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Hybridizer Dora & Dr. Hugo(1901-1975) Wall

Wichita, Kansas, USA

From The Bulletin of the American Iris Society No. 221(April 1976): Dr. Hugo Wall, the American Iris Society's immediate past president, a distinguished scholar and nationally recognized authority on municipal government and public administration, passed away in his sleep during the early morning hours of December 7, 1975, just one month short of his 75th birthday. He is survived by his widow, Dora Kliewer Wall, his children, John K., Malibu, California, and Mary Helen Cochran, Stockton, California, and seven grandchiidren. A native of Inman, Kansas, a small Mennonite community northwest of Wichita, Wall was educated at Stanford University, and returned to Kansas in 1929 to chair the department of political science at the University of Wichita (now Wichita State University). For his special interest in municipal government, the situation was ideal, with the growing university and the challenging opportunity to work closely with city government. He viewed the university as an active force in the community and believed strongly in personal involvement. He served the city in countless advisory capacities over the years, never shying away from even the most thankless tasks, and successfully combined the academic and the practical. He highly prized the honorary membership bestowed on him by the International City Manager's Association.

He served tirelessly on many state and national boards, among them as chairman of the Kansas Constitutional Commission's committee on local government, director of the Kansas Health Planning Council, and associate director under the Federal Higher Education Act. His manuals and books were widely used and as guest professor he conducted seminars on municipal government at other universities. As professor emeritus of Wichita State University, Dr. Wall retired in 1966 from his positions as director of the summer school, Dean of the Graduate School, and Vice President for academic affairs. It was the measure of the man that it took three men to replace him. Retirement found him more involved than ever as he was named the first director of the Center for Urban Studies, a post he held for five years. In 1970 he received a special citation from the Brookings Institute for his work at the Center, and the following year WSU established in his honor the Hugo Wall Fellowship for graduate work in urban studies.

The iris world benefitted from Dr. Wall's belief in personal involvement. With his beloved Dora, he began growing irises in the forties, joining AIS and helping to found the local society. He served the local organization unfailingly over the years and encouraged the personal involvement of others, especially the newer members and young people. He served as Region 18's RVP from 1959 through 1961, began the Region 18 Bulletin, and established a judge's training program in the region. Long before judges training was being seriously considered as a national program, Dr. Wall was working on the problems at the local and regional level, setting up training schools and working with instructors. National recognition for his work in judges training was not long in coming, as he became one of the most sought after JT instructors on the national scene. In the early sixties, he moderated training programs at two national conventions, and was appointed to the Judges Handbook Revision Committee.

Elected to the AIS Board of Directors in the fall of 1967, Dr. Wall, as membership chairman, completed widely acclaimed comprehensive studies of membership trends. From 1969 through 1971, he served in the vice presidential positions. During this period he was chairman of the Judges and Judges Training Committee and the national program continued to expand under his leadership. In November 1971, Dr. Wall was elected president of the American Iris Society and served with distinction during his three year term. He was innovative, as for the first time RVPs were invited to attend the Board's business meetings and encouraged to freely express themselves. A master parliamentarian, he was a firm taskmaster and from those around him anticipated and expected best effort. He truly inspired excellence, and he had a deep and abiding loyalty to those who served with him in the Society's interests. Although plagued for the past several months by a failing heart, his profound sense of duty was such that he never considered not attending last November's Board meeting, just a few weeks before his death.

He was an avid hybridizer and many will recall his lovely blue MANSION HOUSE. But it was the reds he loved most and with which he worked through the years. His work was only recently rewarded with the magnificent MINISA, which is scheduled for 1976 release. Dr. Wall considered the greatest achievement of his presidency the decision to publish a new book to replace Garden Irises, and it was one of his last wishes that any proceeds from the sale of the iris should go to the book's publication fund. Beyond the scholar, teacher, administrator, civic leader, hobbyist, the very professional man, there was the private man, a great human being, devoted husband and father, a truly gentle man, loved by all who knew him. He possessed a rare wit and a classic sense of humor. Who will ever forget his capacity for enjoyment and that marvelous throaty laughter. He was a giant, and we are richer for having known him. —CAROL RAMSEY, Kansas


Arilbred: 'Somewhere'.

Border Bearded: 'Pink Bassinet', 'White Dot',

Tall Bearded: 'Contact', 'Dear One', 'Green Pearl', 'Lover's Lamp', 'Mansion House', 'May Greeting', 'Minisa', 'Persuasive Dawn', 'Through the Years', 'Yoo Hoo',

-- Main.RPries - 2012-05-18
Topic revision: r8 - 06 Dec 2017, davepote
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