JARS v64n3 - In Memoriam: Franklin Howard West

In Memoriam: Franklin Howard West
Karel Bernady

Dr. Franklin West was an active member in the ARS for many years. His death on March 11, 2010, will leave a void in the Society that won't easily be filled. Frank served on various ARS committees and donated many hours of his time to make these committees a success.

Frank was a District Director of the ARS. He headed the Evergreen Azalea Committee and the By-laws Committee. He served for ten years as a Trustee of the Research Foundation. Dr. West was one of the original six signatories in 1976 of the Trust Agreement between the ARS and the Research Foundation. Until his passing he was the sole living member of the founding Trustees.

He was a recognized photographer, loved gardening and bird watching at his summer home in Cape May Point, NJ, where many birds stop and rest on their way to their summer or winter homes. He loved working with and growing new plants especially rhododendrons and azaleas. G. Albert Reid, hybridizer and grower of the Linwood Hardy azaleas of Linwood, NJ, thought so much of Frank that he named a Linwood Hardy azalea for him that he hybridized in 1966. The plant is named 'Dr. Franklin West'. The plant is a double flower; color is salmon with a purple blotch. It is hardy in Linwood, but may not be hardy in colder areas.

Frank helped start the Greater Philadelphia Chapter in 1957 and remained active in that Chapter for many years. Professionally, Frank was a well known and respected psychiatrist in the Philadelphia area. In the late 1980s he received a Bronze Medal from the Pine Barrens Chapter for his contributions to the genus and the years of work he did in the ARS.

Dr. West was the co-author of Hybrids and Hybridizers . In this book he noted the many early hybridizers who contributed to the genus in many ways. Dr. West tells us about Dexter, Gable and other greats of the past and the contributions they made to the genus.