In Memoriam: Betty Worthey Spady
After an extended illness Betty Spady quietly passed away Nov. 10, 2002, at her home in Salem. Betty was born in Bolivar, Missouri, on Sept. 28, 1927, and was raised in the Ozark towns of Mountain Grove and Hartville, Missouri. She obtained a master's degree in bacteriology from Wellesley College in 1951, after attending and being graduated from Drury University in Springfield, Missouri, in 1950. She met Herb Spady at Washington University Medical Center in St. Louis while working as a laboratory assistant. They were married on June 11, 1954. Betty and Herb had three children while Herb served his medical residency at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis. Subsequently, they and their children moved to San Diego, California, while Herb served in the Navy. While there, Betty suffered and was cured of breast cancer. Upon completion of Herb's tour of duty in the Navy at Balboa Hospital, the family moved to Salem, Oregon. After the move to Salem, Betty focused her time and energy on the development of her children, family, and the tending of a large property northeast of Salem. She had a passion for gardening and often raised bumper crops, which were regularly distributed to her children and neighbors.
After their children left home Betty and Herb began to focus their horticultural interests in the development of the Honsuchachac Rhododendron Nursery and Garden, which they developed and ran for several years. Betty played key roles in the Portland Chapter of the ARS and in the development of the Willamette Chapter. She was a founding member of the Willamette Chapter and served the chapter for over two decades. She hostessed numerous chapter picnics and potlucks. Her warm greetings of newcomers are legend.
On the Society level, Betty served on numerous ARS committees including the Honors Committee and chair of the Public Relations Committee. Betty also developed the ARS Speakers' Bureau to a list of over 300 speakers, utilizing her vast acquaintance with ARS members. She helped organize Society regional conferences and international conventions. She gave support to Herb when he served as ARS president, during which time the ARS convention was held in Scotland - the first offshore ARS convention. Realizing the value of electronic media, she resurrected the defunct ARS Rhododendron and Azalea Newsletter into an electronic newsletter, serving as its editor while Herb served as publisher. She was awarded the ARS Gold Medal in 2001 for her extraordinary service to the ARS. Betty's organizational ability and attention to detail have proved invaluable to the Society, but even topping these assets are her enthusiasm, her warmth, her willingness to help and her indomitable spirit.
She is survived by her husband, Dr. Herbert A. Spady; her children and their spouses, Kevin and Shirley Spady, Dr. George and Anne Spady, and Kimberly and Rick Lentz; and her eleven grandchildren.