published December 28, 2011
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Cattleya Granier's Blue Elegance 'Jewel' AM/AOS.
Photo by Theresa Riggs
Ervin Louis Granier, Jr.
Ervin passed away on Wednesday, December 14, 2011 at age 75. He was born in Edgard, La. and lived there for 23 years before moving to Baton Rouge, La. where he spent the remainder of his 52 years. He was a graduate of LSU, Baton Rouge campus, with a Bachelors in Chemistry. He retired from Ciba Geigy/Syngenta and began his orchid hobby in 1987. His specific area of interest was breeding blue cattleyas and he received over 65 AOS awards for them and was regarded as the authority. Ervin was a member of the Baton Rouge Orchid Society and Southwest Regional Orchid Growers Association and for a time served SWROGA as chair of the Conservation Committee. He was a popular speaker and frequently lectured at orchid societies sharing his wealth of knowledge about growing and breeding orchids. He was also an avid clock collector.
Ervin Granier at the Shreveport OS Show in 1999. Photo Courtesy Orchid Safari.
Albert L Gugeler
Albert Gugeler, Judge Emeritus from the Great Lakes Judging Center, passed away suddenly on December 13, 2011. Al was born and raised in Burlington, Iowa, where he grew up on a large farm. He attended Iowa State University and received a Bachelor of Science degree in ceramic engineering. This eventually brought him to Cleveland, OH, where he began a long career with the Ferro Corporation. Often his job entailed travel out of the country and over the years he was able to see much of the world. Al had a keen interest in many varied disciplines, including plants, unique exotic cultures and operatic music. Al soon discovered his first orchid plant, which he was able to grow under lights in his apartment, and the passion soon grew to include many more plants. Eventually his orchids outgrew his apartment, and he moved to a house where he was able to construct a greenhouse to contain the ever increasing orchid collection. The next logical step was joining the Greater Cleveland and West Shore Orchid Societies where he was soon exhibiting his plants and constructing society displays. Much later, when the Greater Akron Orchid Society formed, he was right on board. He would serve as President multiple times for both Greater Cleveland and West Shore Orchid Societies and remained active in both his entire life. He joined the American Orchid Society in 1969 and ten years later made the decision to become a student judge, with the help of local orchid judge and friend Margaret Brown. Up until that time, Margaret willingly traveled from Cleveland to the nearest judging center in St. Louis, MO, every month. Al was able to take advantage of the newly created judging center in Ann Arbor, MI, reducing the drive to three hours each way. He became a fully accredited judge in March of 1985 and later served as chairman for the Great Lakes Judging Region from 1994 to 1999. Until his passing he was involved in many committees within his Center, including Ways and Means, Audit, and Nomination. He was a Trustee for the American Orchid Society from 1995 through 2001, and chaired the combined AOS Trustees Meeting and the Mid- America Orchid Congress in Cleveland, OH, in 1995. He served on the AOS Affiliated Societies Committee and, at the time of his death, was on the AOS Library and Archives Committee. He often participated in the Committee’s “work weeks” at the AOS Headquarters. He frequently attended meetings of the Mid-America Orchid Congress.
Al often took advantage of opportunities to visit exotic locations to observe and judge orchids. While he was chairman of many local orchid shows, he loved the chance to do the same for distant shows as well and had a special passion for the beautiful show held each year in Coban, Guatemala. He traveled to Guatemala more than a dozen times over the years and developed a great knowledge of and appreciation for the beautiful plants and people who reside there.
Al grew species primarily, but from time to time included special hybrids in his plant collection. Over the years if someone might drop in on Al’s greenhouse they would find a great many meticulously groomed, blooming orchids, which included Oncidium, Catesetum, Phragmipidium, Pleurothallids, Cattleya, and Lycaste. He had many AOS cultural and quality awards and was often seen carting large specimen plants as well as tiny mounted exotic orchids to local society meetings or monthly judgings. His interest in plants did not pertain to orchids exclusively; his yard was always impeccably manicured with unique and beautiful plant specimens that made the view from his back window look like a scene from a botanical garden.
Al leaves behind sisters Alice Burgess and Ruth Larson, many nieces and nephews, and many work and orchid friends. His enthusiasm, dedication and passion for orchids have made a lasting impression on the orchid community, and his contributions will be missed.
Here are a few of Al's awarded plants
|Onc. Jorge Verboonen 'Brunswick' AM/AOS
||Onc. Tiger Glow 'Brunswick' HCC/AOS
||Orcp. iridifolius 'Edna' CCM/AOS