by Tom Dillard

Society members will be saddened to learn of the death of one of our long time member, Russell Bourque of the Lafayette, La. area. Russell was the husband of Elaine Bourque, the long-time treasurer of the Society and he was always helping out at SLI conventions and other events. He was only 66 years of age when he died peacefully on May 3, 2007 at the Heart Hospital of Lafayette.

Photograph of Roberta Rowell Killingsworth

Roberta Rowell Killingsworth, mother of Society leaders Bobbie Ann Killingsworth Schikowitz and Ron Killingsworth, died at her home in Mooringsport, LA, on April 16, 2007.

by Tom Dillard

Monte Stahl, secretary of the Society for Louisiana Irises until her recent resignation, died on June 2, 2008. Her irises had bloomed, and she was ready to move on to a garden more promising. Born to Florence and Dave Henderson, on November 2, 1946, in Oklahoma City, Monte lived and gardened here all her life. She attended Oklahoma University, graduating with a degree in psychology. She worked in the Sleep Lab of Presbyterian Hospital for nine years.

Picture of Marie Caillet of Little Elm, TX, ca 2000

Godmother of Louisiana Irises was 94, by Richard Sloan

Marie Caillet has died at age 94. She had been declining for a while, and death came on Thursday, May 20, 2010. She was a founder of the Society for Louisiana Irises (SLI), and for decades the contact of the Society with the public. She published many articles in gardening magazines, was editor of the society newsletter for two decades, and she collaborated with Joe Mertzweiller in publishing a number of special publications and articles about Louisiana irises, and the first hard bound book on the topic. She later worked with Kevin Vaughan, Farron Campbell, and Dennis Vercher to publish the second edition. She carried on extensive correspondence with anyone who inquired about the irises and many of the interesting short articles in her newsletters resulted from that correspondence.

Picture of Joyce B. Arny of Lafayette, LA, who died in 2011Joyce B. Amy, of Lafayette, LA, died August 19, 2011 at Cornerstone South after a long battle with Alzheirner 's. Many members of the Society for Louisiana Irises will recall Joyce and her late husband, Charles W. Amy.

by Marie Caillet

 Photograph of Barbara F. NelsonBarbara F. Nelson died on Dec. 13,2010 in Collinsville, Ala. Mrs. Nelson was active in the Society for Louisiana Irises since its founding. She was the widow of a leading scientist who was also a pioneer in working with Louisiana irises. The daughter of Leah and James Furnas, Barbara was born Sept. 21, 1913 in Shawnee, OK. Reared in Wichita, Kan., she was a graduate of Friends University in that city. Prior to her marriage she was a secretary with Cessna Aviation and an all American basketball player.

Adell Rowell Tingle Remembered by Bobbie Ann Hutchins

Picture of Adell Rowell Tingle

We are very sad to report that our beloved "Auntie A," Adell Rowell Tingle, went to the great Louisiana Iris Fields in the sky on May 16, 2012, at the age of 91. She was born in Jamestown, La. on February 1, 1921. She was about the middle of a brood of 12 children who grew up on a self-sufficient cotton farm that was worked by all those kids!    She married James Junior Tingle when they were both 16, and they brought in their own cotton crop that year with the help of a borrowed mule. The next year, they brought in the crop with their firstborn, Jeanette, in a laundry basket at the end of the cotton rows, guarded by "Teddy Bear," the terrier mutt.


Picture of Richard Morgan who died in 2013A major era in Louisiana iris hybridizing in Arkansas ended with the death of Richard Morgan on August 9, 2013. He was the last living Arkansas hybridizer that had worked in the Chowning tradition of producing cold hardy Louisiana irises by including Iris fulva species native to Arkansas and existing Chowning hybrids in the his hybridizing program.

p>Picture of Melody WilhoitThe Iris World suffered a tremendous loss with the death of Melody Ruth Wilhoit of Kansas, Illinois. Melody died on June 21, 2014 at the age of 66. She leaves behind her husband Jerry their two sons, Justin and Jason and their extended families. She was born on July 14, 1947 in Paris, IL and lived her entire life in east central Illinois. She married Jerry on September 30, 1967 and built a house on 20 acres southeast of Kansas, Illinois where they would eventually establish Red Bud Lane Iris Garden.

Picture of M.D. Fiath who died in 2013The iris world lost a dedicated irisarian and hybridizer with the death of Marvin Dean Faith of Searcy, Arkansas on July 10, 2013. He left a relatively large volume of iris cultivars including many American Iris Society award winners including two Mary Sword Debaillon Medal winners.

M.D., as he was more commonly known, was born on November 5th, 1925 in Camden, Arkansas. Most of his life was spent in White County in and around Searcy where he made his last home and garden with his wife, June.

Sidney Conger was very active in the Society for Louisiana Iries (SLI) in the 50's, 60's and 70's.  By profession he was the owner of Conger's Funeral Home in Arcadia, LA.  Sidney was the son of Inez Conger.  Inez was close friends with Caroline Dormon and the early organizers of SLI. Sidney registered 29 Louisiana irises and named several of them for his friends within SLI. At a SLI meeting in Lafayette he met Bette Lee Davis, the daughter of Claude Davis.  Sidney and Bette Lee later married and lived in Arcadia, LA, until Sidney died. Over the years, his registered irises won 9 Honorable Mentions. “Marie Caillet” won the Mary Swords DeBaillon Award in 1970. “Mulberry Mousse” (1957) is one of the early registered irises that showed “veining” and is one of my Conger favorites. “Caroginia” (1956) was obviously one of his favorites and is used in three of his registered irises as the “pod parent” and one other iris as the “pollen parent”.