In Memoriam: Judith "judi" Cheryl Meade
After a valiant two-year struggle with brain cancer, Judi Meade, active member of the Greater Philadelphia Chapter, died on August 23, 2002. Judi was a lawyer by training and brought her keen mind, her organizational skills and her tenacity to her passion for gardening.
Judi and her husband, Robert Wilkinson, maintained a garden and nursery in the hilly Roxborough section of Philadelphia where they propagated and raised many varieties of rhododendrons and companion plants. Many of the obscure rhododendrons she propagated are now in gardens throughout the region.
Judi served the Greater Philadelphia Chapter for more than a decade as treasurer and membership chair. With her husband Bob she co-chaired the chapter's Annual Plant Sale and was highly involved in the Plants for Members Project which Bob chairs. She was an active participant in the planning and the installing of the Philadelphia Chapter's annual exhibit at the Philadelphia Flower Show and could be found painting backdrops and shoveling mulch, as well as arranging and grooming plants. She lectured on rhododendrons and azaleas at the Flower Show. Judi was an enthusiastic exhibitor and frequent winner of ribbons and trophies and the Sweepstakes award for having the highest number of points in the chapter's annual truss show. We could always count on Judi for help with any chapter activities and for accurate information on the parentage and on the cultivation of "rhodies" as well as many other varieties of ornamentals. Judi and Bob traveled extensively, bringing back many choice cultivars to experiment with in the growing conditions in the Philadelphia region. Judi and Bob attended meetings and supported activities of other local chapters. The chapter will greatly miss Judi's dedication and energy. The chapter contributed memorial donations in tribute to her to the ARS Research Foundation, Dan Layman Petal Blight Fund, a cause which Judi championed.