John C. McPheeters
John McPheeters, a long-time supporter and past Board Member of the Center for Plant Conservation died June 8, 2020.
Fifteen years ago, if you walked east from Euclid Avenue in St. Louis and made a stop at the corner of Olive Street and Walton Avenue, you’d be confronted with genuine urban decay and pathological ugliness. Contributing to this squalor were an assortment of vacant and abandoned buildings, an automobile graveyard, a warehouse shuttered with sheets of grimy fiberglass, along with the usual trash and broken bottles, creating an atmosphere of urban rot.
Stand on that corner today, and you can see and touch and feel what a strong sense of civic character and ambitious creativity can produce. The merlin of all this was John C. McPheeters, 73, who died Monday night at home in the West End. The magical place he and his wife and children created is Bowood Farms.
Dr. Art Whislter
The University of Hawaiʻi is saddened at the announcement yesterday of the passing of Dr. Art Whistler due to COVID-19. Art was well-known and beloved by many at UH as well as by the botany and conservation communities across Hawaiʻi and the Pacific.
Art was a botanist who specialized in the tropical plants of Hawaiʻi and Pacific Islands. After earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees in California, he served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Samoa. He then moved to Hawaiʻi and earned his PhD in Botany from UH Mānoa in 1979, with his research focused on the vegetation of Samoa.
Artʻs robust professional career spanned Hawaiʻi and the Pacific. At UH he was a lecturer and adjunct faculty member in Botany as well as at the Lyon Arboretum. He held a postdoc appointment at the National Tropical Botanical Garden on Kauaʻi and was a research affiliate at the Bishop Museum. He spent a year as a visiting professor at the University of the South Pacific in Fiji.
Art founded a small consulting company in Honolulu, Isle Botanica. And as a consultant, he worked on botanical projects across the Pacific Islands including Samoa, Tonga, Niue, Fiji, Tuvalu, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, Yap, Chuuk, Guam and the Northern Marianas. He was a prolific author of both scientific articles and books focused on plants of Pacific Islands.
He was a scientist, naturalist and educator who touched the lives of students, colleagues and communities throughout the Pacific.
Art is the third reported death in Hawaiʻi from COVID-19 and the first to touch UH so closely. It appears he contracted the virus on a recent trip to the State of Washington and was hospitalized here in Hawaiʻi after his return. Art will be sorely missed.