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Teddi Buhler has passed away


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#1 PalmGuyWC

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Posted 29 January 2007 - 04:00 PM

I recently learned that Teddi Buhler passed away in December.  She was a long time Executive Secetary of the Palm Society in its earlier years and a founding member of the Palm Society.  She died at the age of 93.

For many years Teddi practicly ran the Palm Society and was responsible for sending Principes to it's members which was an overwhilming job for one person.  Teddy was one of the most dynamic, energetic persons I've ever known.  As Secretary she was on the board of directors for many years, and she was always inquisitive and had many usefull suggestions.  Her cheerfull personality always spiced up some of the boring board meetings.

Unfortunately, living in California, I have been out of touch with the Florida scene, but I'm sure there are many in Florida, and other places too, that will fondly remember Teddi and her contributions to the Palm Society.

Teddi did not want a memorial service, but a "Celebration of Life" and I understand that gathering has taken place.  I'm sorry, but I'm limited on details.  I'm sure there are many of you that have interesting storys to tell of your association with Teddi.

For those of us who knew Teddi personally, I sure we will all miss her and the many contributions she made to the Palm Society.

Dick Douglas
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#2 Ken Johnson

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Posted 01 February 2007 - 08:39 AM

Theodora Buhler was not only my customer, she was my mentor.

When we measure palm spirit Theodora can be held up as the highest example! The thrill she got from all things palm was a sight to see. When I first met "Teddie" (her husbands name was Theorore!) we were on a field trip to see Bryce and Eva Ryans place. While looking at me, she asked Alan Fernandez if he knew anyone that could help her with her palms. That was in the early 1980's. More that 20 years later,in her 90's!, she was still planting palms.

How many of you have crossed her path? Were you on a Palm Society trip where you met her? Do you have a story to tell? Any one out there that knows her from the 50's? I hope to get a "shout out" about Theodora from every corner of the palm earth!

Austrailia?
France?
West Coast U.S.?
South America?
Hawaii?
Itally?
Japan?
South Africa?
Lousiana?
Georgia?

To be continued......
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#3 Al in Kona

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Posted 01 February 2007 - 01:41 PM

I met Teddy a number of times during different IPS Biennial Meetings and found her to be one of the nicest and friendliest members ever.  It was a pleasure to be in her company and she was extremely knowledgeable in palms.  Yes, she will be missed.  Infact I missed not seeing her presence at the last IPS Biennial - something was missing and it was her.
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No record of a hurricane passing over this island (yet!).  
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#4 John Dransfield

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Posted 03 February 2007 - 01:36 AM

Teddie was the Palm Society! It was she who first welcomed me by letter when I joined way back in the late 1960s, and I stayed with her and Ted Buhler at their home on my first visit to MIami in 1972 to give a lecture. Most of all I remember her for her tireless researching of palm problems. She would work away following leads of information, delving on the literature like a trained scientist. I had immense respect for her.
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#5 PalmGuyWC

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Posted 03 February 2007 - 07:01 AM

My memories of Teddi go back to the mid 1960's when I first came on the palm scene and first met Teddi.  She was the executive secetary of the Palm Society and pratically ran the Palm Society at that time.  It was a very small society then and mostly centered around Florida.  It was not until the early 80's that we became the "International Palm Society."

I remember visiting Teddi, and her husband Ted, who lived on an island off the Venician Causway which connected the mainland with Miami Beach. They had a lovely home with Biscane Bay lapping at the back of their property with a perfect view of the skyline of Miami in the background.  Teddi's property was packed full of beautiful palms, and she loved to show them off.  I remember one of her bedrooms was packed from floor to ceiling with back issues of Principes as it was her chore to send Principes to it's members, a momumental chore at the time, as this was before computers and instant printing.

I think it's safe to say that Teddi could be characterized as "A character."  Her mind moved fast and she could talk a mile a minute, always asking questions with her inquisitiveness.  She would always bounce around on many subjects at the same time and sometimes I felt "wrung out" after a visit with Teddi.  She had the ability to squeeze out information from people, but she was always fun to be around and recieved great respect from those who knew her.  She was really a very dynamic lady with great charm and sociability and a wonderful sense of humor.

After her husband passed away, Teddi sold the property on Biscane bay and moved to a retirement village south of Miami where she continued to be very active with the Palm Society,  Fairchild Gardens, and other interests. Soon her patio was filled with rare potted palms and was overflowing. After a presistant lobbying campaign, she presuaded the retirement village association to allot her a plot on the property to plant palms and soon she had a minature botanical garden just a few steps away from her residence. (This is where Ken Johnson enters the picture, because I think he did most of the labor of digging holes and planting the many palms that Teddi wanted).  Teddi was in her 70's by this time, but did most of the watering and fertilizing.  If I'm not mistaken her Siphokentia was the first to bare fruit in S. Florida.  It was a very rare palm at the time in Fla. and I remember we all marveled at how small the fruit was as we had never seen them before.

Somewhere along this time frame Teddi was in Europe and located a Chamaedorea stolonifera growing in a botanical garden in Germany.  At this time it was thought C. stolonifera had become extinct in it's native habitat and there was only one clone growing in the USA. The German clone looked different, as it was somewhat smaller and had "ruffles" in the fronds.  Teddi was born in Switzerland and I believe she spoke the German lauguage, so she presuaded the curator of the botanical garden to give her a stem of the plant and she brought it back to the USA. Soon it was propigated and was spread around to Fairchild Gardens and to palm society members.  To this day this clone is refered to as the "Teddi Buhler clone."  I proudly own one as do others in Florida and California, thanks to Teddi.

I used to visit Florida more often than I do now, but the last time I remember seeing Teddi was at a palm society meeiing at Fairchild Gardens some years back and I had the pleasure of chatting with her.  I will always treasure having known this wonderful lady who enriched my life as well as many others.

Dick Douglas
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#6 Ken Johnson

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Posted 03 February 2007 - 03:39 PM

Thanks Dick, just a few corrections.
The Siphokentia was a Satakentia?
Ted died at East Ridge.
Also a Cyrtostachys subspecies was named Theodora Buhler.
BTW when I would visit for work or pleasure Teddie always had a LIST of questions for me. I never left without visiting each one many times! Thats how I know much of what I do about the Palm Society and Palms. Genera Palmarum was always open and the phone ready to "call a friend" if the answer was not found!
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#7 PalmGuyWC

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Posted 04 February 2007 - 10:58 AM

Hi Ken,

Thanks for correcting me.  As I said, I've been away from Florida for many years and time does make the mind go foggy.

Dick
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#8 faith bishock

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Posted 04 February 2007 - 08:45 PM

I am sorry to hear of the loss of Teddy Buhler.I have k nown her since my girlhood -  she was a long time member & past president of the Miami Beach Garden club & I believe, lived on Di Lido island.  Her yard there was a paridise for any plant enthusiast.  She knew about plants & palms because she grew them & that kind of experience is the best authority.  When she moved to Southridge, she often brought Marge Corbin  -she of 100 + years-( that of  the Corbin building at Fairchild )to our Palm Society meetings.  She would tell me in confidence how appalled she was that Marge would bum cigarettes  (5 at a time)  from the yard men -  but that's one of my many Teddy stories.
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#9 PalmGuyWC

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Posted 05 February 2007 - 05:03 AM

Hi Faith,

My condolences to you with your recent loss.  

I can remember some years back (the 80's) when Teddi used to "hang out" with Lucita Wait, Ruth Shatz, and Marge Corbin.  I used to call them the "gang of four" becuase they often got together for lunch or other events and had known each other for many years. These were all ladys who were avid supporters of the Palm Society and made many contributions. They were always a great source of Palm Society gossip because they knew everything that was going on.

I can vouch first hand that Marge Corbin used to bum cigaretts when she was in her 90's. I was living in Calif. then, but when I would visit Florida and bump into Marge, she  would greet me with a "Hi Doug. How have you been, and let me have a cigarette.....Er, no give me two." I can remember Teddy watching such a transaction once, shaking her head with dissaproval.

Dick
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#10 Palmateer

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Posted 06 February 2007 - 12:28 PM

I met Teddie when she lived on that Miami island, and joined the Palm Society on the spot. That was in 1973. I will always remember the great times we had, especially attending Biennials in the 1980s.

The last time I saw her was at her Coral Ridge home (prior to Hurricane Andrew).
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Tom
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#11 Ken Johnson

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Posted 06 February 2007 - 04:59 PM

Teddie never liked it when I took a break from planting palms for her to smoke with Marge! Marge lived on one end of Teddies palmetum. What fun!
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#12 TikiRick

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Posted 07 May 2007 - 09:06 AM

Teddy was my first contact with anyone from the Palm Society. I am not quite certain who or where I was told that Teddy was the point person to become a member, but I can remember that she certainly was an inspiration and tribute to the philosophy behind the IPS. I think this was around 1987 that I first spoke with her. I remember vividly our Biennial trip to Caracus, Venezuela in 1994(?) when Teddy was present. She will be missed, but like us all, she will be remembered by many palms swaying in the gentle sea breeze here in South Florida.
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Rick Leitner
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