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”.