JARS v55n2 - In Memoriam: Pearl W. Nelson

In Memoriam: Pearl W. Nelson
Georgia Smith

A long-time member of the American Rhododendron Society, Pearl W. Nelson, passed away January 2, 200l, in Issaquah, Washington. Pearl served as treasurer of the Seattle Rhododendron Society and was a charter member and first treasurer of the Cascade Chapter of the ARS in Bellevue. She also belonged to the Species Foundation and the Arboretum Society.

When Pearl and her husband, Lloyd, bought their house on over two acres of land in Issaquah, there was little landscaping, so they purchased a tractor and reshaped their yard. They built a garden house, made a path among all the trees and hills, and planted many choice rhododendrons. From the dining room, the kitchen, and music room of the house, one could see the huge perfectly shaped Rhododendron calophytum . Many thought it was the most beautiful plant ever when covered with lovely pink trusses. At Christmas time, looking out the picture windows in the music room, one noticed the large wooden lighted-up Christmas tree outside, the rhododendrons and, of course, the calophytum .

There was always music in the Nelson home. Pearl studied music in Rochester, New York, and was a fine pianist and organist. She would play her theater-sized organ while Lloyd would play the smaller one; often a third person would play the piano. Visitors always enjoyed the music and the many good times with good friends.

When Lloyd passed away, Pearl continued her interest in gardening. She took over the maintenance of her entire property, including the lawn mowing. She was a willing volunteer at rhododendron conventions and loved attending her own local chapter meetings. She was also a member of the P.E.O. Sisterhood, the League of Women Voters, the American Theatre Organ Society, a Two-Piano Club, and was accompanist for the Issaquah Singers. Everyone seemed to know Pearl and appreciated her sense of humor and quick wit. Indeed, she will be greatly missed by her many friends.