JARS v52n1 - In Memoriam: Jo Burr

In Memoriam: Jo Burr
Bob and Coleen George
Issaquah, WA

Retired, widowed, and living at a condominium, Jo Burr cherished memories of her beautiful rhododendron garden on Vashon Island, Wash. She just couldn't give up gardening, so she spoke to the management and they permitted her to plant rhodies and other plants in several areas near her condo unit.

One day Jo read an article in the local paper about our garden and rhody activities. She was so happy to hear of some people in the Issaquah area who loved rhodies as she did. She said she had been a member of the Seattle Chapter since 1942 but could no longer attend because she didn't have a car. Well, the outcome of all this was that we became friends, and we drove her to some meetings in Seattle, where she was delighted to see old friends.

She joined the Cascade Chapter. Whenever her health permitted, she was excited about attending the meetings. En route to these meetings, she told us much about her gardens in Seattle and on Vashon. Her Seattle home was next door to Ed Dunn, and he was instrumental in getting her involved with rhodies. His garden is now open to the public. She knew Halfdan Lem and, like everyone who knew him, had many entertaining stories to tell about him. He gave her many seedlings to grow on in her Vashon garden.

Jo was quite a perky little lady, always cheerful, always interested, and always willing to work. Whenever she came to our meetings, she wanted to help carry things in from the car and help in any other way she could. One of her favorite jobs was to stand by the door and greet people and give them their free tickets for the door prize drawing. Whenever she was lucky enough to win a raffle plant, she was very excited to take it home and add to her beautiful plantings.

Jo passed away at age 93, on Oct. 27, 1997, at Panorama Convalescent Hospital in Lacey, Wash. She was a delightful person and a true rhody lover. We will miss her.