JARS v62n3 - In Memoriam: Gordon Heyduck

In Memoriam: Gordon Heyduck
Don Smart

Our good friend and charter member of the Cascade Chapter has passed away. Gordon H. Heyduck, born on March 4, 1916, in Elgin, Oregon, passed away quietly on February 9, 2008.

He joined the US Navy in 1937 and was discharged just prior to the US entry into World War II. He went to work for Puget Sound Power & Light using the training he received as an electrician's mate. He also worked part time at the Weyerhaeuser mill in Snoqualmie. He re-enlisted in the Navy in 1944 and ended the war in Okinawa in 1945. After the war, he returned to PSPL where he worked until he retired.

In 1941 Gordon married Mildred Bell Maxwell and they remained happily married until her death in 1997. Gordon and Millie are survived by two of their sons and three grandchildren.

Throughout his life he had a love for the outdoors where he enjoyed hiking, fishing, and hybridizing rhododendrons. He was very active in Boy Scouts with his three sons and received the Order of the Arrow in recognition of his guidance and service to Scouting.

Over the years Gordon created several hundred rhododendron hybrids. He had several hybrids that were not only beautiful but fragrant. Several of us are growing on his plants. He never registered any of his plants, but one - 'Gordon's Trophy', named by Clint Smith - can be found at some nurseries. He freely shared his plants with friends and members of the ARS.

Gordon and Millie were long-time members of the Seattle Chapter of the ARS and charter members of the Cascade Chapter. He was very active and served on the boards of both.

My wife Carolyn and I did not get to know Gordon until after Millie had passed away and we became very close. He and Elsie Watson had made a pact to live to be 100. When I visited him several days before his death, I reminded him of that. He told me, "Dammit, Don, my mind is willing, but my body is not going to cooperate." He was a good friend and will be missed.