Louis F. Dubbert, who ran a family-owned nursery at Falls Road and Northern Parkway for nearly 30 years, died Thursday of congestive heart failure at Greater Baltimore Medical Center. He was 77.
For many years, after opening in 1952, Dubbert's Nursery and Flower Shop was one of the most prominent in the city. Begun by Mr. Dubbert's father, August Charles Dubbert, it continued under the direction of his son in 1959, although Louis Dubbert decided to eliminate the flower shop and concentrate on landscaping. He changed the name to Greenfield Nursery in 1973.
A soft-spoken man, he took great pleasure in acquiring unusual specimens and in sharing his finds and planting techniques with others. Sue Bloodgood, owner of Happy Hollow Nursery in Cockeysville, was an early protege.
"Just walk through Roland Park and look at the gardens, and you can be sure something Lou Dubbert sold is in there," she said.
Mr. Dubbert was particularly fond of day lilies and propagated many of his own varieties, once boasting of 500 types growing in the gardens of his home in the Pinehurst neighborhood of Baltimore County.
In early July, when the blooming typically peaked and the grounds blazed with yellows, oranges and reds, he and his wife celebrated by serving as hosts of an annual "low tea" - a garden party complete with live jazz music, Mr. Dubbert's other love.
"He took every square inch he could of the back yard," Mrs. Dubbert said yesterday. "It's spring, the flowers are blooming, now I can look at the daffodils and primroses and think about how much he loved spring and loved life."
Mr. Dubbert in 1967 was elected president of the Maryland Nurseryman's Association. He sold his business and retired in 1986 because of health problems.
Born in Baltimore, he graduated from Baltimore Polytechnic Institute in 1942 and earned a bachelor's degree in business from the Johns Hopkins University in 1949. While at the university, he was a star lacrosse player.
He served in the U.S. Army 385th Antiaircraft Artillery from January 1943 to December 1945, and with the 11th Antiaircraft Artillery as a reserve officer in the Korean War.
His marriages to Betty Mulcahy and Dorothy Kluth ended in divorce.
Besides his wife, the former Priscilla Goodwin, to whom he was married 23 years, he is survived by a son, Mark K. Dubbert, of Baltimore; daughters Hollis A. Mooney of Baltimore, Lisa V. Kokes of Ellicott City and L. Allison Snow of Clayton, Calif.; stepsons Leonard C. Robinson of Salisbury and Robert A. Robinson of Baltimore; sisters Aileen Foard and Ruth D. Sewell, both of Severna Park; and seven grandchildren.
Calling hours will be from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. today and from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. tomorrow at Mitchell-Wiedefeld Funeral Home, 6500 York Road. Funeral services will be at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at the funeral home, with burial at Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Autism Society of America, 7910 Woodmont Ave., Suite 650, Bethesda, Md., 20814.