Laurel Bridgman, a long time member of the Society, died on January 1st, 2001, in Houston, TX. Laurel would have been 76 in February of this year, but had been ill for many years.
She began coming to the spring meetings in Lafayette with her brother Dean Lee, having moved back near her mother and brother after her husband's death. Laurel and Dean eventually bought 15 acres of woods north of Houston and moved there to live. She shared her brother's interest in plants and flowers and soon became interested in Louisiana irises and the iris societies. She attended meetings, including the American Iris Society Conventions, visited Marie's garden each bloom season and helped out at Mercer Arboretum and the Fall Bulb Mart in Houston.
Laurel served as the SLI Membership Chairman for many years and organized the Slide Archives for Louisiana irises. She also volunteered her services at the SLI shows and with serving lunches on the Saturday meeting day. She was honored by having Charlie Amy name an iris for her, 'Laurel Bridgman' and introduce it in 1969. She and her brother Dean Lee were honored in 1993 by being awarded the Distinguished Merit Award for their many years of contributions to the Society for Louisiana Irises.
Laurel is survived by two adopted sons and by a cousin in Houston and a cousin in Ohio. She was buried with her husband in Arlington Cemetery in Washington, D.C.
Editor's Note: This article first appeared in the SLI Newsletter in the Summer 2001 edition.