In Memorium, Frederick W. Case, Jr.
by Anton "Tony" Reznicek <firstname.lastname@example.org
With great sadness, I must inform you of the passing of one of our eminent members, Fred Case on Jan. 12, 2011.
Fred was a dedicated high school teacher, who inspired students to study plants, establishing a number of them on botanical and horticultural careers. He was active his entire life in conservation, and served on the Board of Trustees of the Nature Conservancy of Michigan, as well as a long time member of the advisory committee for Michigan's Threatened and Endangered Species law.
Fred's wonderful garden, created over many years, with much help from his wife Roberta ("Boots") who passed away in 1998, was full of remarkable and beautiful plants. It was a Mecca for gardeners from throughout the world. He grew an enormous diversity of plants, but his first love was native species of our wonderful eastern woodlands, especially Trilliums, and our bog plants, especially orchids and pitcher plants. In addition to working in his garden, Fred also loved seeing plants in nature, and spent as much time as he could every summer studying orchids, trilliums, pitcher plants, alpines, and anything else that interested him in the wild.
Fred was a great photographer, and a superb speaker, much in demand internationally. His lectures were diverse, on topics including wildflowers, trilliums, orchids, western American alpines, woodland plants, and bog plants, among others. They always generated enthusiasm, were filled with original information, and never too short. He was always willing to speak to NARGS chapters and spoke at several Annual Meetings, always skillfully using two projectors.
We owe to Fred a number of highly regarded books. His first and probably best known book was Orchids of the Western Great Lake Region, first published in 1964, with a revised edition in 1987. In 1978, we saw Wildflowers of the Northeastern States, in the Wildflowers of the United States Color Slide Series from the New York Botanical Gardens. The text was accompanied by 35 mm slides, and this is now somewhat of a collectors item. Wildflowers of the Western Great Lakes Region (1999), with James R. Wells and T. Lawrence Mellichamp, was a more complete and modern rendition. Best known to NARGS members was his 1997 book Trilliums
, coauthored with Roberta, which was an instant classic. All his books included much horticultural as well as botanical information.
Fred also wrote a number of articles for the Rock Garden Quarterly, including, among others, Growing Native Orchids (Vol. 39), Carnivorous plants for Bog Gardens (Vol. 50), and Trillium grandiflorum, forms, doubles, and diseases (Vol. 52). Fred was awarded the Edgar T. Wherry Award in 1974 and the Carleton R. Worth Award in 1997 for his contributions to the society, which also included serving as the President of the Great Lakes Chapter from 2005-2007.
In 2004, he was awarded the Scott Medal and Award for contributions to American horticulture by the Scott Foundation in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, one of the most prestigious honors in American horticulture.
So many NARGS members remember Fred for his mentoring and kindness to beginning rock gardeners, his willingness to open his magnificent garden to tours and individual visitors, his support of our local chapter with wonderful plants at donated to our the plant sale, and his generosity with his knowledge of all things natural. We will miss him greatly.
The following is a link to the funeral home with details of the service: