EMMAUS GARDEN CLUB
For 83 years, members of the Emmaus Garden Club have beautified the Borough of Emmaus with private and public floral displays.
On April 27, the club continued this tradition in celebration of Arbor Day. The Knauss Homestead property received a newly planted memorial tree, which club members dedicated to Dr. W. Robert (Bob) Stamper. Stamper, who died in July 2018, is described in the club’s press release as a “gardener extraordinaire.”
Stamper and his wife, Christiane shared a love of the natural world that inspired many of their passions. They were involved with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society and have the distinction of taking a first prize at the Philadelphia Flower Show. They also belonged to the Rock Garden Society, the Rhododendron Society and the Emmaus Garden Club. Their home garden, once the featured subject of an article in “Fine Gardening” magazine, displayed not only the Stampers’ gardening expertise, but also attracted a variety of birds, particularly hummingbirds.
Faye Schuler, Emmaus Garden Club president, stated Stamper shared his extensive horticultural knowledge graciously and “…in spite of many accomplishments … was a modest man.” Friend and colleague Daryl Biser praised Stamper’s breadth of knowledge and added he was a clever “punster,” quick-witted and fun. Garden club member Rosemary Gish Ebersole described him as a “Renaissance Man.”
His many and varied achievements support this claim.
Stamper worked as a professional educator and in 1974 was named National Biology Teacher of the Year. He also qualified as a finalist for NASA’s Space Shuttle Teacher in Space program. A lifelong student, Stamper held a Bachelor of Arts degree in education from the University of Pennsylvania and a master’s degree in biology and a doctorate in zoology from Penn State University.
Creative beyond his academic pursuits, Stamper was an accomplished pianist and violinist. In addition, he served as choir director for St. John’s Lutheran Church in Hatboro for 12 years. When not gardening, studying or making music, he and his wife traveled extensively. They hiked the Alps and toured exotic lands atop horses, camels and elephants.
Teacher, student, musician, traveler and always a gardener, Stamper freely shared his knowledge about and appreciation of the natural world.
The Emmaus Garden Club’s planting of a redbud tree in his memory is most appropriate. As described in the program notes for Stamper’s memorial service, “The Appalachian Red redbud is a native tree…[whose] flowers attract hummingbirds and butterflies.” As Schuler stated at the close of her remarks, “It is the perfect tree for Bob.”
The Emmaus Garden Club meets the first Tuesday of the month March through December at Faith Presbyterian Church, 3002 N. 2nd St., Emmaus.
For more information, contact Faye Schuler at 610-965-6109 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.