published August 18, 2011

Browse News Archive Here

James Frank Fordyce

Cattleya Circle of Life 'Heart's Desire' AM/AOS. Photo: Charles Rowden.

James Frank Fordyce, passed away on August 17, 2011, after a brief illness, at the age of 87. Frank was one of the orchid world's most revered and iconic figures. He is survived by his wife of sixty-six years, Virginia "Madge", his daughter, Lila Susan "Sue", and his son James Stephen "Steve". Frank and Madge were childhood sweethearts, having known each other for eighty years. During his military service in WWII, Frank was captured by the enemy and was a POW from 1943-1945. In 1946, he began his career in orchids that spanned the remainder of his life when he was hired by Mr. Fred Stewart of Stewart Orchids. Frank worked at Stewart's from 1946 until 1960, when he opened his own orchid business in Oceanside, California. In 1970, he closed his business and began a ten year career with the Rod McLellan Company. In 1980, Frank and his able partner, Madge maintained their "Orchid Ranch" business in Livermore, California, until it was closed in 2006. Frank Fordyce was one of the most gifted hybridizers of cattleyas and his legacy continues to glean countless awards to the present day. A private interment will be held in Livermore. However, a "Celebration of the Life of Frank Fordyce and his Passion for Orchids," will be held on Saturday, September 17, 2001, at the Trinity Baptist Church, 557 Olivevina Avenue, Livermore, California, at 1:00PM, with a reception and buffet dinner following. All are invited to attend this public tribute to the life of a legend in the world of orchids.

Jeff Bradley
Houston, Texas

Frank Fordyce with his friend, Ernest Hetherington,
at Orchid Digest Speakers Day, 2010.

David H. Brown Ph.D.

David H. Brown, Ph.D., died on June 13, 2011. Dr. Brown was president of the American Orchid Society 1982-1984. He began growing orchids in 1938, as a 17-year-old, in Altadena, California where his initial collection consisted of species imported from Mexico and grown under lath. He later became fascinated with cymbidiums, then paphiopedilums. Brown was instrumental in founding the Missouri Orchid Society and, in 1959, the first Mid-America Orchid Congress. He was a Certified Judge of the American Orchid Society and the Orchid Digest Corporation. He was also involved with structuring the World Orchid Conferences. Brown, along with Bob Scully, was one of two WOC trustees appointed by the AOS in 1988.In Dr. Brown's memory, memorial contributions may be made to Washington University School of Medicine, 660 South Euclid, St. Louis, MO 63110 or The American Orchid Society, 16700 AOS Lane, Delray Beach, FL 33446.