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                        Gardeners of Somerset Valley
October 10, 2018					From: Mitch Greenbaum

Ralph Maiwaldt's Passing on October 10, 2018

Dear GOSV:

Last Thursday when I sent the meeting reminder I knew that Ralph’s health had taken a turn for the worse. I was unaware that he had passed away on this very day and for those who already knew I apologize for seeming so callous. My intent was to send bad and sad news only once. Dottie Wright and many others in the club were very close to Ralph and below are some memories Dottie wanted to share. I also spent much of today thinking of Ralph and also wanted to express some brief thoughts.


Ralph passed away in hospice on October 10th. He was 81 years young and had not stopped thinking about another trip to see wildflowers. Together he and I visited many gardens in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware and joined many garden clubs and made many garden friends. All of us will chuckle remembering his constant use of botanical names and conversations centered on the pictures he took during his worldwide trips. I always remarked that these were the pictures that no one would see. In the last few years he did share many of the pictures from his trips and the details. His trip to Tierra del Fuego and the trip to see the condors of the Andes will be with me forever. His last program at the GOSV highlighted his trip through Alaska. The Yarnells go to Alaska almost every year to visit their daughter and her family. The Swans had been to Alaska on a cruise. Only Ralph saw the little wildflowers of the Alaskan interior. He loved hiking around the mountains to find the perfect shot for the perfect picture. He loved travelling with his tent and his camera. I am grateful for every day that Ralph was in my life. I think that he and Jim are together and hoping that we all have good lives filled with many gardening adventures and many gardening friends. Ralph encouraged me to do whatever I wanted now and not wait until I think I may have the time. I encourage all of you to do the same in the name of our dear friend Ralph Maiwaldt.


Ralph was a man who lived life on his own terms, not the way others expected. He had many passions which he pursued with great vigor. Ralph never stopped learning nor seeking adventure, two very admirable traits for a long and happy life. He sincerely cared for his friends and all of us at GOSV. Though for majority of us he will be remembered for many outstanding presentations and amazing nature photography, the thing I will miss most is that big smile that lit up a room. Let’s taste honey next Wednesday and reminisce/celebrate a fine man’s sweet life. Mitchell Greenbaum

regards, Mitch