In Memoriam: Dr. J. Harold Clarke
Robert L. Ticknor
he American Rhododendron Society has lost one of its most devoted members with the death of Dr. J. Harold Clarke, at the age of 91 in Arizona. Dr. Clarke was a plant breeder with Rutgers University in New Jersey before moving to Long Beach, Washington, to engage in cranberry and rhododendron growing. He became a member of the Society in 1947 and regularly drove the many miles from Long Beach to attend meetings of the Portland Chapter, ARS National Board, and many committees.
Dr. Clarke served the Society as President, Vice President, Executive Vice President, Editor of the Quarterly Bulletin for over five years and simultaneously as Executive Secretary and Editor. He was also Editor for the Society's five-year books: Rhododendrons - 1956, Rhododendrons for your Garden , 1961, and Rhododendron Information , 1967. His own book, Getting Started With Rhododendrons and Azaleas was written in 1960 and revised in 1968. It introduced many people to the genus Rhododendron and the American Rhododendron Society. The Society's highest honor - The Gold Medal was awarded to Dr. J. Harold Clarke on April 22, 1969.
This gentle, willing worker for the American Rhododendron Society will be missed by his many friends in the United States and throughout the rhododendron world, but particularly by his wife Gretchen of Arizona, his daughter, Mrs. J.C. Derr of West Linn, Oregon, and by his son Paul and grandson Steve of Long Beach, Washington, who continue the nursery Dr. Clarke started.