the ARS lost one of its greatest talents. A self-styled "farmer", George was an exceptional speaker weaving a wonderful sense of humor into his extensive knowledge of plants to make listening to him a genuine pleasure. He had few equals in his knowledge of and work with native azaleas. He was an outstanding collector, hybridizer and propagator. He served in many capacities in the William Bartram Chapter, ARS up to and including President, and in many different ways in other regional chapters.
George always gave everything his best shot. He was a deacon and Sunday School teacher. Active in the Boy Scouts, he was Scoutmaster and built the first building for Scouts in his area. He was a member of the Georgia Forestry Commission and the Georgia Nurseryman Association. A World War II veteran, he organized the first National Guard unit in his county and served as unit commander.
George's Transplant Nursery is one of the featured tours on the 1984 Atlanta National Convention agenda. The nursery will be carried on by George's lifetime partner - his wife, Mary, and his son Jeff. No one should miss seeing what the love of plants by a dedicated person can produce. Walter George Beasley will be missed by anyone who ever met him and all others who ever see and marvel at any of the diverse and fascinating native azaleas and their hybrids that George played such an important role in making available to people everywhere.
A truly wonderful individual, George's like will not soon be seen again.