The Tulsa Area Iris Society presents an award (when worthy) to the Best Louisiana iris specimen in our Spring Iris Show. The award was started in 1991 and the trophy, which remains at the Tulsa Garden Center, was donated by Dorothy C. Howard. Along with the award, a monetarily gift certificate is awarded.

Dorothy at one time was growing a very large number of Louisiana Irises and loved to show them in our shows. She won the Best Specimen of Show Award many times with Louisiana Irises and really knew how to display them.

This year I am having a new trophy made to replace the trophy that Dorothy donated, and it will be called the “Best Louisiana Dorothy C. Howard Memorial Trophy”. Before she passed away, she was going to have a new trophy made, so I am doing this in her memory.

Dorothy Howard was the most gracious, kind, helpful, and elegant person I have ever know. She was a very dear friend who is truly missed by me and all the men and women who have ever met and known her. She always had a smile on her face and was always willing to assist and help when ever she was called upon to do so.

Dorothy C. Howard ca 2000Her love of irises, plants, and people always showed in everything she did. She was president of the Tulsa Area Iris Society, show chairman for the Tulsa shows, awarded Emeritus Judge in 1984 for the American Iris Society, a member on the Board of Directors of the American Iris Society from 1978 through 1983 as the Librarian, was awarded the AIS Distinguished Service Award in 1983, was a member on the AIS Foundation Board, and also held several offices in Region 22 of the American Iris Society. She was awarded the Region 22 Betty Emmons Service Award in 1984. In 1985 she was on the panel of judges at the Premio Firenze in Florence, Italy.

She was a mentor to many current American Iris Society judges and was always called upon when question arose concerning irises. She was very willing to share her love for irises with many people – in the plants she gave to us and in the advice and encouragement she gave on growing and showing irises.

Dorothy passed away peacefully on October 17, 2003, in Tulsa, OK, after a brief illness. She was born on January 11th, 1918 in Colton, CA, and she was the only daughter in her family.

By Paul W. Gossett