Celebration of Life Honors Industry Icon August ‘Gus’ De Hertogh

It couldn’t have been a more perfect day to celebrate and honor a man who gave so much to the floral industry. Family and friends from near and abroad joined together to remember August “Gus” De Hertogh at the J C Raulston Arboretum in Raleigh, NC, on Saturday, March 16, 2019. Gus passed away on October 26, 2018.

In all, nearly 200 attended the event on a perfect spring afternoon. It was only fitting that event featured beautiful tulips and other florals, generously provided by industry members that Gus worked so closely with for decades.

The program, emceed by Dr. Elliot Engel, a longtime friend of Gus and Mary Belle, provided great stories about the impact Gus made on the bulb industry throughout the world. Family and friends shared stories about this great family man, an industry researcher, and friend.

“Gus was a very important person to the national and international floriculture industry. But more than that, he was an important mentor and friend to dozens of people that he encountered professionally in academia and the industry,” said Debbie Hamrick. “Every time we see a pot bulb or cut bulb crop in the greenhouse, field or at retail, we can thank him for developing the research-based production protocols to make that market possible. He was instrumental in creating millions of dollars of new sales of bulb products for floricultural producers the world over. It was an honor to have him as a mentor and to call him a friend.”

“Apart from his professional life, Gus was a loving husband, father, and grandfather,” says his wife, Mary Belle. “Our loss is immeasurable. Forever we will celebrate his goodness, his generosity, and his love.”

A memorial tribute has been established to honor Gus, with the goal of creating a named scholarship fund which can be presented to a student annually. Contributions to this fund can be made at Please specify the Gus De Hertogh tribute.