Ira S Nelson, founder and first secretary of the Society for Louisiana IrisesThe most important influence on any college or university campus is an effective and dedicated teacher, a man who devotes himself wholeheartedly to the study of his specialty and just as wholeheartedly to sharing his knowledge with others. Such a man was Ira S. Nelson, Professor of Horticulture at the University of Southwestern Louisiana. I have always felt that his employment, which was my first official act as newly-elected President of the University, augured well for my administration in that office. Ike, as he came to be known affectionately to all of us, was the type of teacher whom every university president hopes to appoint, but rarely finds. He was a gentleman, not in the sense in which that word is often used to designate merely the social position of one's parents, but in its truer sense: an innately honorable, thoughtful and dedicated man. 

Clara Goula of Lafayette, LAMrs. Clara Goula of Lafayette was well-known as the namesake of one of the most famous Louisiana iris cultivars every produced, hybridized by her neighbor, the late Charles Amy.
 
Although unable to participate in recent years, Mrs. Goula had been active in Society affairs and had engaged in some hybridizing efforts of her own. She lived with her son, hybridizer Richard Goula, at Gatewood Gardens in Lafayette. 
James Geddes Douglas, 90, died in Nashville, Tennessee on April 30, 1993. He opened one of the earliest garden centers in 1954, selling plants and advising customers on selections and growing conditions. His association with the Society for Louisiana Irises goes back to the 1940's when he served on the AIS Board of Directors and was Regional Vice President in Tennessee, later becoming AIS Bulletin Editor. He served in many offices of the American Iris Society and the Southern Nurserymen's Association.

Charles W. Arny JrCharles W. Amy, Jr. developed an interest in Louisiana irises when he moved to Lafayette in 1947 to accept a teaching post in economics at the University of Southwestern Louisiana. As his interest blossomed, he collected irises from the wild and began a hybridizing program which also included the newest and best hybrids then available. 

Leon C. Wolford, 75, of Whitewright, Texas, a life member of the Society for Louisiana Irises, died on Friday, Aug. 13, 1993. 
Until recent years, he regularly attended the SLI Spring Meeting and Show, and served a term on the SLI board of directors. 
He was president of the American Iris Society from 1978-1980, and was awarded the prestigious AIS Distinguished Service Medal. He was a retired postal carrier and member of First Christian Church in Bonham. He is survived by his wife, Edith, two sisters and a nephew. 
 
A memorial service was held in Whitewright on Aug. 17. The family suggests memorial contributions to the AIS Foundation, 122 S. 39th St. #604, Omaha, NE 68131.
 
Editor's Notes:  This article first appeared in the SLI Newsletter in the September 1993 edition.

Charles "Chuck" Begnaud

Charles "Chuck" Begnaud, a longtime member of the Society and a fixture at the annual meetings in Lafayette, died April 2, 1998 after a brutal beating and stabbing at his home on the afternoon of March 13. He was severely beaten about his head and his throat had been slashed twice, apparently during a robbery. His wife found him unconscious when she returned home 
late in the afternoon. He never regained consciousness, and died after life support measures were halted.
His wallet, a television set and his 1990 Ford Taurus were taken during the incident. As of May 10 no person or persons had been apprehended. 
Mr. Begnaud had served on many committees of the Society. He always helped with the annual meeting and show in Lafayette. 
He grew up in the family coffee business and later worked in the land-lease business for an oil company. During the oil slump in South Louisiana, he trained as a licensed practical nurse, at which job he was working at the time of his death. 
Kay Nelson KeppelKay Nelson-Keppel passed away late on the night of August 7, 1994. 
Kay was previously awarded the Distinguished Service Medal by AIS and in 1994 she was honored with the highest honor in AIS, the Gold Medal, for her many years of dedicated service. Kay first began working with AIS counting ballots when her father, J. Arthur Nelson, was AIS Awards Chairman. She went on to work as her fathers' assistant when he became editor of the Bulletin of AIS. In 1973 Kay was named Advertising Editor and Registrar. She continued serving in both position until her death.

Ila Nunn

Ila (Mrs.Stayton) Nunn of Houston, Texas died on June 18, 1998 at the age of 96. She had been an active member of the Society for Louisiana Irises and the American Iris Society for over 40 years. She also belonged to several AIS Sections and she was a contributor to the book, The World of Irises. She was part of the group in Houston that organized the Spuria Iris Society. 
Ila gave numerous lectures on irises, especially Louisianas, to garden groups. She was active in the Texas Regional (R17) AlS organization and served as Vice President from 1957 to 1960. She was elected to the Board of the Society for Louisiana Irises in 1960, and Vice-President in 1962. She was awarded the SLI Service Award in 1962 for her work promoting Louisiana irises in 
the American Iris Society and through the Garden Club of Houston's annual bulb mart each fall. 

William Dean Lee (1917 – 1999)
William Dean LeeDean Lee, 81, died on January 6, 1999. Dean had belonged to the Society for Louisiana Irises for more than 45 years and also belonged to the American Iris Society, where he was a Life Member and a Senior Judge. He attended all the SLI meetings and often judged at the annual SLI show. He also attended many of the annual AIS conventions. 

Richard "Dick" Butler SrThe Society for Louisiana Irises lost a dedicated and productive member with the death September 13, 1999 of Richard Colburn Butler, Sr.(1910 - 1999) of Little Rock, Arkansas. An SLI member since the 1960s, Dick grew large numbers of Louisiana irises, shared them with individuals and organizations throughout the nation, and also tried his hand at hybridizing. 

by M. D. Faith*
Henry RowlanHenry Rowlan 1920-1999), two-time winner of the Mary Swords DeBaillon Medal and a past president of SLI, passed away September 4, 1999, in Little Rock, Arkansas. A celebrated hybridizer and a friend to iris lovers everywhere, Henry also served his country well and with honor. Born November 17, 1920, he was in the prime age bracket to serve in World War II and the Korean War, which he did with distinction in the Army Air Force. He won the Air Medal with two oak leaf clusters while accumulating more than 13,000 flying hours as an aerial engineer, the European Theater Medal with two bronze stars, and the World War II Victory Medal. 

Bettye Qualls ShaverBettye Qualls Shaver - 1926-1999 
One remembers her amid welcoming brightness. Bettye Shaver of Sherwood, Arkansas, met the world with a gold butterfly pinned to her shoulder, and sent good will before her, everywhere she went. Candy and giggling tagged along, and her iris friends knew adventure was never far behind.