In Memoriam: Paul E. Sleezer
William F. Sullivan
Roseland, New Jersey
On May 2, 1987 at the Annual Convention of the ARS, Paul Sleezer died suddenly. He was enjoying himself among old friends and acquaintances and among the rhododendrons which had provided so much pleasure during his life. Paul's wife Esther, also an ARS member, had passed away a little more than six months earlier. His career was spent in the pharmaceutical industry and he was a specialist in the formulation of medicinals.
As a long term member of the New Jersey Chapter and associate member of neighboring chapters, his activities included two terms as Chapter President and participation in various committees. His enthusiasm for plants was infectious and was particularly an encouragement to new members. At each opportunity he collected plants and built a garden with a variety of species, hybrids and companion plants.
Paul was a close friend of Guy Nearing and maintained this friendship in Guy's closing years when he no longer was able to continue his lifelong work of breeding rhododendrons. The association was manifested by Paul's coauthoring of the chapter on Guy Nearing in Hybrids and Hybridizers edited by P.A. Livingston and F.H. West.
Paul is especially remembered by the New Jersey Chapter for his beautifully composed invocations at the Annual Dinner Meetings. These invocations, a fixed annual event, reflected his feelings as a deeply religious individual. His generosity in gifts of plants, particularly those varieties difficult to obtain, will be missed. As a highly dedicated member of the ARS, Paul played a significant role in the development of the Society in the northeastern part of the country.