Home Page
Missoula Iris Society Newsletter - November 2009



Here is the newsletter for November. Looks like winter has descended upon us. Tis the season, I guess. Get ready for the holidays now, rah, rah!


Pete Addeo, Webmaster
Missoula Iris Society


DATE & TIME: SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 7TH, 6:30 pm. Meeting and Potluck dinner begins at 6:30 p.m

PLACE:   Home of Leona Wyckoff, 5360 Goodan Lane, Call 721-3426 for further information.

PROGRAM:  None reported to us.




AGENDA ITEMS: We aren't sure, but usually the November meeting includes presentation of the slate of officers for 2010, selection of an audit committee, and presentation of the budget for 2010.

CHANGE OF ADDRESS: Ron Dunn has moved to Hunter's Glen

Christmas Party: Billie Gray will host the Christmas Party again this year on Sunday, December 6th beginning at 4:00 p.m. Come early if you wish. Billie will prepare the turkey and asks that you call her and leave a message about what you are bringing.

Don't forget to start shopping for the perfect garden related Christmas gift. For new members, following is the criteria for the gift exchange. It's a lot of fun

Everyone brings a wrapped gift (up to $12.00 value) and we put all the gifts in the center of the room and then pick numbers to see who goes first. The #1 person gets to pick any gift from the pile. The gift is opened for all to see. Then the #2 person in line can pick the gift that #1 picked or pick from the stack and the same goes for each one thereafter. If you pick one of the opened gifts, then that person now can pick someone else’s gift or from the stack. The limit is 3 times for any one gift to own. There is a lot of heavy duty trading between everyone and the laughs just keep coming. It is a great end to a wonderful year with our friends and members

It's Their Birthday!!....Let's Give 'Em a Cheer!!!

Happy day to Donna Dowell - November 3rd, Steve Hesla – November 6th, and Eleanor Utech – November 21st. Happy Birthday to each of you.


OCTOBER 2009 TREASURERS REPORT as of October 22, 2009. 

Pursuant from a review of my checkbook register on October 13, a mathematical error of plus 10 cents was detected in the month of August. This error increases the reported balance to $3,969.00 from $3,680.90 which then affects the Sept 23 balance by the same error  to give a corrected balance to $3,840.25. Thus here is the October report.  


CHECKING ACCOUNT:  Sept 23 balance $3840.25 ,  income is $29.00, and the expenses were $279.22  leaving an October 22 balance of $3,590.03.  The income was from sale of 50 plant markers for $20.00 and Judy Blunt membership for $9.00.  Expenses paid for the past month were $83.20 to Marchies Nursery to buy soil to plant the new irises; $72.09 to Billie Gray for Fort Garden materials to plant these irises; $83.75 to Betty Ann Gustafson for sunshine gifts to Donna Dowell and for Rosemary Baier's memorial service and family; $40.18 to Alverta Symes for card file materials.; total expenses paid $279.22.

SAVINGS ACCOUNT:  Sept report income was $5,606.86. At the end of Sept an interest income of $2.08 was credited to our account leaving a balance of $5,608.94.

It time for the membership to discuss and create a budget for 2010.  I will have some numbers to present at the meeting. I will begin collecting dues for 2010 at the November meeting.  The value is $9.00 unless it is changed at the November meeting.  It is my desire to have ALL members paid up by the February 2010 meeting because the annual iris show schedule has to be turned in by the end of February .  The show schedule committee always does a dancing act trying to find out  how many members are paid, especially the AIS members, for the report the need to submit.  In order to facilitate this process, I will send out a notice in December to all people on the current membership list who did not pay at the November or December meetings. Trust you will all pay up early.

Swede Gustafson, Treasurer



Members of the iris society were saddened to learn of the passing of Rosemary Baier a long time member of the society. Following is the obituary from The Missoulian:

Rosemary 'Pumpkin' Luedecke Baier

MISSOULA - Rosemary 'Pumpkin' Luedecke Baier of Missoula passed away Monday, Oct. 5, 2009, after a long struggle with breast and ovarian cancer. She died at her home surrounded by her family and neighbors. Rosie just hosted her 68th birthday on Sept. 5 and her 44th wedding anniversary on Sept. 25.

Rosemary was born in Hamilton to Frank and Helen Luedecke where she lived on Dutch Hill and attended school in Corvallis. Soon after graduation she moved to Missoula where she met Kenneth Baier. They married in 1964 and the couple has resided in East Missoula most of their married life.

When remembering Rosie, most people will remember her great entertaining and her love of the holidays and family traditions. She was the best witch on Halloween and had a Halloween village with more than 65 houses and a Halloween tree better than most of our Christmas trees. Rosie was also enthusiastic about Christmas. She decorated her house with 7 theme trees, her favorite being her "travel tree". Rosie placed ornaments on her trees she collected from her many trips and life adventures, from Paris to Alaska and down to Panama where she and Ken recently cruised through the canal. Cruising sparked an interest in ballroom dancing and she and Ken spent many hours dancing. Rosie vacationed in Mexico and was even once seen parasailing.

Rosemary owned and operated the Flower Haus in Lolo for many years where she enjoyed floral arranging and chatting with her customers. After her reoccurrence of cancer, she sold the store to retire. However, her love for people and flowers caused her to return part time at Caras Nursery where she worked up until this summer. She recently had many thoughts for her friends whom are now setting up for the Christmas season. Rosemary always lived her life to the fullest and was happy to share her love with anyone accepting.

Rosemary was preceded in death by her parents Frank L. and Helen L. Luedecke; her brother David L. Luedecke; and her brother-in-law Gordon Buckallew. She is survived by her husband Kenneth W. Baier; her daughter Kelly Etzel and husband Rob; her son Stacey Baier, two sisters, Barbara Buckallew and Martha Nielsen; six grandchildren and six great-granchildren.

The family suggests that memorials be made in Rosemary's name to Partners in Home Care; 2687 Palmer St, Suite F, Missoula, MT 59808. Condolences may be left for the family at www.dalyleachchapel.com.

Excerpts from a feature story in The Missoulian on October 19, 2009:

EAST MISSOULA - Come All Hallows Eve, the monsters will not meet on Montana Avenue, as they have in years gone by. And the spindly dead branches of the Halloween Tree will not be decked in orange and black. And the worms, the wriggly treats doled out to tricksters, well, this year a 20-pound bucket will have to do, instead of the usual 35-pounder.
Because Pumpkin is gone.

"It's hard to imagine Halloween without her," said husband Ken Baier. "She was the best witch you've ever seen - green face and everything."  Rosemary Luedecke Baier - "Pumpkin" to friends and family - died Oct. 5, not a month short of her

very favorite holiday. It was a month after her 68th birthday and a week after her 44th anniversary and far, far too soon by any measure.

"To me," Ken said, "there were girls, and there were broads, and there were women, and there were ladies. And she was a lady. Definitely a lady."

Elegant and graceful, but tough enough that life's rough edges didn't leave many marks. Generous and giving, but brooking no nonsense. Known for flowers and beauty, and most of all for living life large. "She never did anything halfway," laughed daughter Kelly Etzel. "If she was going to do it, she was going to do it grand."

That explains, perhaps, those 13 life-sized monsters that lurked in her yard every autumn. And the Halloween Tree, dry branches hung with ornaments from far and wide. And "Creepy Hollow," the Halloween village - a sepulchral twist on the snow-covered village under the Christmas tree - with 65 gloomy houses populated by small and somber people.
"She loved it," Ken said. "one year, we had 450 trick-or-treaters."  That equals about 40 pounds of gummy worms.

Pumpkin was born Sept. 5, 1941, down in Hamilton, to a dad who worked the woods and a mom who kept the kids. She was the oldest of four, and there wasn't much money.

"I don't suppose it was what you'd call the easy life," Ken said. "But it was happy."

She graduated from high school, "piddled around a little bit," married young, had a daughter, divorced, took a job tending bar. That's where Ken met her. He was shy, she was not, and they married a month after they met. She brought a daughter and together they had a son, "and she started us traveling right off the bat."

All through the region, up to Alaska, down into Mexico, out into the Caribbean, to Panama and Paris, and points beyond. Wherever she went, Ken said, she took her sharp wit, her quick comebacks, her never-ending search for something more and better.

She was the kind of person, said friend Mary Murphy, who saw the glass as half-full, but who "knew there was more to life than having a half glass. She wanted a full glass, all the time."  From her backyard iris gardens to the Louvre, Rosie sought beauty the way hungry people seek nourishment. She brought back from her travels hundreds of holiday ornaments, and soon she and Ken needed a second Christmas tree to hold the delicate, glass blown memories. Then a third and a fourth.

"We have seven Christmas trees now," Ken said, including one he hangs upside-down from the ceiling, "just because."
If Pumpkin had been decorating for the sake of decorating, Murphy said, the monsters and baubles might have gone over the top, somewhere into the not-so-rarified realm of kitsch.

But she didn't do that, Murphy said, because for her the holidays had deeper roots.
"She loved family more than anyone I've ever know." daughter Kelly said. The decorations were for holidays, and holidays were for gathering, and gathering was for family, and so all that pomp was, in the end, just a way to get the kids to come around and be together.

Rosie was a sewer, and a crotchetier, and a knitter, and a grower of wonderful flowers. A master garden judge, owner of Lolo's Flower Haus, shower of Afghan hounds. A business woman, a laugher, a spur-of-the-moment para sailor. Cooker of fine meals, collector of fine friends, center of girls' day out. Loved cowboy theater and mystery novels and fine art.
She was convinced she could do anything, and taught her kids the same. They caller her "the giving tree."

When it came to cake (and often it did), she ate the frosting first. When a grandson called her Pumpkin, she wore the name 30 years and more with pride. When niece Julie Patterson saw a pricey prom dress in the store window, Rosie took a look, made some notes, sewed her a replica. When cancer treatment claimed her hair, she went bald, because bald was honest-but she was pleased when it all grew back.

Outgoing, active, game for what's next. Fun and fearless, accepting but hopeful. Extravagant, with the emphasis on extra.
When she knew the cancer had her, she'd tell her daughter, "I'm not worried about dying; I'm worried about living. I have to live the best I can."


Minutes:  October 3, 2009


The meeting, held in the home of Swede and Betty Ann Gustafson, was called to order by President Ron Dowell.  Both the September 12th minutes and treasurer’s report were accepted as printed in the October 2009 Falls and Standards with the following corrections:

            Treasurer’s Report – Under Checking Account “expenses” was corrected to read $141.25 and under “expenses paid” the total paid was corrected to read $141.25

            Minutes – The misspelling of Ed Verplancke’s name was corrected.


Old Business


Fort Gardens:  Billie Gray, chair, reported that, with the help of the youth required to do community service, the top dressing of the beds with pea gravel has been completed.  With the kids’ help the new Dykes bed just west of the Big Bed has been dug out and filled with top soil.  Another bed on the north side that starts at the kiosk and includes the bristle cone pine has been dug out and filled with soil.  Edging needs to be installed around both of these new beds.  After the edging in, iris will be planted. The iris will most likely be planted in the spring.


A work party to ready the beds for winter will be called for mid to late October.  An e-mail will be sent out to alert our members.


The secretary, Zona Lindemann, was asked to send a letter of thanks to the youth thanking them for all their help.


Card Party:  Gary Clark agreed to hold the next meeting if it could be held on a Wednesday or Thursday evening.  The larger number of people could participate on a Thursday evening.  The next meeting was set for Thursday, October 15th at 6:00 p.m.  Bob Symes would clear this date with Gary and alert the participants if this was not an available meeting date.  Currently there are over 300 plastic jackets cut and ready to be filled.


Nominating Committee:  Bob and Alverta Symes and Ron Dowell volunteered to serve on the nominating committee.  Swede Gustafson agreed to continue as the treasurer.  Jim Sadler said he was willing to stand as secretary.


Shed:  The trim and painting of the trim are not completed but should be before the end of October.


Sunshine:  Elinor Utech is back in her own living quarters.  She has been diagnosed with colon cancer and has begun chemo.  Rosemary Baier is not doing well and is confined to a hospital bed and wheelchair.* Hospice has been called in.  It was suggested that Ken could use some casseroles or microwave meals while he is caring for Rosemary.


Presidential Rhizome:  Two rhizomes were drawn this month because there was no drawing last month.  The winners are as follows:

            September:  Billie Gray

            October:      Jim Sadler

Bob Symes moved that the meeting be adjourned.  Ed Verplancke seconded the motion and the meeting was adjourned.


Respectfully submitted,

            Zona Lindemann, Secretary


*Rosemary died Monday, October 5, 2009.