In Memoriam: Joseph Duplinsky
Joseph Duplinsky, 79, died of leukemia on March 19, 1998, at Cape Canaveral Hospital. He had an extensive career and was a pioneer in the health insurance field dating all the way back to 1938 when he worked for the Connecticut Plan for Hospital Care, which later became Blue Cross. During World War II he served in the US Navy and later served in the Naval Reserves. After the war he rejoined Blue Cross where he developed the Blue Shield program. He served as the Connecticut Blue Cross Blue Shield president, its chairman and also its chief executive officer, as well as vice chairman of the national organization.
Joe was a charter member of the Connecticut Chapter of the ARS, as well as a member of the New York, Massachusetts, and Cape Cod chapters. He was a member of the American Magnolia Society, writing articles for its publication, as well as being a member of the Rhododendron Species Foundation, giving most generously each year in its fundraising efforts. He was also a member of the Royal Horticultural Society, growing many of its seed exchange plants. As he joined the ARS over 30 years ago, he was always present at over 90 percent of the annual conventions. He designed a garden which was a showplace and a highlight of the annual conventions of 1980 as well as 1990. Locally, his garden was always open to any visitor, at any time of the year.
As a plantsman, I know no one who could approach his knowledge of not only rhododendrons but of any other genus. He will be sorely missed by so many people in the gardening world, as well as by his wife, Marcia; his daughter, Joan; his sons, Tom, Fred, and Paul; as well as his six grandchildren.