Each year we lose another of our longtime members until there are few of these members left. We regret the death on July 1, 1989 of one of our oldest and most colorful members, Calvin Blue. Calvin and his wife Inez joined the Society in 1945, soon after it was organized. They with their young daughter Susie came to all the Society functions and were always on hand to greet out-of-towners at the Friday night supper of the annual meeting.

We were all saddened by the death of Rudolph "Rudi" Fuchs on June 8. Although primarily a grower of bearded irises, Rudi had become interested in Louisianas and spurias and grew most of the popular varieties. He had not missed an American Iris Society Convention since the 1974 one in Roanoke, VA and, despite his heart condition, he attended the May 1985 Convention in Indianapolis. 

We regret the loss of one of our Charter Members, Mrs. Chester C. (Hattie) Clark of Shreveport, LA.
 
Hattie died in March 1985.  Her beautiful garden was on tour for the 1951 AIS convention in Shreveport, LA.  Although she was in her 90's, she still worked in her garden and grew many Louisiana irises as well as daylilies, roses, hostas and beautiful green house plants.
Jean Collins of New Zealand, who has belonged to our Society off and on for many years.  She ran a nursery specializing in beardless irises, including the Louisiana irises.
She had served as Secretary-Treasurer of the New Zealand Iris Society from 1972 to 1982.
Dr. George Arceneaux, originally from Lafayette and Homa, LA, but living in Mississippi for the past years has passed away.

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.