In Memoriam: Dr. Thomas L. Ring, MD
The rhododendron world will be mourning the passing of another great rhodo lover and hybridizer and my best friend and mentor, Dr. Tom Ring. His love for rhododendrons was immeasurable, and his desire to share and dispense plant material, seed and experience in culture was well known throughout the Great Lakes Chapter.
He always used the very best parents and pollen, to create some of the most beautiful and easy to grow rhodos around. This past blooming season, Tom cleaned up at the annual truss show with Best in Show with his favorite hybrid 'Ring's Monarch' ('Fowle 19' X 'Graf Zeppelin'), along with 2nd Best in Show and seven trophies! That Best in Show trophy was probably his fifteenth in his long career of producing wonderful plants.
Our "Rum Dum" club always got together every early spring at his home in Bellaire, Ohio, in preparation for Tom's plants for members meeting of the Great Lakes Chapter, always the most popular meeting of the year. Tom loved having Jack Looye coming down from Canada and joining Fred Palmer and myself to talk rhodos way into the night with lots of good cheer and lore. His faithful companion, Rhodo (a blond Labrador retriever), was always by his side.
Tom loved nature and wildlife more than most people - hunting and fishing were his passions, but the rhododendron was his real love.
Tom, everyone will dearly miss you, but none more than I.
Hope to see you in rhododendron heaven.