JARS v48n2 - In Memoriam: Bruce Leber

In Memoriam: Bruce Leber
Lynn Watts
Bellevue, Washington

It is with great sadness that we inform you of the passing of our good friend Bruce Leber. Bruce Leber was born Sept. 24,1924, in Seattle. He graduated from Roosevelt High School in Seattle and from Reed College, Portland, Ore.
Bruce retired as president of the Leber Company in 1987. Among his many interests his love of rhododendrons was to lead him to collecting many fine species. He was our companion on the Warren Berg Trek to Yunnan Province, China in 1989. A chemist by profession and keen observer and meticulous record keeper by nature, Bruce did much to contribute to the success of this rhododendron venture.
In 1950 the Leber family moved next door to Andre Ostbo and Bruce and Andre immediately became good friends. The Ostbos were short on water for Andre's plants so Bruce ran a water line from his well to Ostbo's nursery. After one SRS rhododendron show in which Mr. Ostbo had exhibited a number of his plants he arrived at the Leber's house with all the plants which he had shown and told Bruce, "Here, I dug them up, you can have them if you plant them."
Many of the choice species rhododendrons Bruce grew from seed collected by Frank Doleshy including a very fine group of R. yakushimanum (Doleshy # 10) the seeds of which were collected by Frank from near the top of Mt. Kuromi at elevations of 5,276-5,567 feet. Kuromi-Dake is the third highest peak on Yakushima.
Bruce was very active for many years in the species study group, assisting with shows and serving on the SRS Board of Directors.
Bruce is survived by his wife Mary Savage Leber, daughters Alison of Seattle, M. Carol Leber of New York City, and sons B. Douglas Leber of Denver and Kelly Leber of San Francisco, and two brothers, Ted and Lewis. He was a very generous and caring person and was always willing to lend a helping hand where needed. Prior to his death Bruce had donated 35 mature rhododendrons to the Bellevue Botanical Garden.