Hybridizer Opal L. Wood¹ Brown (1913-1998²), Mrs. Tom

Milton-Freewater, Oregon, USA

See also: Irisenligne (short biography in french Language by Sylvain Ruaud)

OPAL LOUISE BROWN DIED MARCH 23, 1998, IN WALLA WALLA,Washington, at the age 84. She was born in Mountain Home, Idaho. She attended schools in Stanwood, and Bellingham, Washington where she graduated from high school. In 1936 she married Thomas Brown in Seattle. The couple lived in Marysville, Anacortes and Walla Walla, Washington before settling in Milton-Freewater, Oregon in 1970, and re-establishing their iris garden, SUNNNYHILL GARDENS. Opal was a long time active member of the American Iris Society and an Emeritus judge, and was a member of the Walla Walla Iris Society for many years. She began her iris hybridizing in the late 1940's and was the recipient of many iris awards. Her irises were awarded fourteen Awards of Merit; she received the Dykes Medal in 1967 for WINTER OLYMPICS ('64) and the Knowlton Award in 1965 for her border bearded BAYADERE ('62). She was also the winner of the Premio Firenzo Award, Italy, for her ALTAR LIGHT ('54). Opal received the American Iris Society Hybridizer Award in 1968.
In addition to her irises, Opal dabbled in daffodils for many years. She loved to travel and visited a good portion of the United States as well as Australia, China and Morocco. She was pre-deceased by her husband in 1974. In her honor, the Walla Walla Iris Society has established a memorial garden in Pioneer Park where they plan to plant many of Opal's iris introductions. They imported a stone marker from Ireland which has been inscribed "In Memory of Opal Brown, Irisarian". Opal was widely admired and respected. Her iris creations captured the imagination of iris fanciers world-wide. She will be missed by her many friends in the American Iris Society. ~[Editor's note: this article is a compilation of information from Richard Johnson, Washington, and an article in the Region 13 Newsletter, Fall, 1998. For a more extensive biography, see OPAL BROWN, A Tribute, in the AIS Bulletin, January, 1997.]³

Registrations/introductions:

Border Bearded: 'Bayadere' 1962, 'Cheerfulness' 1968, 'Colorflick' 1991, 'Fairy Cloud' 1978, 'Lavalier' 1994, 'Radiant Gem' 1962, 'Sittin' Pretty' 1982, 'Snow Bunny' 1991,

Intermediate Bearded: 'Fancy Dan', 'Fantasy World', 'Gay Wings',

Standard Dwarf Bearded: 'Toy Chest',

Tall bearded (A-H): 'Adorable Rose' R.1998, 'Allura' 1970, 'Altar Light' 1954, 'Apricot Ambrosia' 1995, 'Apricot Fringe' 1978, 'Art Center' 1982, 'Artist's Whim' 1989, 'Autumn Hills' 1971, 'Barcelona' 1967, 'Berry Cordial' 1987, 'Big Dipper' 1981, 'Black Hills Gold' 1986, 'Blended Frills' 1986, 'Blue Luster' 1973, 'Blue Sails' 1960, 'Bold Accent' 1978, 'Bright Cloud' 1961, 'Bright Reflection' 1979, 'Bright Shield' 1968, 'Broadmeadow' 1962, 'Brown Sugar Spice' 2002, 'Bubbling Springs' 1971, 'Buffy' 1969, 'Butter Bar' 1978, 'Cameo Pink' 1974, 'Captain's Lady' 1955, 'Carillon Festival' 1968, 'Cascade Morn' 1983, 'Cedarcrest' 1961, 'Cindy Ellen' 1973, 'Classic Edition' 1989, 'Classic Hues' 2000, 'Cloudy Skies' 1993, 'Cloverdale' 1970, 'Colonial Gold' 1973, 'Coral Flush' 1985, 'Coral Glow' 1970, 'Country Cuzzin' 1957, 'Cozy and Warm' 1982, 'Custom Made' 1981, 'Dark Treasure' 1993, 'Dasher' 1977, 'Dawn Flight' 1960, 'Dawn Light' 1978, 'Discovery Bay' 1970, 'Dragon Lady' 1965, 'Drifting Along' 1988, 'Dualtone' 1977, 'Duraglow' 1991, 'Dutch Master' 1972, 'Eagle Harbor' 1971, 'Electrabrite' 1983, 'Emerald Fountain' 1961, 'Evening Breeze' 1968, 'Fairy Meadow' 1990, 'Fancy Stuff' 2001, 'Fashionette' 1958, 'Festive Aire' 1976, 'Finishing Touch' 1989, 'Firenze' 1958, 'Flight Time' 1965, 'Floral Waltz' 1973, 'Flowerfield' 1990, 'Flower Note' 1980, 'Fortune Wheel' 1979, 'Frisco Follies' 1983, 'Full Dress' 1960, 'Full Tide' 1972, 'Fun Fest' 1992, 'Garnet Velvet' 1984, 'Gay Motif' 1982, 'Gay Princess' 1957, 'Geniality' 1981, 'Glacier Sunset' 1966, 'Glass Slippers' 1983, 'Glazed Gold' 1985, 'Glowing Rubies' 1997, 'Gold Bunting' 1970, 'Golden Frolic' 1990, 'Golden Valley' 1956, 'Gosper' 1958, 'Grandiflora' 1965, 'Grecian Skies' 1984, 'Greensleeves' 1970, 'Gypsy Lullaby' 1961, 'Happy Face' 1975, 'Hearthglow' 1958, 'Holiday Show' 1972, 'Hot Summer Night' 1992,

Tall Bearded (I-Z}: 'Ice Review', 'Indian Caper', 'Inside Passage', 'Instant Charm', 'Kissin' Kin', 'Land of Oz', 'Later On', 'Lemon Crown', 'Light Fantastic', 'Lightning Ridge', 'Light Touch', 'Many Moods', 'Maple Treat', 'Marionette', 'May Orchid', 'Meadow Creek', 'Meadow Rose', 'Melodian', 'Melody Rose', 'Memory Song', 'Merry Tune', 'Ming Rose', 'Miss Photogenic', 'Mixed Bouquet', 'Modern Story', 'Moon Castle', 'Moonlight Dance', 'Mountain Heather', 'Mountain Shadows', 'My Blue Heart', 'Mystic Vision', 'Native Son', 'Nature's Own', 'Neon Magic', 'Night Rider', 'Ocean Jewels', 'Opalescent Dream', 'Orchid Ensemble', 'Oriental Flair', 'Pastel Lei', 'Peach Float', 'Pearls and Gold', 'Peek A Boo', 'Persian Gown', 'Personal Touch', 'Pharaoh's Gold', 'Picture Bouquet', 'Pink Challenge', 'Pink Magnolia', 'Pipes of Pan', 'Playmate', 'Poet's Dream', 'Queen of Hearts', 'Rally Call', 'Raspberry Whirl', 'Rockette', 'Rose Caress', 'Royal Coachman', 'Saber Dance', 'Salmon River', 'Sandy Rose', 'San Juan Glory', 'Santafair', 'Satin Bow', 'Seaside', 'Secret Cove', 'Silver Trail', 'Skyview', 'Snowblaze', 'Snowy Wonderland', 'Sound of Music', 'Spring Bride', 'Spring Fair', 'Spring Serenade', 'Statesman', 'Summer Glen', 'Summer Gown', 'Sunlit Ripples', 'Sweet 'N' Lovely', 'Swiss Charm', 'Tantallon', 'Treasure Key', 'Violet Favor', 'Violet Mist', 'Western Rainbow', 'Wide Alert', 'Winter Olympics', 'Woodland Rose',

¹Ancestry.com. (subscription required), (https://www.ancestry.com : accessed 13 January 2019), Ancestry.com. Washington, Marriage Records, 1854-2013 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012.

²Ancestry.com. (subscription required), (https://www.ancestry.com : accessed 13 January 2019), Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2014.

³American Iris Society, Opal Brown, 1934[1913]-1998, Bulletin of the American Iris Society #311(October 1998): 71.
Topic revision: r23 - 13 Jan 2019, davepote
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