Chapter History

Eureka Chapter History
The Eureka Chapter’s roots formed in the Richard Anderson Rhododendron Club of Eureka in the 1960’s. In 1984, the club voted to become the “Eureka Chapter” of the American Rhododendron Society.

Dr. Paul Anderson – A Founding Member
Dr. Paul Anderson joined the ‘Richard Anderson Rhododendron Club’ in 1976. Dr. Anderson was instrumental in moving the Richard Anderson Rhododendron Club into an official chapter of the American Rhododendron Society in 1984 and remained active in ARS until his passing in 2019.

From his obituary —

Dr. Paul Wayne Anderson was born in Janesville, Wisconsin, on April 17, 1930. He grew up in the small nearby town of Milton with his parents, Elmer and Helen (Kidder) Anderson and two sisters, Marilyn and Karen. Paul graduated from Andrews Academy in 1947 and went on to attend Andrews University in Berrien Springs Michigan, graduating with a degree in Biology in 1950. During this time he worked summers at the Burdick Corporation in Milton. Paul attended Loma Linda University in Loma Linda, California, where he earned his medical degree in 1955. After graduation he served in the US Army and worked to help set up hospitals in France and Germany. While in France he discovered a life long love of good food. He left the Army as a Colonel. Paul had various adventures as a young MD. He was a physician at the 1960 Olympics in Squaw Valley and worked as a Bush Doctor in rural Alaska. He then graduated from Berkeley School of Public Health with his MPH in 1960. He became the Director of Public Health in King County in Washington State and then filled the same role in Humboldt County in California. At age 50 he made a major change in his life and decided to change his specialty in medicine from Public Health to Psychiatry. He worked at Napa State Hospital for 33 years.

Paul loved flowers, and was most recently Director of the American Rhododendron Society for Offshore Chapters, that included Hawaii, and the countries of Denmark, Finland, Sikkim etc. He was also one of the founding members to the Eureka Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society and was instrumental in starting the Humboldt Botanical Gardens. Paul was a long time Rotarian in Napa, participating in and supporting many community activities. After his retirement, at the age of 83, Paul volunteered as a driver for the California Highway Patrol for 5 years. Paul traveled the world making friends and indulging in his love for people, beauty and knowledge. He was a life long member of the Seventh Day Adventist Church. He has been a philanthropist who emphasized the importance of education. Paul died on May the 9th in Napa, California from pancreatic cancer. He was 89. Paul was preceded in death by his parents, Elmer and Helen (Kidder) Anderson and his sister, Karen. He is survived by his sister Marilyn Jorgensen, brother in law Jon Cole, nieces Barbara Anne Thomason, Susan Cole-Voth and Sharon Cole-Behe and nephews, Bruce Cole and Bryce Cole. In addition, he has several great nieces and nephews that have played an important role in Paul’s life. Paul has friends from all over the world that have benefitted from his example as a mentor, teacher and friend. He was buried in Milton, Wisconsin on May 24th at 1 pm.