R. (Dick) Dunmire
For over a year Western Horticultural
Society's board of directors discussed establishing a Founders
Award to show appreciation to our long time members, whose foresight
and dedication have resulted in the organization we enjoy today.
This project came to fruition when the first Founders Award was
presented to founding member John R. Dunmire (known to all as
Dick Dunmire) at our annual December potluck. He was presented
with a Letter of Appreciation, a vase and an album of significant
events spanning the past forty-one years.
The society was the
brainchild of several nurserymen on the San Francisco Peninsula.
The first organizational meeting was held on March 13, 1962,
at the home of William Schmidt. September 9, 1963, marked the
group's inaugural public meeting at the Los Altos Methodist Church.
The first officers on the board of directors were Bill Schmidt,
John Edwards, and Charles Burr. Committee appointments included
Dick Dunmire, Ralph Bernstein, John Edwards, Albert Wilson and
Its Uenaka. Western Horticultural Society had become the reality
of their vision.
Dick Dunmire received
BA and MA degrees in English literature from Bucknell College,
Pennsylvania, and taught English as a graduate student at Stanford
University. He also taught English literature at the University
of Kansas, before returning to California, where he worked for
Sugawara's Nursery in Los Altos. He was then hired by Sunset
Magazine as editor, retiring from that position in 1989. Dick
edited the Western Garden Book, including its most recent revision,
and wrote many articles for the magazine. Always involved in
the broader horticultural community, Dick has served on the board
of Pacific Horticultural Foundation and, currently, is a volunteer
editor of Pacific Horticulture.
Dick has been actively
participating since Western Hort's founding. His dedication and
commitment has been unlimited, and his vast knowledge of horticulture,
which he freely shares, has been recognized and greatly appreciated.
His spirit has provided the backbone of the organization.
It is with these thoughts
and gratitude to all our dedicated members that the Western Horticultural
Society plans to carry on the Founders Award in some manner in