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Frederick W. Case, 1927 - 2011

Fred Case signs books at a 2009 conference. Case was a botanical icon, legendary for his accomplishments and command of many subjects, not just botany. All of his books were topnotch, but to me, the book "Trilliums" is a true standout. I had the good fortune of meeting Fred on a number of occasions, and one of those times was when he was down to the Ohio State University to lecture on trilliums. What a show that was! Fred used two screens, two slide projectors, and held a clicker in each hand. In a fascinating command of both projector and trilliums, he romped us around the North American continent visiting all of the members of one of his favorite plant groups. Never saw anything like that from a lecturer, before or since, and don't expect I ever will again.

Fred Case was a true character and a huge bonus to the worlds of botany and education. He'll certainly be missed.

Case, Frederick W. Jr.
Saginaw, Michigan


Well known teacher and botanist passed away Wednesday, January 12, 2011. Age 83 years.

The son of the late Julia Blanche (Coash) and Frederick W. Case Sr. was born February 16, 1927 in Saginaw, Michigan. He married Roberta Elizabeth (Boots) Burckhardt, February 14, 1953. She passed away June 8, 1998. He was a graduate of Arthur Hill High School and received his Bachelor of Science and Master’s in Education from the University of Michigan. He served with the U.S. Army during WWII. He returned to Arthur Hill High where he taught biology and natural science until his retirement. He was named their Honor Alumnus in 1978. He was named the Outstanding Biology Teacher in Michigan in 1971 and Outstanding Science Teacher in 1987.

Fred and Roberta authored three books and authored or co-authored many articles for magazines and scientific publications about native orchids, trilliums, insectivorous plants, wildflowers and gardening. He received numerous awards and recognition for his achievements in botany and lectured extensively. He had been associated with Cranbrook Institute of Science, The University of Michigan Matthaei Botanical Gardens, Longwood Gardens, The Michigan Dept. of Natural Resources Committee on Endangered and Threatened Plants, the Michigan Botanical Club, North American Rock Garden Society, the Saginaw Valley Audubon Society, Saginaw Valley Orchid Society, The Nature Conservancy, Michigan Nature Association, and many other horticultural groups. He enjoyed opera, theatre, reading, traveling, fine dining and Ketchup.

Surviving are a son and daughter-in-law, David B. and Sheri Leaman Case; three granddaughters, Rebecca Case Myers and her husband Chris Myers; Emily Case and her fiancée, David Krueger, Caitlyn Case; a brother, a sister and two sisters-in-law, Win L. and Mary Case; Nancy Cota and Patricia Burckhardt; nine nieces, Julie Swieczkowski, Mary Lou Case, Susan Case, Kathy Case, Caroline Orsini, Amy Case, Jennifer Ashby, Amy Busch, Lisa Bulmer, two nephews, Stephen Cota, Bob Burckhardt; his lifelong friend, George L. Burrows IV; several grand nieces, grand nephews, cousins, other relatives, many dear and loyal friends. He was predeceased by two brothers-in-law, Andrew Cota and Carl Burckhardt and a niece, Debbie Kress. A special thank you to his caregiver, Hazel Irvin, for her assistance during his nearly two years of declining health.

The funeral service will take place at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, January 15, 2011 at the W. L. Case and Co. Funeral Chapel, 201 N. Miller Rd. Saginaw, MI. 48609. Friends may call at the Chapel from 2:00-5:00 and 7:00-9:00 p.m. Friday. Those planning an expression of sympathy may wish to consider the Nature Conservancy of Alabama, Roberta Case-Pine Hill Reserve, the Michigan Nature Association, the Children’s Zoo at Celebration Square, or the charity of their choice. www.casefuneralhome.com

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