Fred Case

Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient

With deep sadness, we note the passing of one of our most eminent members, Fred Case, on January 12, 2011, at age 83 years. Fred Case was a dedicated teacher who inspired students to study plants. He taught biology and natural science at Arthur Hill

High School in Saginaw, Michigan, and gained a number of honors, including Outstanding Biology Teacher in Michigan in 1971, and Outstanding Science teacher in 1987.

Fred was a great photographer and a superb speaker, much in demand internationally. His lectures were diverse, but especially focused on wildflowers, trilliums, orchids, western American alpines, woodland plants, and bog plants. They always generated en-thusiasm, were filled with original information, and were never too short. He was always willing to speak to the Michigan Botanical Club, and spoke at several Spring Forays, always skillfully using two projectors. In recognition of his teaching and outreach efforts,

the American Society of Plant Taxonomists gave Fred the prestigious Peter Raven Award in 2003. This award is ―to a plant systematist who has made exceptional efforts at outreach to non-scientists.‖ In honor of his life-long contributions to the Michigan Botanical club, starting with being a founding student member of the Club in 1941, The Michigan Botanical Club gave Fred its Lifetime

Achievement Award in 2010.

We owe to Fred a number of highly regarded books, all of which contain information relevant to Michigan botany. His first and probably best known book was Orchids of the Western Great Lakes Region, first published in 1964, with a revised edition in 1987. In 1978, we saw Wildflowers of the Northeastern States, in the Wildflowers of the United States Color Slide Series from the New York Botanical Gardens. The text was accompanied by 35-mm slides, and this is now somewhat of a collectors‘ item. Wildflowers of the Western Great Lakes Region (1999), with James R. Wells and T. Lawrence Mellichamp, was a more complete and modern rendition. This is a beautiful book with numerous high quality photos. Finally, his 1997 book, Trilliums, co-authored with his wife Roberta Burckhardt (―Boots‖) Case, who passed away in 1998, was an instant classic.

He had been a research associate with the Cranbrook Institute of Science, The University of Michigan Matthaei Botanical Gardens, and the University of Michigan Herbarium. He also made significant contri butions to the Michigan Flora project, especially with many hundreds of important herbarium specimens. Many Botanical Club members remember Fred for his mentoring and kindness to beginning botanists, his willingness to open his magnificent garden to tours and individual visitors, and his generosity with his knowledge of all things natural. 

    — A.A. Reznicek