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Clements, John

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  Listing last updated on 11 Jun 2024.
St Paul, Oregon
United States
Code = CLE---

[From Heirloom Roses Catalog 2001, p. 15: John Clements has been breeding roses since the late 1970s and has this to say about it...] Rose breeding, I feel, is more an art than a science. I feel an intense love of the beauty of the roses. Through years of trial and error with a lot of intuition and love I have combined the best of the English roses and many other forms of roses with special emphasis on fragrance, beauty and disease resistance. We [Heirloom Roses] grow about 10,000 seedlings each year, every one an individual. Out of these 10,000 in four years of evaluation only about five will be judged good enough to be named and introduced. We test them more strenuously than other breeders as they are never sprayed for insects or disease or fertilized. My feeling in this method is that only the finest will show both disease-resistance and vigor.

From obituary:
John Keith Clements, co-owner of Heirloom Roses died at his home in Newberg on Aug. 8, 2007.
He was born on Nov. 8, 1936, to Glen and Ruth Clements in South San Francisco. He is survived by his wife, Louise; his brother, Gerald; one daughter and five stepchildren, Laura Miles, Michael Yates, Brenda Burg, Susie Phillips, Bonnie Hadley and Randall Yates; 16 grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.
John attended school in Turlock, Calif. In 1955, at age 19, he joined the Air Force as an air traffic controller and served in England working side by side with the Royal National Air Force. After four years of military service he attended school in Oklahoma to continue as an air traffic controller for the Federal Aviation Administration. He served in air traffic control towers in California, Idaho and Oregon. In 1979 he and Louise (Benham) Yates were married. 
He founded Small World Miniature Roses in 1972 which became the largest wholesale supplier of miniature roses in the Northwest and developed clientele throughout the United States. His passion for roses took front stage in his life when he retired from the F.A.A. in 1984. In 1987 he expanded his passion for roses to include antique rose varieties and the Austin English Roses. The company name was changed to Heirloom Roses and has become the largest family-owned rose business in the United States. Through Heirloom's hybridizing program, John created and introduced more than 60 new rose varieties and built five acres of rose gardens near St. Paul. In his absence his wife will continue to carry on the business.
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