Thursday, December 27, 2012

In Memorium: Marlu Winalski

"Nandina" by Marlu Winalski

The end of the year, in the deep chill and dark of December, is a traditional time to remember those who have brought warmth and light to our lives, yet have left us.  Marlu Winalski passed away this year.  She was a fellow botanical artist, student and avid volunteer  at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. Before health problems interfered, Marlu seemed to be everywhere in the garden, her speciality being "Jane of All Trades" at the garden's twice-annual plant sales.

"Hyacinth Bean" by Marlu Winalski
I did not know Marlu as well as some, but I can tell you that I admired her spirit and kindness.  Many of us are grateful for her encouragement and support as we struggled with our drawings and paintings, and I include myself among this group. Marlu and I had several classes together and ate lunch in the classroom, just the two of us.  Marlu was unfailingly kind to me and interested in my life, as I was in hers. She was charming in conversation, yet talked about what I call "the tough stuff" with grace and dignity.  She was a person who kept pushing and trying, even as physical limits began to overtake her: yet, even then, she had a sparkle of vibrancy about her.  She loved gardens (and to deeply observe plants), people and adored her cat, Bridget.  She will be missed.  

"A friend who dies, it's something of you who dies." Gustave Flaubert.

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