JARS v46n1 - In Memoriam: Edward B. Dunn

In Memoriam: Edward B. Dunn
Marjorie W. Baird
Bellevue, Washington

Edward Bernard Dunn passed away Sept. 30, 1991, at his home in Seattle. His involvement in horticultural organizations gained him many friends and admirers. Mr. Endre Ostbo of Bellevue, Wash., the well known rhododendron grower and hybridizer, named one of his most beautiful hybrids after Edward.

In the mid 1950s he became president of the Seattle Rhododendron Society and subsequently sat on the ARS Board of Directors. It was not long before he was elected president of the ARS and served in that capacity from 1965 to 1969. In 1971 he received the society's highest award, the Gold Medal. Edward is credited for being largely responsible for holding the East Coast and West Coast chapters together in the 1960s and making the ARS a truly national organization.

Edward was president of the University of Washington Arboretum in 1960, at which time he presided over the opening of the Japanese Garden. He was an early member of the Rhododendron Species Foundation and became its president in 1971. He also was instrumental in the Seattle Rhododendron Society's acquisition of the Meerkerk Rhododendron Garden on Whidbey Island in 1982.

Alfred S. Martin of Blue Hill, Maine, wrote of Edward Dunn: "He was one of the few true gentlemen I have ever known. By osmosis fortunately I acquired a small part of his vast horticultural knowledge and unbounded love of nature."

Esther Berry of Aberdeen wrote: "We have lost a friend of exceptional quality. Our friend, Ed Dunn, was a man with a real gift for leadership. His sponsorship of a cause went far to ensure its success, and he always seemed to be there when he was needed."

Edward's garden was his pride and joy and a delight to its visitors. Among the tall old firs were planted flowering trees, many rhododendrons and bulbs. Two of his garden favorites were the dodecatheons and erythroniums. He also was a devotee of Shakespeare and attended the Ashland Shakespeare Festival almost every year.

Having known Edward since childhood, I can fervently reiterate the words of Virginia Dunn, his sister in law: "Ed was not only a gentleman he was a gentle man."