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Lucinda McCartney

Cindy Adair

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I am sorry to tell everyone that Lucinda McCartney, mother of IPS Director Robert Blenker, passed away recently, unexpectedly, following surgery. 

She was an amazing person and many of you have met her in Florida or at the many IPS Biennials she attended.

Besides her keen interest in palms, she recently started bee keeping, was a journalist, pilot and realtor who loved to fish.

I can also attest to her cooking skills and overall excellent hospitality as I enjoyed my several visits to her lovely guest suite.

I will never forget the first Florida trip we took in 2014, beginning near Sarasota and visiting many private and public gardens. Here are just a few examples. First, in the Mike Harris Garden,


and then the Dale Holton Garden,


 and even showing up at a Palm Beach Palm Society meeting attended by several fellow travelers to Cuba.


Lucinda always insisted on driving her white Cadillac convertible, often pulling a trailer to hold a palms.  Later she bought a great big truck so she could easily transport palms without a trailer.

I counted seven countries we visited since 2012, when we were randomly assigned as roommates in Thailand. In fact she was to be my roommate again in Colombia.

In her honor, I have nearly completed a garden with one palm native to each of the countries we visited in the order we saw them: Thailand, Cuba, USA (FL), Madagascar, Borneo, Singapore, and Australia.

 Come and see it if you get to Puerto Rico.

I just returned from a wonderful Celebration of Life in Florida with a huge crowd under a big tent, appropriately at the Blenker Marina, nearly surrounded by water.

I must admit that I had to grab my ready Kleenex immediately upon arrival, seeing an enlarged version of a photo made into a portrait. Here is the original I took in Cuba.


IPS President Ray Hernandez and Director Susan Hubbell joined so many of us as we learned even more about her incredible life.  There was grief of course, but also laughter at the many anecdotes, beginning with a touchingly beautifully eulogy written by her oldest son, Robert.

I will miss her forever, but can only hope for even half the energy and adventures she enjoyed (even into her mid eighties). She was an inspiration to us all.



Lucinda group in Cuba.jpg

Cindy and Lucinda in Madagascar.jpeg

Lucinda in Borneo.jpg

Lucinda and Ken Johnson.jpg

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Cindy Adair

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I'm sad to hear this. She lived close to my parents house, and I first met her when I was in high-school and I've visited her garden quite a few times. My Sabal domingensis which is now close to trunking came from seeds that she hand collected in the Dominican Republic. She'll be missed. 

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Palmetto, Florida (10a) and Tampa, Florida (9b/10a)

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Wonderful tribute!

Lucinda was a remarkable woman.  

My condolences to all her friends and family.

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Sorry to hear this. We met briefly at a few Biennials and later she sent me a few Coccothrinax crinita seeds, now beautiful juvenile seedlings. 

A very enthusiastic and gentle IPS member, will certainly be missed.

Sirinhaém beach, 80 Km south of Recife - Brazil

Tropical oceanic climate, latitude 8° S

Temperature extremes: 25 to 31°C

2000 mm average rainfall, dry summers

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Bad news, my condolences at IPS family.

Seeing the pictures she looks a amazing lady.

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So sorry to hear...was a pleasure to host Cindy & Lucinda for palm pics & dinner.

We lost that big Talipot in the hurricane...now lost Lucinda. 

Thanks for posting the pic Cindy

The Palm Mahal

Hollywood Fla

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Sorry to hear the news. Condolences to Robert and friends. Thank you Cindy for sharing those great photos of her. Always with a nice smile; and a nice way to remember her.

Zone 9b (formerly listed as Zone 9a); Sunset 14

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We are so sorry to hear this news. Whenever we loose an IPS friend, it is truly a sad day.  Judy and I have never met a nicer lady.  Our thoughts and prayers go to Robert and family. We will miss Lucinda in Columbia. 

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Thank you Cindy for this tribute to a most enthusiastic member of our palm community.  I love that you have created a palm garden in her memory, and I am so sorry she will not be there to share the excitement and fascination of Colombia with you. We will have to give a toast to Lucinda during the Biennial. I enjoyed all the photos immensely.

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Kim Cyr

Between the beach and the bays, Point Loma, San Diego, California USA
and on a 300 year-old lava flow, Pahoa, Hawaii, 1/4 mile from the 2018 flow
All characters  in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

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I remember seeing her at Biennials and maybe even a few times in SoFlo... always with a smile on her face. Sorry to hear of her passing. Thank you Cindy for letting us know.


Zone 10a at best after 2007 AND 2013, on SW facing hill, 1 1/2 miles from coast in Oceanside, CA. 30-98 degrees, and 45-80deg. about 95% of the time.

"The great workman of nature is time."   ,  "Genius is nothing but a great aptitude for patience."

-George-Louis Leclerc de Buffon-

I do some experiments and learning in my garden with palms so you don't have to experience the pain! Look at my old threads to find various observations and tips!

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Thanks to all of you who have taken the time to post about Lucinda.

And Kim, I think a toast to her at the Biennial is an excellent idea.

Cindy Adair

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Thank you Cindy for your tribute for Lucinda. Such a nice woman, never had anything bad to say. I just hope I'm able to travel the world in search of palms like she has when I'm her age. My sincere condolences to all.



Searle Brothers Nursery Inc.

and The Rainforest Collection.

Southwest Ranches,Fl.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I was also saddened to learn of Lucinda's passing. I only met her one time when she was CFPACS's president, when my wife and I hosted the June 2013 meeting, property tour, and palm auction. I remember Lucinda brought a huge green plastic tub of salad with tongs, and forgot to take them back home with her. May Lucinda RIP.

Mad about palms

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I was told of her passing a few weeks ago, but I was not sure when or if Robert and his family wanted something written public about it, and had just now seen this thread. 

My first memory of Lucinda was in 2007, she was in contact with me and was extremely eager to come down to my nursery in Venice and learn more about palms. I can remember her Chrysler Sebring convertible pull up and she volunteered to clean the mountain of seeds I had either picked or bought at the time. She was so interested in learning more, I showed her all the differences in different species, how I sowed seeds, potted up plants, and gave her plenty of plants to bring home and work with herself. She was running laps around me - she would have buckets of seeds cleaned faster than I could plant them and told me I had to keep the pace up! :) Her commute was over 40 miles each way from Snead Island to the nursery, and she would be there multiple times a week in the summer heat. I remember her then taking up the seedbank position for CFPACS, then becoming the President and being very proactive in finding new places to hold a meeting each season. The palm bug had caught on so badly she had a yard full of palms and like many of us, didn't know what to do. We also shared the same passion for writing, she was a great writer as well. The last time I saw her was with Cindy Adair in 2016 at a private garden on Charlotte Harbor, I never thought that would be the last time I would see her, she had just as much spunk as the first day at the nursery. She was always very diligent, high energy, and a great person to be around - I will miss her greatly and so will the palm world.

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Christian Faulkner

Venice, Florida - South Sarasota County.



Μολὼν λάβε

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