Susann F. Biddulph (1916-2003)

In the late summer days of 1916 Susann Fry was born in Drumright, Oklahoma. She was born to Melvin Fry, a physician who was born in Greenville, Ohio and Hattie May Leslie Fry a 28-year-old housekeeper. In a sign of a different time the birth certificate asks for the father's occupation and suggests "Spinner, Sawyer, Bookkeeper etc." as the possible options while the trades suggested for mothers are "Housekeeper, typist, nurse, clerk etc."

Orlin Biddulph doing field work.

Twenty-six years later in the summer of 1942 in Billings, Montana Susann married Orlin Nathan Biddulph a widower of Pullman, Washington. Eight years her senior, Orlin was then a professor of botany at Washington State University. Orlin's son Stuart was four years old when his sister Ann was born in the summer of 1943. Susann earned her doctorate in botany a year later from Washington State University.

Susann and Orlin both made distinguished careers of the study of botany before retiring in the 1970's. In that time they each published considerable original scientific research in the field of botany and were recognized for their work with awards such as Orlin's Outstanding Scientist Award from the Northwest Scientific Association in 1972.

Both Susann and Orlin were active in their retirement to Leisure World in Mesa, Arizona. Orlin took on lawn bowling as a new passtime in addition to the woodworking and silver smiting he had done earlier. Susann volunteered in the library at Leisure World, in local schools, sang in the choir and did some of her final pottery work in Arizona. When not otherwise occupied both enjoyed spending time at the Boyce Thompson Arboretum and walking the hills of the Superstition mountains.

Susann and Orlin were grandparents to 8 grandchildren. In the spring of 1987 Orlin passed away after a brief illness. In the late summer of 2003, Susann passed away two days short of what would have been her 61st wedding anniversary. Susann is survived Ann, Stuart and by 7 surviving grandchildren and 8 great-grand children.

It's difficult to say what will be missed the most. Both touched so many lives and contributed so much to our understanding of the world. They encouraged us to try new things and never stopped discovering and learning.

We miss you grandma & grandpa.

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1 Comment

Stuart Biddulph

I grew up in Pullman, Washington, with Stuart and would like to talk with him now, nearly 50 years later.
Neal Brown