Faenelia Hicks and Laurel Bridgman at an SLI Board Meeting in 1980
Laurel Bridgman, a long time member of the Society, died on January 1st, 2001, in Houston, TX. Laurel would have been 76 in February of this year, but had been ill for many years.

Faenelia Hicks and Laurel Bridgman at an SLI Board Meeting in 1980
Faenelia Hicks of Lafayette, LA died January 25, 2001 at the age of 81.

Larry Harder of Ponco City, Nebraska, died in September of 2000 after a long illness.

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.