Photograph of Dennis VercherDennis Vercher, editor of the Society for Louisiana Irises (SLI) Newsletter for seven years in the 1990s, died on September 27,2006, at the age of 53. Vercher died of a lung infection brought on by his 20-year battle with AIDS, which had been complicated by his diagnosis with Hodgkin's lymphoma earlier this year.

A native of Orange, Texas, Vercher attended Lamar University in Beaumont, where he was an outstanding debater. For three years after graduating, he coached the Lamar debate teams. He left Lamar in 1978 to become a radio journalist. In 1981 he moved to Dallas to work in radio. In 1985 Vercher joined the staff of the Dallas Voice, a major gay newspaper, where he was senior editor at the time of his death.

Vercher and his partner Farron Campbell were avid horticulturists. Vercher succeeded Miss Marie Caillet as editor of the Society for Louisiana Irises News letter in 1991, serving until 1999. As a professional journalist and editor, Vercher took the SLI journal to new heights. He assisted in the production and editing ofthe SLI book The Louisiana Iris: The Taming of a Native American Wildflower (Timber Press, 2000). He won the SLI Service Award in 1996.

In addition to Campbell, Vercher is survived by his father, Pete Vercher of Hemphill, Texas, two brothers and sisters-in-law, as well as several nieces aunts, and uncles. He requested that Campbell scatter his ashes at Bridal eil Falls in the Yosemite Valley, California in the spring "when the waterfalls are roaring."