JARS v64n3 - In Memoriam: Fred L. Minch, Jr.

In Memoriam: Fred L. Minch, Jr.
Bob Minnich

We, of the Tacoma Chapter, regretfully report the death of Fred L. Minch, Jr., on March 5, 2010. Gardening on what, to most, would have been an impossible slope, Fred grew tens of thousands of rhododendrons and azaleas. These were "his babies." It had to be one of the most intensively cultivated acres in the state of Washington. Following the premise of crossing the biggest and the best with the biggest and the best, even the seed pods were champions, resembling gherkin pickles attached to the stalk. The first of many notable hybrids was registered as 'Oh, Kitty!' named for his daughter and which led to a long friendship with Bruce Briggs. Many of the early Briggs tissue culture attempts were made with material from Fred's garden.

Fred was preceded in death by his beloved wife Jean. They were a dynamic duo in Tacoma ARS activities. Digging up the Minch yard and transporting it to the Tacoma Chapter Show was an annual event, as too was the bestowing to Fred of the Show Sweepstakes Award and most of the Chapter's silver. Fred and Jean became much sought after as program speakers for ARS chapters up and down the West Coast. More acquaintances and friendships sprang from their enterprises shipping plants, seeds and irrigation supplies far and wide. For their efforts, each was awarded their own Bronze Medal.

Fred served as the ARS District 3 Director for two terms and was active in the American Azalea Society as well. His friendships stretched from Coast to Coast.