In Memoriam: John Henny
John Henny of Brooks, Ore., the first president of the American Rhododendron Society, died July 18, 1995, at the age of 87. Mr. Henny, a co-founder of the ARS, served as its president from 1944 to 1949.
During the years 1942 and 1943, Mr. Henny traveled on many weekends by train up and down the Northwest coast talking to rhododendron growers, trying to spark interest in forming a rhododendron society. His interest in rhododendrons led him not only to many of the nurseries in the Northwest but also to Great Britain. There he met many of the world's plant collectors and, because of his enthusiasm, knowledge and congenial nature, was able to successfully promote the American Rhododendron Society. He was well known for his ability to begin a meeting with a humorous story - and did so again at the ARS Anniversary Convention in Portland in May of this year.
Mr. Henny received the ARS Gold Medal Award in 1966 for "his untiring efforts in behalf of the Society." He was also praised for his search in England for the finest new hybrids and his own hybridizing program. In addition, his contribution of many articles to the Quarterly Bulletin was cited.
While raising onions in the Brooks area before WWII, he became interested in rhododendrons and operated a nursery. He helped develop the Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden in Portland from a city-owned site overgrown with blackberries.
Along with Mr. Henny's interest in rhododendrons was an interest in fine wines. From an informal collection of European wines he began a wine distributorship in 1966. John Henny is survived by his wife Anne and his daughter Marlene Sledge.