I.I. Winner at the 39th Annual Conference in Crystal River. She is on the far left in white.
by Jody Wood-Putnam
I met I.I. Winner as a Florida Master Gardener trainee in 2004. She was a already a certified Master Gardener at that time and she went out of her way to introduce herself and to make me feel welcome to the program. She introduced me to the other Master Gardeners and showed me the ropes. As time went on, I came to realize that this graciousness and making others feel special was part of what made I.I. the wonderful person she was.
I.I. loved gardening and she loved most things in nature, in particular flowers, butterflies and birds. She could often be found gardening on a lot next door to her home which she called “God's Little Acre" and had made into a beautiful wildlife habitat.
I.I. was a person who made things happen. In 2007, she helped to found the Sweet Bay Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society. I.I. was an active member of the Chapter until she died earlier this year. She contributed to the chapter in numerous ways throughout the years, helping with informational booths, presentations, plant propagation, projects, and so on. She would jump in happily with whatever was needed. She always made a special effort to greet visitors and new members, making sure everyone felt welcome.
I.I. loved going new places, learning new things and meeting people. I have so many wonderful memories of field trips and especially of weekend road trips to the FNPS conferences we went to over the years. Her wit, enthusiasm and joy was contagious, making it a joy to be with her.
I.I. was a dear friend and a truly remarkable woman who added joy to many people’s lives. She is missed dearly.
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