The iris world lost a valued friend and leader on Monday, June 10, 1991 when Oren E. Campbell of North little Rock, Arkansas died. Oren and his wife, Sue, were charter members of the Central Arkansas Iris Society, and he had served as both CAIS President and Regional Vice President of the American Iris Society, and was an AlS Master Judge (retired).
Born on May 7, 1906 in St. John, Kansas, and raised on a farm near Cimarron, Kansas, Oren earned a degree in horticulture from Kansas State College, Manhattan, and then taught vocational agriculture at several Kansas high schools. He eventually retired after 25 years as chief of manual arts therapy and physical medicine rehabilitation services for the Veteran's Administration Hospital at Fort Roots, North little Rock.
Oren's love of the iris manifested itself in many ways, including growing a large display garden at his home. He also hybridized Louisiana irises, his most famous introduction being STRANGE ROMANCE (R78). A red-purple, STRANGE ROMANCE won the Honorable Mention award from the AlS. Oren was not stingy with his irises. He provided 82 named varieties of Tall Bearded irises for the Faucette Triangle Park in orth little Rock. He also planted a large iris garden at his church, First United Methodist of North little Rock. Oren's death is mourned by his wife, Sue, a daughter, a son, a grandson and one great-grandson, as well as a large number of fellow irisarians.