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Benardella, Frank A.
Discussion id : 44-549
most recent 10 MAY 10 HIDE POSTS
Initial post 10 MAY 10 by Michael Mitchell
Now that the shock has worn off, I’m remembering why Frank’s death leaves me so stunned. He’s a main reason why I’m the man I am today. About 20 years ago I discovered the joy of growing roses, albeit only a few plants and little success, but I was hooked. A year later I entered The Garden State Rose Club Rose Show in Secaucus, NJ, and was greeted by a very friendly and incredibly knowledgeable person, Frank. I didn’t know who he was, but he was so helpful in my preparation before the show. After the show people took me aside and explained who this wonderful man was…..I was floored that someone of his stature in the rose world would actually take that kind of time to nurture a love of roses in a neophyte like me. Because of Frank Benardella’s encouragement I purchased 100 roses the next season. Because of Frank Benardella’s continuing interest in my progress and rose education, I became a Consulting Rosarian. Because of Frank Benardella’s willingness to share any and all information on rose growing I was equipped to start my own business in 2001 designing, building, and caring for private rose gardens. This business is alive and well today and thriving, a testament to Frank’s passion for roses as well as people. His initial and continued care throughout my rose life has constantly buoyed my passion for roses. I can honestly say meeting that man 20 years ago in a mall in Secaucus, talking roses till 3am at some conferences, visiting his greenhouse over the years, and reveling in the mischievous mind of a rose genius has shaped me in many ways. Thanks Frank. I’m going to miss you greatly.
Discussion id : 42-305
most recent 5 FEB 10 HIDE POSTS
Initial post 5 FEB 10 by Unregistered Guest
Obituary – Frank Benardella - the Rose Man
I first met Frank Benardella during the World Rose Convention held in Oxford in 1976. At the time he was, if I remember correctly, Vice President of the American Rose Society.

Frank was a great communicator and was always at the centre of all the action. It was during the world rose convention held in Toronto in 1985 that we made close contact and talked roses all the way.

Frank was a first class exhibitor, knowing every trick in the book to coerce his rose bushes into producing superb blooms and he went to great lengths to win Queen of Show at every rose exhibition held in the USA. In his professional life he travelled the world; in his private life he became known as the ROSE MAN. He was not just an exhibitor and lecturer, but also a breeder of miniature roses.

Being a great exhibitor, he only selected seedlings with that perfect high peaked flower shape as suitable for trial. We received budding eyes from Frank in 1986. A few months later, when they started flowering, I realised that we had some very special varieties amongst them.

It did not take us long to experiment with them, growing them in greenhouses for cut flower production. The Florists in Pretoria loved these little roses. We planted more and more and exported them - mostly to Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan and Switzerland.

Other growers followed suit and it became a formidable industry. Eventually it was over-taken by the masses of cheap cut roses produced in other African countries.

However, a market of limited quantities for the charming miniature cut roses remains in South Africa. Most of the suitable varieties were bred by Frank Benardella. ’Old Glory’, ‘Figurine’, ‘Lavender Jade’, ‘Black Jade’, ‘Tiny Tot’, ‘Pirouette’, ‘Gee Gee’, ‘Ans’, ‘Imbroglio’ and ‘Jilly Jewel’ are some of them.

Amongst his seedlings we found a few that developed into hybrid tea’s with very distinctive characteristics and we released ‘Rosa Roedean’, ‘Athene’ and the floribunda ‘June’s Joy’. Just as we received rose budwood from Frank, we exported plants of exhibition varieties to him. That is how ‘Rina Hugo’, Helen Naudé’, ‘Bles Bridges’, ‘Lynette’, ‘Esther Geldenhuys’, ‘Andrea Stelzer’ and others became popular in the USA.

Frank Benardella travelled to South Africa to be the keynote speaker for our National Rose Convention held in Bloemfontein in 1996. He regaled the delegates with his knowledge and humorous stories on rose growing and exhibiting, i.e. keeping three refrigerators in his basement and slipping away at lunch time from work on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays before shows to pick the exhibition choice blooms of the day, placing them in the fridge in accordance to the temperature setting and development stage of the blooms.

Frank certainly had an influence in getting my children interested in cross pollinating and they will remember him for relaxing at sun downer time by smoking a pipe and drinking ice tea.

Rose lovers around the world will miss the steady communication with Frank. Our heartfelt sorrow goes out to his wife June and family. A batch of Frank’s latest creations is coming into bloom right now and will serve us as a living memory of this big loveable man.
Reply #1 of 1 posted 5 FEB 10 by David Elliott
Thanks to Ludvigs Roses for this obituary.
Discussion id : 42-260
most recent 3 FEB 10 HIDE POSTS
Initial post 3 FEB 10 by Megsroses
You can include Frank's birthdate:
July 5, 1932-Jan. 30, 2010
Reply #1 of 1 posted 3 FEB 10 by jedmar
Thank you!
Discussion id : 42-199
most recent 1 FEB 10 HIDE POSTS
Initial post 31 JAN 10 by David Elliott
Frank Benardella died on January 30th 2010.
Reply #1 of 1 posted 1 FEB 10 by Forwarded by the Jersey Shore Rose Society
Frank August Benardella, born on July 5, 1932, in Englewood, N.J., passed away on Jan. 30, 2010, at his home in Millstone Township. Visiting hours will be held at the Higgins Memorial Home, 20 Center St., Freehold, on Monday and Tuesday from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. Funeral services will be held at the funeral home on Wednesday at 11 a.m. with Rev. Gregory J. Pike officiating. The interment will follow at United Presbyterian Church of Millstone Cemetery, Millstone Township. Frank graduated from Tenafly High School and received his B.B.A. from Fairleigh Dickinson University. He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict and was honorably discharged in 1952. Frank retired from Goody Products (Newell/Rubbermaid) as a senior vice-president in 1993, and devoted his time to his lifelong passion of growing, exhibiting and hybridizing roses. He served many offices of national, district and local rose societies, and was a past-president of the American Rose Society. Miniature roses hybridized by Frank brought him national and international acclaim. Frank is survived by his wife of 55 years, June; his daughters, Karen Taft and Jane Corwin; his grandchildren, Brett and Kristin Taft, and Justin Corwin, and his brother, Edward. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Rose Society, P.O. Box 30,000, Shreveport, La., or to the CentraState Medical Center, 901 W. Main St., Freehold N.J. 07728.
Published in Star-Ledger on February 1, 2010
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