JARS v56n4 - In Memoriam: Lurline Elliot

In Memoriam: Lurline Elliot
Pat Ley

Lurline Elliot, treasurer of the De Anza Chapter, died suddenly on April 9, 2002. Lurline and her husband Keith, who died in 1995, were charter members of the De Anza Chapter when it was formed in 1988. She was then director and treasurer and remained treasurer - with only a brief three - year hiatus - until her death twenty-four years later.

Lurline was a big tall laconic lady from Minnesota. Friends who knew them forty years ago say her interest in rhododendrons and azaleas came with her marriage to Keith, a big tall ebullient man whose main interest they were. Keith and Lurline were involved in the San Mateo Chapter, then in the formation of the De Anza Chapter, and were long-term members of the California Chapter. They participated in shows and sales, conferences and conventions, local, regional and national. Their knowledge of both rhododendrons and the people who grew them was encyclopedic and, because Lurline had a mordant sense of humor, her information was often as hilarious as it was pertinent. She died aged 82, independent to the end, triumphantly driving herself again after major knee surgery.

Lurline gave to each new De Anza member an unlabelled plant from the Elliott's Azalea West Nursery - every plant which had lost its label became "Big Unk." Imagine the "Big Unks" around here! She represented chapter stability and continuity, and our close-knit rhododendron community will greatly miss her strong, knowledgeable, dependable presence.