In Memoriam
Jon Soucek - 1949-2013

Jim Spuhler, Strongsville, OH
Jon Soucek’s love of hostas was extremely strong, but that wasn’t always the case.  Around 1994, Jon and his daughter, Rachel, began collecting hostas. They were introduced to the well-known daylily and hosta hybridizer, Steve Moldovan, through a local garden center, and the rest was history. Rachel began hybridizing hostas, while Jon hybridized daylilies. In 1996, he moved to Avon, Ohio, and his first thought upon viewing the property was to name it Angelica Gardens. Then commenced the establishment of an extensive garden, filled with daylilies and hostas. Jon first became acquainted with hosta through Peter Ruh, Van Wade, Bob Kuk, and Moldovan, with whom he had many long discussions concerning the friendship plant. He soon abandoned hybridizing daylilies and began hybridizing hosta with Rachel. A widely varied planting of hostas was initiated.
One of the first hosta developed by Jon and Rachel was named Hosta ‘Steve Moldovan’, in honor of their longtime friend. It is a large blue plant, with large oval crinkled leaves. 

Jon was instrumental in founding, forming, and being president of North Coast Hosta Society of Ohio, but his love for hosta didn’t stop there. He was a certified judge, and he would travel on weekends to Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio, to judge at various hosta shows. Jon was past president of the Great Lakes Region of the American Hosta Society and was heavily involved with Hosta College. He was also instrumental in helping to form the newly developed Hosta Tailgate event in this region.  

In 2005, Jon was instrumental in bringing three local hosta societies together for a single purpose. As a result of Jon’s efforts, the North Coast Hosta Society, the Midland Hosta Society, and the Central Ohio Hosta Society formed a group that was able to organize the highly successful American Hosta Society National Convention, “Hosta Heartland,” in Cleveland, Ohio. Angelica Gardens was one of the featured gardens on the convention tours. 

Jon was also a member of the American Conifer Association and his gardens contained a vast array of unusual conifers among the hostas and statuary in the beautiful Angelica Gardens.

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