In memoriam: Leroy DeVries

Chris Beytes

Leroy DeVries, long-time business partner at Masterpiece Flower Company passed away in early October. He was just 57. Tim Stiles from Masterpiece said in an email that Leroy had battled lung cancer for three years. Wrote Tim, “Because of his work, he leaves us a better company and a better greenhouse industry.”

Horticulture was Leroy’s plan from the beginning. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, with a degree in horticulture, and he spent the last 36 years using this knowledge and pursuing his passion. He worked at Henry Mast Greenhouses and Masterpiece Flower Company.

Leroy was Production Manager at Henry Mast Greenhouses for 33 years, traveling the world, meeting with breeders and plantsmen and seeking out new and improved varieties. He served on the Home Depot grower council for several years, developing new programs and selecting and trialing new plant varieties. Said Tim, “Leroy really enjoyed both the science and the marketing of plants.”

Tim also related this story about Leroy’s passion for college sports.

“Being a native of Wisconsin and an alumnus of the University of Wisconsin–Madison, Leroy was an ardent Badger fan. However, second to that, he was also an MSU Spartan fan. Our company works closely with MSU research and extension staff and Leroy was always involved with every research project. However, when it came to college sports, we had plenty of healthy bantering when the two teams met!”

Leroy was strongly devoted to his Christian faith, his family and his work, Tim added.

“Leroy and his wife, Sandy, raised their three children in their home in front of our greenhouses. Leroy’s sons Brad and Nick work at Henry Mast Greenhouses and his daughter Abigail also formerly worked at the greenhouse. He will be missed by his family and his work associates.” GT