Sally McQueen Smith Squire died on Sunday, the 26th of June 2011, just three days before her 83rd birthday. Born in St. Louis, MO, Sally grew up in Rolla, MO and New York State. She was a graduate of Vassar College. As a young adult, she moved to Houston where she already had many friends from college and summer camp.
As a member of the Junior League of Houston, she served in many areas, as well as on the Board and as Editor of the "News" Magazine. She was a member of St. Martin's Episcopal Church; The Garden Club of Houston, of which she was President; the Town and Country Garden Club; and was a Master Gardener. Sally was active in the Garden Club of America where she served on the Horticulture, Nominating, and Conservation National Committees and as the Zone IX Vice Chairman and Director. As a Garden Club of America Horticulture Judge, she judged flower shows across the country and participated in horticulture conferences both nationally and abroad. Sally was a Board Member of the Center for Plant Conservation and toured throughout Southeast U.S. lecturing on endangered plants and their need for preservation.
After serving as Gardening Editor of "Houston Home and Garden" Magazine, Sally established her own River Bend Publishing Company. She published numerous horticulture books including the American Hibiscus Society Handbook, and The Garden Merchant, which won the prestigious Garden Writers of America Award. Her own book,
Gardener's Guide to Growing Bulbs on The Gulf Coast, continues to offer a wealth of knowledge to gardeners all over the South.
Two of her passions were the Garden Club of Houston's Bulb and Plant Mart and the Garden Club of America's magazine "The Bulletin" for which she served as Editor for over 10 years, transforming it from a small newsletter format into a sophisticated magazine, earning her the GCA's coveted Sara Chapman Frances Medal for outstanding literary service.
For the Garden Club of Houston, Sally was instrumental in the growth of GCH's Bulb and Plant Mart, now a most successful fundraiser and an annual "must-attend" for area gardeners. For many years she was the principle buyer for all of the plants sold at the Mart, and she made several trips to Holland visiting the bulb growers and establishing strong relationships to insure excellent bulb material. Sally traveled the U.S. with fellow garden club members to bring back new and unusual plants and test them for the Houston climate. These annual trips introduced many then "new" plants to Houston gardeners.
Sally used her horticultural knowledge to lead numerous successful garden tours to England, Holland and other countries. Known as "The Bulb Lady," she lectured extensively on bulbs both locally and nationwide, hosted her own local TV show, and was a frequent TV/radio guest expert. Sally's expertise and her generous sharing of her horticulture knowledge and love of gardening will be missed by many.
The family is grateful for the dedication of Nikita Lazare, Faye Carey, Debora Foster and for their generous and loving care.
Sally is preceded in death by her husband Charles F. Squire and her son Frank Chesley Smith III. She is survived by her sons, Stuart McQueen Smith, and David Duncan Smith, and her grandson, Cameron McQueen Smith.
Friends were cordially invited to a visitation with the family from four o'clock in the afternoon until six o'clock in the evening on Wednesday, the 29th of June, in the Drawing Room of Geo. H. Lewis & Sons, 1010 Bering Drive in Houston.
An interment service was conducted at half-past nine o'clock in the morning on Thursday, the 30th of June, at Forest Park Lawndale Cemetery in Houston.
The memorial service followed at eleven o'clock in the morning, also on Thursday, at St. Martin's Episcopal Church, 717 Sage Road in Houston. Immediately following, all were invited to greet the family during a reception in the adjacent Founders' Hall.
In lieu of customary remembrances, the family respectfully requests that memorial contributions in Sally's name be directed to St. Martin's Episcopal Church, 717 Sage Road, Houston, TX, 77056; The Garden Club of Houston Community Memorial Fund, 4212 San Felipe, PMB 486, Houston, Texas 77027-2902; The Garden Club of America Scholarship Fund, 14 East 60th Street, New York, NY 10022; or to the charity of one's choice.
Published in Houston Chronicle from June 28 to July 3, 2011