In memoriam Bill Wallin


Team Echinacea lost one of our longtime members, Bill Wallin. Last week Bill went to the hospital for pain associated with cancer and his health deteriorated quickly. He died on Monday surrounded by his family.

We will miss Bill a lot. He volunteered on Thursday mornings and has been an integral part of our team for over a decade. He was a hard working and dedicated citizen scientist and a great person to have in the lab. He was thoughtful and considerate and contributed to the ongoing discussions in the lab on wide-ranging topics. Bill was usually soft spoken and quick to smile. He would share stories of his adventures with pianos and more recently of his cancer. Through thick and thin, we could count on Bill to be a positive influence on the Team.

Bill contributed to all aspects of lab work with the Echinacea Project. In the past several years, Bill focused on counting achenes. We appreciated Bill for his speed and accuracy when counting. Since we moved to our online seed counting system in 2011, Bill has counted over 413,430 Echinacea achenes. Before joining the Echinacea project, Bill pulled weeds in natural areas at the Garden and monitored threatened plants for the Plants of Concern Program.

We will miss Bill, but we are grateful that we got to work with him and enjoy camaraderie while making contributions to plant science and conservation. We will forever have great memories.

Here is Bill’s profile from 2015 and some more posts with photos of the team and of Bill.


4 comments to In memoriam Bill Wallin

  • Jon Wallin

    I have such wonderful memories of my father as a gardener. He had a true love for the slow pace and quiet nature of gardening, which he instilled in his children. My fond childhood memories of bicycle rides to the Chicago Botanic Garden are more precious now than ever. I am so happy to know how loved and appreciated his work at the Garden has been.
    Thank you so much,
    Jon Wallin

  • Thank you for this lovely tribute to my brother-in-law. Bill was a good man, one who was very modest about his contributions and his accomplishments. I knew in general about his work at the Botanic Garden, but you provided much information about impressive details I did not know. Bill’s work with you brought him satisfaction and peace, of that I’m sure. Now he has returned to the same earth that he loved to tend—the earth all of us will return to some day—and I believe that his care for the earth is now being repaid by the earth’s care for him. My thanks to you—and to my nephew, Jon Wallin—for the tributes to Bill on this page. May he rest in peace, as I’m sure he will.

  • Amy Wallin

    Thank you for this touching tribute. Wonderful to read about my dad and the work he enjoyed at the Garden.

  • Sara Phillips

    Thank you for sharing this memorial tribute to my cousin, Bill Wallin. I appreciate reading about his volunteer work at the Chicago Botanic Garden. I have shared this article with my children. I know that anyone who reads this tribute and enjoys the Garden will admire Bill’s positive influence and contributions through his many days of volunteer work.

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