In Memoriam: Palmer F. Saunders
Palmer Saunders, long time member of the Eugene Chapter, passed away Dec. 27, 1995, in Eugene, Ore. Palmer was born in Eugene in 1919, the eighth of nine children, and lived most of his life in the Eugene area. He is survived by his wife Helen, two daughters, six grandchildren, two sisters and one brother, George. He served in the U.S. Army Signal Corps during World War II.
Youngest of three brothers, who were avid rhododendron buffs, Palmer followed George and the late Merle Saunders in collecting, propagating and showing rhodies since the early formation of the American Rhododendron Society. Palmer bought his first rhododendrons from Ed Greer in 1953 and at one time his garden contained over 400. Some of his finest memories were of trips with his brothers and others to visit the gardens of Merv Vater, Cecil Smith, Carl Phetteplace, Mrs. Berry in Portland, the Henny nursery near Salem, Art Childer's nursery at Vida, and even the James Barto nursery many years ago.
A very knowledgeable and personable man, Palmer served as judge in many rhododendron shows over the years and served two one-year terms as president of the Eugene Chapter. He was an enthusiastic participant in local rhododendron shows, winning more than his share of ribbons. Palmer's greenhouse provided many hundreds of rooted cuttings, the source of countless gifts to friends and donations to chapter plant auctions. There was also some success with hybridizing, although none of his hybrids were formally named.
The Eugene Chapter has lost a willing participant and a dear friend. He will be greatly missed and long remembered.