Hybridizer Jacob(Jake) H. Scharff (1904-1982)
Memphis, Tennessee, USA
From The Bulletin of the American Iris Society No. 246(July 1982)
: An iris grower since 1937 and an AIS member since 1947, Jake Scharff's enthusiasm for irises and irisarians led him into regional and national activities, culminating in the Distinguished Service Medal in 1973. As chairman of the Ketchum Memorial Iris Garden from its infancy (1953) through 1970, Jake was known for his national convention attendance record which he considered an extension of his iris garden duties. This thin, frail man never gave up. It was this sheer determination that enabled him to serve as RVP of Region 7 from 1964-1966. On the road every weekend, Jake's pace was matched only by his desire to help others. He worked diligently to establish new local AIS affiliates. His regional efforts and 1965 Memphis convention garden put him in the limelight and made him an obvious choice for his AIS directorship (1970-1973). He also served as Convention Liaison from 1970-1971. He worked closely with Robert Carney, also of Memphis.
After he developed emphysema, Jake was forced to moderate his pace. In 1979 he was able to attend the AIS convention in Huntsville. His presence in the iris world continued on the local level by maintaining his convention garden. He inspired people through his generous donations to the local rhizome sale and to Ketchum Garden, donations which continued even in death, for he willed his iris holdings to the garden. Jake will be remembered for his irises CHIEF CHICKASAW, JAILBIRD, and RELUCTANTLY, and for his gutsy determination and contagious enthusiasm. He was described at his funeral as a man "small in stature, but a giant in spirit". He opened his life to others. -Jim (Robby) Browne
Border Bearded: 'Monkey Business'
Tall Bearded: 'Chief Chickasaw'
, 'Indian Bay'
-- Main.RPries - 2012-05-18