by Robert Treadway

We were saddened to learn of the death of Dr. Bernard Hugh “Bud” McSparrin, Sr., PhD on December 28, 2017. Bud was a native of Lokeba, Oklahoma, but moved to Louisiana in 1960 to attend LSU where he earned his master’s degree and doctorate in physiology. He remained in Louisiana and taught at LSU Alexandria for 32 years.

Bud and Rusty McSparrinBud joined the Society for Louisiana Irises in the early ‘60s and served as the SLI President in 1968 and 1969. An American Iris Society Master Judge, he was awarded the SLI Service Award in 1971. Bud lived in Schriever, Louisiana, with his wife Rusty, where they operated Bois d’Arc Gardens.

Bud was interested in the preservation of the native species but frowned on indiscriminate collecting of wild irises from ditches and roadways. He rescued, registered, and introduced two fulvas. ‘Sycamore’ was introduced in 2009 and ‘Lockport’, in 2011. He also registered and introduced two hybrid cultivars. ‘Aline Arceneaux’ was introduced in 2007 and ‘Malacondra’, in 2011.

Besides gardening, Bud and Rusty shared an interest in rocks and minerals. They were members of the CENLA Rockhounds and the Gem, Mineral, and Lapidary Society of Central Louisiana, attending trade shows across the country.

Bud is survived by his wife, Russella Ramp ("Rusty") McSparrin; son, Bernard “Buddy” McSparrin, Jr. (Deidra); brother, Joe McSparrin; sisters, Judy Woodward and Janet DeSpain; stepdaughters: Natalie DeAngelis, Laura Elliott, Mary Gaidry, and Roberta Gaidry; stepgrandchildren: Trevor Billings, Douglas Pecot, Miranda Pecot, and Ruth Pecot; and greatgrandchild Emma Billings.

Rusty and Bud McSparrin in the gardenHe is preceded in death by his parents, Gerald McSparrin and Cora Hagerman McSparrin; brother, Gerald Lynn McSparrin; and sister, Connie Jacobs. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Bud’s honor to the Dr. Bernard H. McSparrin and Sandra Taylor Nursing Endowed Scholarship Fund, ALSU Foundation, or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.