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Henry Martin Donselman


1948 – 2012 - Obituary Condolences
Henry Martin Donselman Obituary
Dr. Henry Martin Donselman was born August 11, 1948, in the small town of Milan, Indiana, to Martin Herman and Norma Amelia (née Luke) Donselman. He passed away January 29, 2012, in Murrieta, CA. Henry grew up in Aurora, Indiana, where his father Martin operated a mill. He has an older sister, Dorothy Elizabeth Stringer, and had an older brother, Edward Herman Donselman. Henry graduated from Vincennes University, Indiana State University, and Purdue University, where he received a doctorate in ornamental horticulture, inspired by his grandfather, a botanist.
He married Barbara Jane Longfellow in 1972. In 1976, he accepted a position as professor at the University of Florida. While there, Henry helped introduce many new species of plants, including the now popular Heliconia. In 1988, Henry accepted a position as vice president of Rancho Soledad Nurseries in Rancho Santa Fe and moved his family to Poway. In 1993, Henry began his own palm tree consulting business, which he ran up to his death, except for three years he spent with The Scotts Company.
Henry served on the Board of the Quail Botanical Gardens and was active in the International Palm Society. He was a world-class horticulturalist, listed in Who's Who in Science and Engineering. He also received Interiorscape's grand prize for best project in 1988 for his work on the World Finance Center in New York and a merit award from the American Society of Landscape Architects in 1995 for his work on Palm Drive at Stanford University. Perhaps Henry's favorite project was working on Petco Park, home of his beloved San Diego Padres. Despite his many accomplishments, God and family were always Henry's first priorities, as shown by his involvement in Mt. Olive Lutheran Church in Poway, where he served as vice president and later president, and in his sons' Poway National Little League.
A devoted father and husband, Henry is survived by his children, David, Kerensa and Travis; and the love of his life, Barbara "Jane."
Henry was interred on February 8, 2012, at Mission San Luis Rey in Oceanside between two beautiful palm trees.
Donations can be made to the International Palm Society or Trinity Lutheran Church in Temecula, CA.
Published in the Pomerado News on Feb. 9, 2012
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