Zelma Patchin of Stillwater, OK, and formerly of Lafayette, LA, died in the  fall of 2000 at the age of 91.

Ed Ostheimer who lived from 1940 to 2002.

Ed Ostheimer, a past president of the Society for Louisiana Irises and co-owner with his wife Rusty of Bois d' Arc Gardens in Shriever, Louisiana, died on July 22, 2002 as the result of an automobile accident.

Ed was a longtime member of SLI, served as president from 1986 to 1987, and was an AIS judge. With Rusty, he regularly attended all the SLI Lafayette conventions, brought many irises to shows for all to enjoy, and was an exceedingly valued member of the Society who will be sorely missed.

Sam Norris of Owensboro, Kentucky, passed away on November 19, 2002. Sam will be missed by many areas of the Horticultural Community. His contributions to so many societies and associations has earned him our gratitude and admiration.

Mary G. Sullivan of Scotland, Arkansas died on January 24,2003. Her tenure in SLI was short but important. Mary could be seen in the gardens in Lafayette during the 2001 SLI Convention with her AIS Judges Handbook in hand. She did garden and exhibition training in the gardens and at the show during the convention. These training sessions helped her fulfill her requirements to become an Accredited AIS Judge.

SLI members who know and love the beautiful pink Louisiana iris named 'Aunt Shirley' (Mertzweiller 90) will be saddened to learn that its namesake, Mrs. Shirley Caillet Welch of Little Elm, Texas died in March at the age of 99. Mrs. Welch was the sister of SLI founding member and leader Miss Marie Caillet.

The iris world lost another dedicated and prolific iris hybridizer with the death of Marvin Granger of Lake Charles, Louisiana. Marvin died May 11, 2003 after an operation and other health problems. He leaves many devoted nieces and nephews and many iris friends with whom he talked or corresponded for over 50 years.

Helene MertzweillerNot all SLI members are officers in the Society, nor are they Newsletter writers or iris hybridizers. Many members come to activities to meet with friends, look at the irises in tour gardens, and enjoy the fun or just to support a spouse. All of this applied to our late friend and SLI member, Helene Mertzweiller. She was more interested in cutting and arranging flower stalks than in growing them, but she was a true supporter of the Society activities and the Louisiana irises themselves.

As I read the article in the recent Newsletter by Robert Treadway titled "Oh Iris, Where Art Thou," when I read where he said he had never gotten to know the man Marvin Granger, my thought was, "Oh, what a loss!" To never get to indulge in a cup of his dripped coffee and a piece of his peanut butter pie, to never have gotten to know this kind, gentle, funny witty person! There are thousands of people who cross our paths in a year, having the open garden and
being involved in plant societies, pottery, etc., that we are involved with.

Mrs. Minnie Colquitt who died at the age of 100 in 2004

by Marie Caillet

Mrs. Walter C. "Minnie" Colquitt died at the age of 100 on March 10, 2004 at a Shreveport, La. nursing home. Minnie was a charter member of the Society for Louisiana Irises-and an active worker in the early years. She served on the board and then as president in 1951. She joined the American Iris Society in 1938 and began taking an active part as recorder and later registrar. She also began attending conventions and SLI meetings, usually coming a day or so ahead to dig in the swamps.

by Tom W. Dillard

The Society for Louisiana Irises lost a valued member with the death on June 18,2004 of Lynn Rae Finkel, age 60, of Battle Ground, Washington. She died of cancer.

Born on January 9, 1944 in Maryland, Lynn was the daughter of Dorothy and Joseph Kaplan. She was the second of three children, and the family moved to the west coast when Lynn was five years of age. She grew up in the Los Angeles area, and graduated from Venice High School in 1960.

Photograph of Lynn Finkel

Thank you Heather Pryor for dedicating your well deserved DeBallion Medal to Lynn's memory. It's a great tribute to her. Thank you to Paul Gossett for allowing me to spend a few moments talking about Lynn's history in the iris world. She had a strong connection to both the SLI and Region 15 and so it is particularly appropriate to speak of it here.

She was always mildly interested in gardening and always had a few bearded irises in the garden. One in particular that her mom had given her, an old brown one, went with us as we moved around Southern California.

Picture of Donald CopenhaverDonald Copenhaver of DeRidder, La. died recently. Don is fondly recalled by SLI members who occasionally visited the Copenhaver farm and garden during annual convention bus tours. They were perfect hosts.

Don was a potter, in addition to being a retired dairy farmer, and examples of his ceramic pieces could be found in his garden. Don is survived by his wonderful spouse, Nita Copenhaven. Don and Nita have always been generous in donating Louisiana iris rhizomes for sale at the annual convention.