Dr. Marc Cathey, the well-known researcher, author and emeritus president of the American Horticultural Society, died Wednesday morning in his home state of North Carolina. Cathey served the USDA as a research horticulturist for 24 years, and he was a member of the Society of American Florists’ Floriculture Hall of Fame.
Cathey later served as the director of the U.S. National Arboretum, and he was instrumental in developing the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map. He contributed greatly to floriculture’s advancement through his work in chemical and lighting systems for year-round flowering and growth regulation.
Throughout the years, Cathey was a commentator on National Public Radio and a frequent guest on national morning shows, sharing his own joys of the garden and encouraging others to take up the hobby.
Cathey had a knack for floriculture history, as well. He contributed to the commemorative edition of Greenhouse Grower’s “History of U.S. Floriculture” in 1999, telling the story of floriculture’s roots while also sharing his thoughts on the inspirational effects flower shows have on home gardeners.
Memorial services will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 12, at the Davidson College Presbyterian Church, 100 N. Main St., Davidson, N.C. The family will receive friends at the church following the service. A memorial service will also be held in the Washington D.C. area, although details are not yet available.
Memorials may be sent to the American Horticultural Society, 7931 East Boulevard Drive, Alexandria, Va. 22308, the Davidson College Presbyterian Church, or the Residence Assistance Fund at the Pines of Davidson.
To read Allan Armitage’s thoughts on Cathey, click here.