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9 The Official Newsletter of the Maine Landscape and Nursery Association Winter 2008

Industry Loses a Friend splendor, love of movies and music, andfondness for the color purple. A devoted
family man, he had a soft spot for children,An internationally renowned horticulturist
especially his four granddaughters, who calledwhose career spanned more than half a
him Beau-Beau.century, Dr. Henry Marcellus Cathey died
Oct. 8 following a long struggle with Dr. Cathey’s involvement with the American
Parkinson’s disease. He was 79 years old. Dr. Horticultural Society began in 1959. He sat on
Cathey served two terms as president of the the AHS Board for 18 years and was also
American Horticultural Society (AHS) and president of the organization twice, from 1974
was a longtime member of the organization’s to 1978, and 1993 to 1997. After his second
Board of Directors. He began his career as a term, he stayed on as AHS president emeritus
researcher for the U.S. Department of until 2005. The many contributions to
Agriculture (USDA), then served as the American horticulture Dr. Cathey made while
director of the U.S. National Arboretum for a with the AHS included serving as editor-in-
decade. He was an author and speaker, a chief of the second edition of The American
frequent guest on national television shows, Horticultural Society A-Z Encyclopedia of
and hosted a radio show for many years. In Garden Plants, published in 2004. He also
his career-long quest to help home gardeners, conceived and developed the AHS Plant Heat
he played a leading role in development of Zone Map, published in 1997, which helps
two important maps widely used as guides to gardeners select plants based on their heat
plant selection. He received numerous awards tolerance. Always ahead of his time, he
and honors from a broad spectrum of U.S. and anticipated the current “green” trend by
international horticultural and floricultural introducing the SmartGarden program, which
groups. focuses on earth-friendly gardening, in 2000.
In 1950, Dr. Cathey received his bachelor’sMarc Cathey was a leading figure in the
degree in floriculture from North CarolinaAmerican horticulture industry for most of his
State University, then went on to earn hiscareer,” says AHS President Emeritus Katy
master’s and doctorate in horticulture fromMoss Warner. “He was brilliant in every
Cornell University. In 1956 Dr. Catheysense of the word, incredibly smart, a bright
became a research horticulturist at theshining light, and a man of remarkable
USDA’s Agricultural Research Service inprofessional and personal accomplishments.
Beltsville, Maryland, where he worked for 24His passionate belief that plants and gardens
years. During his term as director of the U.S.are critical to human well-being is reflected in
National Arboretum, starting in 1981, hishis signature line, ‘Green is the color of
notable accomplishments included thehope.’ He will be deeply missed by his
installation of the National Capital Columns infamily, friends, and colleagues.”
1990, and the publication of the current
version of the USDA Plant Hardiness ZoneDr. Cathey combined scientific brilliance with
a colorful personality and a zest for life. His Map, released in 1990.
ground-breaking research on how to use Dr. Cathey is survived by his wife, Mary, two
artificial lighting to control bloom time for children, and four grandchildren. Memorial
plants is still benefiting commercial services are being arranged for Dr. Cathey in
horticulturists and gardeners. He was both North Carolina and Washington, D.C. At
generous in sharing his knowledge and the request of his family, memorials in Dr.
passion for horticulture and became a mentor Cathey’s honor may be sent to the American
for hundreds of people, many of whom have Horticultural Society, the Davidson College
gone on to become leaders in horticulture and Presbyterian Church, or the Residence
floriculture today. Among his peers and Assistance Fund at the Pines of Davidson.
friends he was well known for his sartorial
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