ADS Executive Director

Sorry at the beginning of spring

February 9, 2018

Categories: American Daffodil Society, Daffodil Enthusiasts, General

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Good morning
It came to my attention last night that we lost 2 long time members of the Daffodil world. We are deeply saddened to learn about the passing of Walter Blom and Cristine Hanenkrat.

We were saddened to learn about Cristine Hanenkrat of West Liberty, OH. Cristine was one of our oldest members of the American Daffodil Society. Our records show that she joined the ADS in April of 1963. She was a judge. She was 102 when she passed away! Mary Lou Gripshover and some local members who knew Cristine best will be posting more here in DaffNet as well as in the March Journal.

I spoke with Steve Vinisky last evening who told me that Walter Blom passed away late last week. He was 88. Steve passed on many colorful stories about Walter’s life. He was 88.

Walter was part of a multi generational bulb growing and selling family from the Netherlands. Many will know Walter as the family member who helped rebuild his family’s huge business after WWII when the Germans all but completely destroyed their business and home. Walter was known around the world. In fact, one of the most colorful stories about Walter is not about bulbs but cut flower Orchids. This story illustrates his business savvy.

I was especially surprised to learn of his influence after the war and his relationship with some of the giants who promoted daffodils around the world. Did you know that it was he who helped pick out Tahiti 4Y-O and brought it in to the US? A quick search of DaffSeek shows he is credited with well over 100 registered cultivars. Steve said that he was one of those early hybridizers,along with Grant Mitsch and others, who bought hundreds of species examples, selected the best of the species and then began hybridizing with these strong genes. Steve said that is why hybridizers like Walter was so successful. . . they had great genes to start with, the space to devote to long crosses and the patience to select only the best for registration.

We will miss Walter. Steve has said that while Walter had been moving most of his unique collection back to the family bulb company now run by his son. He does plan and hopes to put together a memorial collection he hopes to have available through Cherry Creek this coming fall. Steve has promised to send me some images of Walter’s introductions I will post here or send on to DaffSeek.


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2 Responses to Sorry at the beginning of spring

  1. Phyllis Hess, Ohio
    Phyllis Hess, Ohio
    February 10, 2018 at 12:45 pm

    So very sorry to learn of 2 more legends passing. My sympathy to their families.


  2. ADS Executive Director
    ADS Executive Director
    February 10, 2018 at 4:14 pm

    Here are a few images Steve Vinisky sent of Walter and a couple of his Daffodils, raised seedling bed and Erythronium seedlings