QBARS - v35n2 David Lane Bledsoe

Ralph H. Nichols, Seattle, WA.

David Lane Bledsoe, 41, one of the top national experts on rhododendron species died December 6, 1980 at his home in Everett, Washington. Son of the late Dr. Clarence Bledsoe, a Seattle physician, Mr. Bledsoe had served as President of the Seattle Rhododendron Society for the four years up to 1979.

He was a member of the Rhododendron Species Foundation, and a past board member of the Northwest Ornamental Horticulture Society. He also was a member of the Everett Yacht Club.

These words from the Seattle Post Intelligencer say so little about David to those who knew him. David inherited his love of rhododendrons from his parents Dr. Clarence Bledsoe and Elizabeth "Sis" Bledsoe.

He was a Washington State Master Gardener and owned his own nursery in Snohomish for several years, after which he was the manager of a large wholesale nursery.

He taught classes at Edmonds Community College where he introduced his students to species rhododendrons. He also introduced them to the Seattle Rhododendron Society, and many joined and are active members.

David was Vice President of the Seattle Rhododendron Society for two years and President for four years. He was always active in the Society and in the Rhododendron Study Club. He worked on every project or show I can remember and encouraged everyone else to "pitch in".

David was President in 1979 when Mrs. Ann Meerkerk asked the Seattle Rhododendron Society to take her garden and preserve it for all rhododendron lovers after she died. He was still on the Meerkerk Garden Committee planning the garden operation at the time of his death.

Many of us will remember his photography. David was a superior photographer and besides taking pictures of plants and gardens he made a study of several rhododendron species, including microscopic photographs of the plant and flower parts. These introduced many of us to the different types of indumentum and hairs on leaves and flower parts.

David was an active sailor. He owned his own sailboat and enjoyed sailing and talking about sailing almost as much as he did rhododendrons.

Everyone will remember Dave's great sense of humor. I was never at a meeting or activity that wasn't made more enjoyable by his quick wit and good nature.

To honor David L. Bledsoe the Seattle Rhododendron Society will add a Photography Trophy to our May Shows. We hope this will perpetuate a continuing interest in good rhododendron photography.

Dave was my friend and the friend of everyone who knew him. He will long be remembered and always be missed.