JARS v50n1 - In Memoriam: Margaret Thompson

In Memoriam: Margaret Thompson
Emma Bowhan
Eugene, Oregon

Her many friends were saddened by the death on April 18, 1995, of Margaret W. Thompson of Waldport, Ore. Margaret was born Nov. 25, 1916, in Salmon, Idaho. She spent most of her life in Waldport where she and her husband Willard, who preceded her in death, established their well-known nursery and rhododendron garden. Together they built one of the finest collections of species and hybrid rhododendrons on the West Coast.

For many years she and Willard attended the Portland, Eugene and Siuslaw chapter meetings sharing their knowledge and plant material. They were both awarded the Bronze Medal by the Siuslaw Chapter.

Margaret could give the parentage of most hybrids and tell you in which book or journal it was published. In her poetic way Margaret was responsible for the naming of the many crosses they produced over the years. The most well-known were 'Ring of Fire', 'Desert Gold', 'Tiddly Winks', 'Cup Cake', 'Dad's Indian Summer', and 'Creole Belle'. The most recent crosses she named are 'Mauna Loa', 'Wings of Gold' and 'Flaming Star'.

Friends and visitors were always made to feel welcome in their home and garden. At one time there was a plaque in their garden which read, "Man's first home was a garden. Upon entering this garden you are home."

This poem is one of the beautiful memories that Margaret has left us:

"Send me no flowers when I am gone

In life I've had my share

Take pleasure in giving to someone living

Let them know how much you care

The joy you see within their eyes

May help erase the grief you share."

She will be missed by those who knew her.