Norma Louise Senn died on July 17, 2023 at St Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver BC. She had a brief illness from a rare heart disease. She was the only daughter of Harold and Betty Senn born in Ottawa, Ontario on February 12, 1949. She is survived by James (Jong Soon) Senn of South Beach Oregon.

Norma graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Horticulture and Botany. She spent most of her life teaching horticulture to commercial growers around the world. Pipin, Rhodos and wonderful travel companions kept her busy.  Condolences may be offered to the family below.

A Memorial Reception will be held at 2:00pm on Monday, July 24, 2023 in the Sequoia Centre at McCall Gardens, 4665 Falaise Drive, Victoria, BC.  Condolences may be offered to the family below.

McCall Gardens

  • Joanne Turner

    I am so very saddened to hear of Norma’s passing. In June, the last thing she said to me was that the book I had just gotten on the early Mohawks might have significance to your family. I sent her any info the book had. I didn’t hear of her passing and was trying to contact her because we are visiting Victoria and so wanted to see her. In 2014, we traveled together and shared a room in Europe on a Rhododendron tour. She has stayed with us on her trips down to see her brother in OR. I (and at times my husband & I) stayed with her in Victoria. She was wonderful hostess. She encouraged me to get my hip replaced because hers went so well. I will greatly miss her. The Rhododendron world will also miss her. I have a couple of dozen pictures of Norma from our Rhododendron tour I would be glad to share with her family.

  • Mary Berg

    Saddened by the news of Norma’s demise.

    I have many fond memories of our travel adventures including searching for rhododendrons in the wilds of China, her loud exclamation on finding a red panda along the trail – deceased but still a red panda, a conference in Geraldine, NZ and post conference travels, and unforgettable tour of Ecuador, the Galápagos Islands and on to Peru. Norma was always keen to share her knowledge on so many topics.

    She was a great asset to the Fraser South Rhododendron Society and readily contributed when needed…a guest speaker, organizer, author.

    My sincere condolences to J and family. Gone but not forgotten.

  • Danielle

    I’ve house cleaned for Norma for over the past 7 years. She was always so sweet and helpful with gardening advice. I will miss our regular visits and special greetings from Pipin.
    My heart goes out to Norma’s family & friends and her 2 nephews who she spoke very highly of.

  • Kerry Seifried

    Our condolences to Norma’s family. She supported other gardeners through teaching and mentoring. She was a humble person and many people did not realize the breadth of her expertise and experience until they took a class from her. She combined the discipline of the scientist with the practical, hands on and observational skills of a true plantsperson. The Hardy Plant Group benefited from her trip to Irish gardens, when she gave a presentation to us last April. She leaves a big hole in the gardening community of Victoria.

  • Sarah Mokry

    Norma was a longtime friend of our family and an important part of the lives of my brother Ian and I as we were growing up.

    I have very fond memories of Norma taking care of us when our parents were away. She was a fun person to be around and, as little kids, being introduced to Saturday morning cartoons, Star Wars, and Indiana Jones was a revelation!

    My thoughts are with her family and friends. She will be missed.

  • Louise Potvin

    I didn’t know Norma very well but she was a very genuine person in my mind. We were on a few committees together and we chatted at several gatherings. She always made me feel very comfortable and I know that the garden community has lost a very valuable person.

  • dave pounds

    So sorry to hear of the loss of a member of the Garden community. Sorry to say I never met Norma but sincere condolences go out to all her family from all the members of The Ontario Rock Garden and Hardy Plant Society.
    Dave Pounds

  • Sharon Joseph, Secretary VRS

    Norma will be very missed by the members of the Victoria Rhododendron Society. Norma volunteered on the Board of Directors, as a judge at flower truss shows, on the organizing committee for the successful 2015 ARS Convention, and as an animated and engaging speaker at club meetings. This was a continuation of a long and generous history with the Fraser South chapter. Thank you Norma. Rest in peace.

  • Virginia Fearing

    I carry so much respect for Norma, who, aside from being a delightful person, was so very knowledgeable about anything to do with plants. She spoke and wrote with joy and we listened!
    Warm thoughts go to her family, who had the privilege of sharing her life.

    Warm regards, Ginny Fearing

  • Chris Southwick

    Norma’s expertise in the horticultural world and willingness to share her knowledge with others will be remembered. Her support in contributing to the development of Milner Gardens through providing a list of companion plants for the Greig Rhododendron Species Garden at Milner Gardens and Woodland was appreciated. That is just one example of the many contributions that Norma so willingly gave to others. Her work at Government House and her influence and expertise there are a lasting legacy. She will be missed. Chris Southwick, Nanaimo.

  • Louise and Alan Stock

    Norma was a great friend and part of our family.
    We have had many good times together in the backyard, sharing a meal or walking our dogs.
    Norma, you are gone too soon, but you will be in our hearts forever.

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