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FM Mooberry

Mooberry—FM Mooberry, 85, on December 11, 2015, at home in Kendal at Longwood in Kennett Square, Pa. FM was born in 1930 in Albert Lea, Minn., in the hospital closest to her hometown of Northwood, Iowa. Growing up active in the Girl Scouts, she wanted a professional scouting career, so after graduating from University of Iowa, she became the executive at the Shining Trail Council in Burlington, Iowa. Briefly interrupting her scouting career to marry David Mooberry in 1953, after a short stay at Purdue she moved to Delaware, joining the Wilmington Area Council with responsibility for Cecil County, Md. But her growing family and David’s job transfers led her to leave scouting and begin work in horticulture, becoming a guide at Longwood Gardens in the late 60s and then a volunteer at the new Brandywine River Museum, where as coordinator of horticulture she focused on protection of native plants for this institution committed to serving the Brandywine Valley. She worked with 40 other volunteers and lots of truckloads of mushroom soil to create an outstanding native plant garden, as someone said, “turning cinders into gold.” A member of London Grove Meeting in Kennett Square, she was also an educator, designer, author, speaker, and seed collector for commercial growers. In 1990, she started the Native Plants in the Landscape Conference at Millersville University that is still active today. Along the way she discovered an unusual white seedling of Phlox paniculata that she named for her husband, and the Periennial Plant Association named Phlox “David” the Perennial Plant of the year in 2002.

FM is survived by her husband of 62 years, David Mooberry; her children, Susan Mooberry (Greg Paterson) and Douglas Mooberry (Pat Pusey Mooberry); and four outstanding grandchildren. Contributions in her memory may be made to London Grove Friends Meeting, 500 Street Rd. Kennett Square, PA 19348.

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