In Memoriam: Arthur P. Dome
Laura Kentala and Diane Thompson
Art Dome, Seattle Rhododendron Society member of long standing, died quietly in his home June 13, 2000. He was born in 1921 in Chengtu, China, while his missionary parents were working there. He moved to Seattle and began work for the Lily Company. As head salesman for the Northwest, his trips to nurseries around the area contributed greatly to his love of plants.
Art toured the world studying and collecting many unusual Ericaceae. His earlier days included many hiking trips into the mountains of the Northwest. There he found many wonderful plants that he introduced into his garden. He traveled through Japan enjoying rhododendrons and rock garden plants, and was in China twice, once in 1989 during the Tiananmen Square uprising. His study of his favorite family of plants continued throughout his active life.
Art's home, overlooking Lake Washington, has been the site of many delightful tours for people from around the world. Recently a photo of his garden graced the cover of Sonja Nelson's book Rhododendrons in the Landscape.
Art's continuous service to the ARS since January 7,1953, was an inspiration to all. He was well known for his photographs, winning many prizes throughout the Society. His knowledge and talent for photography was clearly seen in his pictures of rhododendron leaf hairs and scales. Many of his fabulous photographs have been published in the ARS Journal throughout the years and are displayed at the Rhododendron Species Foundation Library.
Art was always available to present a program featuring his favorite subjects: dwarf rhododendrons, heaths and heathers, and rock garden plants. He served willingly in many areas as SRS president, vice-president, board member, secretary, show judge, and chairman of numerous committees. His study of his favorite family of plants continued throughout his active life. Art understood that our Society depended on growth through our new members, and he would greet them with a welcoming smile. He was always available to answer any question with a knowledgeable response to help beginning and experienced gardeners.
The Seattle Rhododendron Society awarded Art a Bronze Medal in 1975 and again in December 1999. SRS was honored to award him a double Bronze Medal for his continued dedication to our Society. Other societies have awarded him equally for his wide support. The entire Northwest will greatly miss Art and his delightful manner. He was a treasure to the SRS and many other plant societies and will be remembered fondly by all.
On September 10, 2000, at the Rhododendron Species Foundation a gathering in the garden was held to celebrate his life. A teak bench was dedicated to Art from his friends in the American Rhododendron Society, Seattle Rhododendron Society, Rhododendron Species Foundation, North American Rock Garden Society, North American Heather Society, and the Arboretum Foundation.