Westcott Burlingame III, “Wes” thumbnail

Westcott "Wes" Burlingame, III

May 23, 1946 - September 18, 2019

Westcott Burlingame III, “Wes”, 73, of Hendersonville, NC died peacefully of cancer on September 17th, 2019 at Elizabeth House Hospice in Flat Rock, NC. He was surrounded by his loving family.

 

He was born and raised in Rochester, NY, graduated from Penfield High School,and received his B.A. in Politica…read more

Westcott Burlingame III, “Wes”, 73, of Hendersonville, NC died peacefully of cancer on September 17th, 2019 at Elizabeth House Hospice in Flat Rock, NC. He was surrounded by his loving family.

 

He was born and raised in Rochester, NY, graduated from Penfield High School,and received his B.A. in Political Science from Ohio Wesleyan University. He served in the U.S. Peace Corps in Thailand for two years (malaria eradication) and returned to the U.S. where he received his MPH (Public Health– population) from the University of Michigan. He worked in refugee relief with USAID in Laos and farmed in Fiji before serving for 2 years with UNICEF-Kathmandu in maternal-child health programs. Upon returning to the U.S., he pursued his love of horticulture by working at the Biltmore Estate vineyards and the Mountain Horticultural Crops Research Station before starting his own business, Laurel Springs Nursery, where he grew specialty and native plants for 30 years. He spoke Thai fluently and returned annually with Sharon to enjoy Thai culture, friends, and cuisine.

 

For many years, Wes was a popular vendor at Hendersonville Main Street Garden Jubilee, French Broad River Garden Club, Calloway Gardens Spring Sale, Botanical Gardens of Asheville Fall/Spring Sales and the Cullowhee Native Plant Conference at Western Carolina University.

Whether as a vendor, lecturer, or tour leader, he always delighted in sharing his love of nature and his extensive horticultural knowledge so that his “children” (his plants) would thrive in their new homes.

 

Wes enjoyed contributing to the community by serving on the Hendersonville Tree Board, through which he organized numerous planting events including those at Bruce Drysdale Elementary, Bear Cat Loop, Oklawaha Greenway, and the Henderson County Public Library. He loved leading animated plant walks and always made time for gardeners’ questions.

 

He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Sharon Smith Burlingame; his son Eric Burlingame (Dina Blum Burlingame); his daughter Maya Burlingame (Nathan Schultz); grandchildren Wade, Ingrid, Nora, Annabelle, and Olivia; his sister Leslie J. Burlingame (Doris Bailey), his beloved aunt Olive Camp Johnson, and six cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents, Westcott Burlingame Jr. and Miriam Johnson Burlingame.

 

A memorial service will be held at a later date.

 

Wes’s green legacy is a joy that will fill Hendersonville for years. In lieu of flowers, please plant a native tree or shrub, or contribute to Bullington Gardens<https://bullingtongardens.org/support-bullington/>orBotanial Gardens of Asheville<https://ashevillebotanicalgardens.org/support/donations/memorial-donations/>.

 

 

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