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Rosalie Mary Yerkes Figge
Birth: Jul. 30, 1909
Henderson
Vance County
North Carolina, USA
Death: Apr. 10, 2006
Baltimore County
Maryland, USA

Rosalie Yerkes Figge, 96, an editor and iris judge emeritis, for whom a deep-violet reblooming variation of the flower was named, died in April 2006.

For the first half of her life, Mrs. Figge took care of her family and supported the research efforts of her husband, Frank H.J. Figge, chairman of the department of anatomy at the University of Maryland Medical School. She oversaw a colony of 10,000 laboratory mice, and she assisted in the editing and proofreading of the "Sobotta/Figge Atlas of Human Anatomy" (1974).

Later, her garden, with its arboretum-quality specimen plants, attracted visitors from around the world, and was most recently featured on the 1995 National Tour of the Japanese Iris Society (a division of the American Iris Society). She herself attended almost every national convention and numerous international iris gatherings until she was 92 years old.

She was an editor of the Reblooming Iris Society "Recorder" (1978-1983) (RIS is another division of the AIS), past president of the RIS (1996 - 1999); a recipient of the AIS's Distinguished Service Award; and past president of the Maryland-based Francis Scott Key chapter of AIS.

The late Jane McKnew of Pasadena, Maryland, one of her iris proteges, bred and named a beautiful deep-violet reblooming iris in her honor. The iris 'Rosalie Figge' is now one of the most popular garden irises in Europe as well as in North America.

Mrs. Figge was born in Henderson, N.C. at her mom's home, and brought up in a suburb of Philadelphia near her father's family. She was a 1931 graduate of Goucher College in Towson. She married in 1932 and moved to Baltimore where she had two daughters.

Over the years, Mrs. Figge advocated for her causes and pursued her vocations as if they were full-time jobs. She belonged to numerous genealogical, horticultural and conservation organizations. She had been a chapter president of the Daughters of the American Revolution and a docent for the DAR Museum in Washington. She was editing a book manuscript for a friend the week before she died. She belonged to the Edith S. Stidman unit of the Maryland Association of Parliamentarians and was parliamentarian at the national meetings of the American Iris Society at the time of her death.

She served on the board of Florence Crittenton Services and was a life member of the Girl Scouts of the USA. She established a fund to support undergraduate biology research at Colorado College. Goucher College named her a "Goucher Treasure" for 2006.

Mrs. Figge, an intellectually curious and intrepid traveler, had visited all the continents except Antarctica. In her seventies, she took her grandchildren on trips to Europe, Africa and Asia. She studied German at a language school near Munich and visited five ancient civilizations in one calendar year. Her most recent trip was to England in 2002 for British Iris Society meetings and the Kew Gardens show.

A son died in infancy in 1943. Her husband of 41 years died in 1973. She was survived by her two daughters, seven grandchildren and 17 great grandchildren.

In accordance with a promise to her husband, her body was donated to the Anatomy Board of Maryland, after which her ashes were placed in Elmwood Cemetery. Her namesake irises are planted by her gravestone. 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  Dawson Martin Yerkes (1882 - 1962)
  Myrtle Grace Harris Yerkes (1882 - 1954)
 
 Spouse:
  Frank H J Figge (1904 - 1973)*
 
 Children:
  Infant Son Figge (1943 - 1943)*
 
 Sibling:
  Rosalie Mary Yerkes Figge (1909 - 2006)
  Samuel Harris Yerkes (1911 - 1915)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Note: My mother
 
Burial:
Elmwood Cemetery
Henderson
Vance County
North Carolina, USA
Plot: #135 S. R. Harris - Book O
 
Created by: RosalieAnn
Record added: Oct 11, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 16145207
Rosalie Mary <i>Yerkes</i> Figge
Added by: RosalieAnn
 
Rosalie Mary <i>Yerkes</i> Figge
Added by: RosalieAnn
 
Rosalie Mary <i>Yerkes</i> Figge
Added by: RosalieAnn
 
 
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Rosalie Figge reblooming iris hybridized by Jane McNew.
- RosalieAnn
 Added: Apr. 14, 2014

- Bill.K
 Added: Nov. 16, 2013
A rose for Rosalie!
- Linda Davis
 Added: May. 13, 2013
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This page is sponsored by: RosalieAnn

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