Dr. James A. Foret, an early member and supporter of the Society for Louisiana Irises, died on November 4, 2000. Dr. Foret graduated from the University of Southwestern Louisiana in 1943 with a degree in horticulture, and, as a student in 1941, he wrote one of the first articles published by the Society. The article was printed and mailed to the membership as Bulletin No.2.
Dr. Foret served in Europe during World War II, where he was a Prisoner of War. He received the Purple Heart and Combat Infantry Badge. After the War Dr. Foret earned a Master of Science degree from Iowa State University in 1947 and later a Doctorate in horticulture and plant physiology. He served as a Research Associate Professor at Iowa State from 1947 to 1950, when he returned to USL as an Associate Professor of Horticulture. Dr. Foret's research included weed control in nursery production, container media, and aquatic weed control, particularly water hyacinths. He was active in plant evaluation and introduced the Folsom Weeping Yaupon in 1981. In 1960, he became Head of the Department of Plant Sciences and, in 1972, Dean of the College of Agriculture
During his years at USL, Dr. Foret worked with SLI and helped stage the iris shows each year. He was honored in 1970 with the Society's Service Award. The tetraploid iris, PROFESSOR TIM, was named for Dr. Foret by Joe Mertzweiller. Dr. Foret was very active in the nursery business and helped develop the certification program of the Louisiana Nurserymen's Association. He received numerous awards, including the Horticultural Achievement Medal given by the Louisiana Society for Horticulture Research in 1993. After his retirement from the University, he continued to work as a consulting horticulturist and arborist with his oldest son, who was also a graduate in horticulture. He served as an adviser to Hodges Gardens for many years.
-Aline Arceneaux and Marie Caillet