Yuma Garden Club Members
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Yuma Garden Club Member(s) of the Month

JoAnne Mowczko


JoAnne has been a member of Yuma Garden Club for three years but has been gardening for many more! She is involved in Yuma Garden Club’s many fund-raising activities (Yuma Tree Expo, Sanguinetti Garden fund-raiser, Yuma Holiday Bazaar, the Home and Garden Show). 

She completed the Master Gardener program last year and is enjoying learning more about gardening through Yuma Garden Club activities.

JoAnne is involved in the floral design activities of the club (February flower show and the Yuma Co. fair flower show).  She enjoys learning about floral design and entering her arrangements in these competitions.

Being a high school biology teacher gives JoAnne an extensive background useful in our gardening activities.

She just returned from a six-week adventure into the rainforest area of Ecuador. She was invited by the Achuar tribe to record their tribal history and create a tourist guide book for the tribe to use in attracting tourists to their area. She has a variety of interesting experiences which occurred during her stay with the tribe.

Her favorite flower is the rose, her favorite tree is the Palo Verde, and her favorite shrub is the Fairy Duster.

We are happy to have such a friendly and knowledgeable member in our club.

Gary Stowe


Gary is a new member to Yuma Garden Club and a great addition to our family of gardeners.  He participated in our Yuma Tree Expo and Home and Garden Show fund raisers.  He helped at the rose pruning event at the Alma Schott Rose Garden where the club pruned the numerous rose bushes.

Besides gardening, Gary finds time to be active in the “Love on a Leash” program which takes dogs to nursing homes.  The residents love petting the dogs and he finds it rewarding to see the happiness the program brings.

Gary completed the Master Gardener program last year and is looking forward to learning more about gardening through our club activities.

His favorite flower is the rose and his favorite tree is any type of citrus.

Yuma Garden Club is lucky to have Gary as a member.

Marilyn Thornbury


Marilyn has been a member of Yuma Garden Club since 1999.  She is actively involved in all the club’s activities. 

She enjoys our club’s monthly programs and the opportunity to learn more about gardening.  Marilyn also enjoys entering horticulture specimens in our February flower show and the Yuma County Fair flower show.

Besides Yuma Garden Club, Marilyn is also a member of Pecan Grove Garden Club and the Friends of Yuma Library Bookstore.  She has been vice-president of both organizations.

Her favorite shrubs are the ‘Pink Bower’ vine and Euonymus.

Her caring ways and ready smile make her a club member that brings sunshine to our meetings.



Mary Lou Milstead has been a Yuma Garden Club member for 13 years.  During that time, she has had many leadership roles in the club and in the Federated Garden Clubs of Yuma.

She has been Yuma Garden Club's vice-president, coordinator of the club's annual yearbook of activities, coordinator of the Alma Schott Memorial Rose Garden, and a major contributor of floral designs at the Federated Garden Clubs of Yuma's flower show held at the Yuma Co. Fair and at ArtBeat.

     When the Moody Garden was first begun, Mary Lou was in charge of designing the sensory healing garden.  She is a master gardener and is a wonderful asset to Yuma Garden Club.

     Being married to an air force pilot gave Mary Lou many opportunities to visit other countries and learn new gardening and floral techniques. 

     She enjoys interacting with all the Federated Garden Club members and exchanging ideas and tips about gardening and floral designs.

     Her favorite tree is the European Chestnut and her favorite flower is the orchid.

     We are especially happy to have such an active and dedicated member in our club. 



Helen Drummond has been a Yuma Garden Club member for four years.  She became involved with the club when she began moving to Yuma with her daughter for the winters.  When Yuma's temperatures begin to rise, Helen travels to Colorado, where the climate is much better for summertime gardening.

     Both Helen and her husband were educators during their working careers.  They lived in Yuma for 15 years where her husband was superintendent of the San Pasqual School District and she was a first-grade teacher in the Crane District.  After retiring from teaching, they were involved in the motel business and then finished their working careers teaching in America Samoa.

     Helen’s favorite tree is the birch and her favorite flower is the rose.

     She enjoys the friendliness of our garden club members and the opportunity to learn new and interesting gardening ideas at club meetings.

     Yuma Garden Club is happy to have such a sweet and caring person as Helen as one of our members.



Georgia Brown has been a Yuma Garden Club member for three years.  Being the wife of the Yuma Garden Club president, Cal Kelley, has made Georgia a very active and dedicated supporter of the club’s activities.  She played a major role in making our Federated Garden Club’s State Convention, held in Yuma in 2008, such a great success. 

 She participated in the 2009 Yuma Tree Expo and Sanguinetti Garden fund-raiser.  She has participated in the Yuma Home and Garden Show and the Yuma Artists Potpourri, where plants were sold by the Yuma Garden Club. 

  Her favorite flower is any yellow rose, her favorite tree is the Dogwood, and her favorite shrub is the Lilac bush.

 She enjoys being a garden club member because of the many great men and women she has come to know. 

In 2015, she chaired the AFGC Convention in Yuma, AZ. Once again she created an event that will long be remembered.

  Georgia is currently the Recording Secretary.

  Besides the Yuma Garden Club, Georgia is also a volunteer for “Helping Hands”, a group in the foothills of Yuma which drives elderly individuals to their appointments.

 Yuma Garden Club is very lucky to have such a generous and sincere person in our club.



We would like to introduce one of our newest Yuma Garden Club members, Jane Buck.  Jane has been a garden club member since 1979, when she started as a member of the Cedar Falls Garden Club in Iowa.  She joined Yuma Garden Club this year and is already a wonderful supporter of the club’s activities.

Through the years, she has been the state president of the Federated Garden Clubs of Iowa, webmaster, and District III director.  She was also the National Garden Clubs, Inc. website chairman for three terms and is currently their Invasive Plant Chairperson.

We are happy to have Jane’s advice on floral designs, as she is a Master Flower Show judge and has even traveled to Brazil and Panama to judge flower shows.

Jane spends her winters in Yuma and summers in Cedar Falls, Iowa.  Her Iowa garden is going to be featured on the city garden tour this July, so Jane will be hurrying back this spring to make sure everything is ready for this special event.

Her extensive talents and knowledge of gardening will be put to good use in Yuma Garden Club.  We are lucky to have such a sweet and caring person in our club.



Charlotte Cook has a long history with the Federated Garden Clubs.  It all began when she and her husband moved to the tiny town of Randle in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest of western Washington state.  Although it was an isolated little town, it had an award-winning garden club with three life master judges as members.  The club, Illahee Garden Club, won first place in the national flower show awards many times, and Charlotte enjoyed being a part of this active organization.  Charlotte was president of her garden club twice and was also a District Director.

After 34 years in Randle, Charlotte and her husband moved to Zillah, in eastern Washington.  She joined the Country Garden Club and is an active member.  She was Judges’ Chairman for their recent Holiday Flower Show and was kept busy searching for nine judges to judge the show.

In 2002, after attending flower show school, Charlotte became an accredited judge and is now an accredited life judge.  She has also been on the Washington State Board and was State Awards Chairman.

She is kept busy with the three garden clubs she is an active member in.  We are happy to have Charlotte join Yuma Garden Club and appreciate all the gardening knowledge and support she has given our club.  Her happy smile and pleasing personality make her a wonderful addition to our club.



Helen Buck has been a member of the Yuma Garden Club for about ten years, ever since she asked her friend, Elizabeth Moody about roses.  Elizabeth recommended she come to a garden club meeting to learn more about roses, which Helen did, and she has been an active member ever since.  She has been past Western District Director, Corresponding Secretary, and Recording Secretary for our club.  Helen was the state coordinator for the Smoky Bear/Woodsy Owl poster contest.  She is also a regional life member of the Federated Garden Clubs and an active member of the Yuma Orchid Society.

Helen enjoys working with all the club members on various community service projects.  She especially likes learning more about gardening from our members and guest speakers at the meetings.  She also completed the Master Gardener's program.

Her favorite flower is the hibiscus and her favorite tree is the mesquite.  Helen was honored by the Yuma Garden Club with a Sissoo tree planted in her name at Desert Mesa Elementary School.

Helen retired from elementary teaching and enjoys traveling when she finds the time.  She is also an avid reader.  For many years, she was an active leader of a Girl Scout Club and taught the girls flower arranging and gardening, along with other projects.

Helen has four children, two boys and two girls, who visit as often as their jobs allow.

2009 was a busy year for Helen.  She participated in the Yuma Tree Expo, the Sanguinetti Fund Raiser, and the Home and Garden Show.  She also exhibited flower arrangements and specimens at the Federated Flower Show held during the Yuma County Fair.

Yuma Garden Club is lucky to have such a sweet and caring member as Helen.



Beverly Peterson has been a member of the Yuma Garden Club for nine years.  She had just finished the Master Gardener’s program and wanted a gardening club to join.  She found Yuma Garden Club and has taken an active leadership role in the club ever since.  In the past, she has been Western District Director for the Federated Garden Club and recording secretary and treasurer of the Yuma Garden Club.  She is also a state life member of the Federated Garden Clubs.  At present, she gives an inspirational reading at each meeting.

This year, Beverly participated in the Yuma Tree Expo, the Yuma Holiday Bazaar, the Home and Garden Show, and was a presenter at one of our club meetings.  She gave an interesting talk about birds, butterflies, trees, and shrubs of the desert area.  Beverly entered both flower arrangements and plant specimens in the Federated Flower Show held during the Yuma County Fair.

Besides working with Yuma Garden Club, Beverly is also a member of the MGM Garden Club which tends the Moody Garden.  She plays the organ for her church and occasionally writes articles for the Desert Gardener section of the local newspaper, the Yuma Sun.  In her few moments of spare time, she enjoys reading, knitting, and crocheting.

Beverly’s favorite flower is any fragrant rose, her favorite tree is the Red Maple, which she wishes grew in Yuma, and her favorite shrub is the lilac.

Beverly enjoys our club because of the many friends she has made and the gardening information she has gained from our speakers and club members.  She says that the community service activities which the club participates in are worthwhile and enjoyable.

Beverly has been gardening since she was a child.  At that time, she lived in northern states and became acquainted with the plants grown in colder areas.  The last twenty years, she has been a resident of Yuma but still misses those northern plants which don’t like growing in Yuma.   Her hobbies are flower arranging, gardening, reading, crocheting, and knitting.  She is a very busy woman!

Beverly is a wonderful member of the Yuma Garden Club and we are lucky to have her.



Trudy Gauntt has been a member of Yuma Garden Club for two years.  She has become one of our most active and supportive members.  Trudy comes from a long line of farmers and gardeners and is very knowledgeable about gardening and enjoys sharing her knowledge with other club members.

She has lived in many different parts of the U.S., as well as Chile.  In every spot, she maintained a garden and huge amounts of potted plants.  One of her favorite pastimes is to find new seeds to bring home and try to grow.  Her father told her that if she ever visited the Rainforests, she would come back with all her pockets full of seeds!  That is a true gardener.

Trudy participated in the Sanguinetti Garden Fund-raiser and the Garden clean-up, the Home and Garden Show, and was our September speaker, talking about how to propagate cuttings and correctly plant seeds for quick germination.

Trudy’s favorite flower is the orchid, which is one reason she is also a member of the Yuma Orchid Society.  She is the vice-president and is enjoying the opportunity to meet with other orchid lovers and discuss orchids.  Her favorite shrub is the Red Bird of Paradise, a very popular shrub here in Yuma.

Trudy has been married for 43 years, congratulations!  She has three children, two girls and a son, and nine grandchildren.  One grandson is in Japan, and I bet Trudy will be headed that way soon to collect new and interesting seeds to bring back to Yuma.

Trudy says she enjoys being with fellow gardeners in our club and learning new growing procedures and plants to try.  She and her husband graciously donated an evaporative cooler for our newly-constructed greenhouse and she is in charge of supervising the greenhouse activities.

Yuma Garden Club is very lucky to have such an energetic and knowledgeable member as Trudy.




Elizabeth Moody, pictured on the left, is wearing her creative hat
for the "Garden Party" at Sanguinetti Garden.
On the right is Elizabeth's daughter, Ruth Maguire.

     Elizabeth Moody has been a garden club member for 59 years.  Throughout her long association with Yuma Garden Club, she has been active in leadership roles as well as participating in the various service and gardening activities sponsored by the club.  She has been past president of the Federated Garden Clubs of Yuma and is vice-president of the MGM Garden Club, which tends the Robert J. Moody Demonstration Garden.

     Her favorite flower is the rose, with Mr. Lincoln and Chrysler Imperial being her favorite.  Her favorite tree is the Jacaranda and favorite shrub, the Bougainvillea.

     Elizabeth enjoys the opportunity Yuma Garden Club affords to learn more about plants, meet new people interested in gardening, and serving the Yuma community.

     When Elizabeth moved to Yuma in 1944, Alma Schott invited her to a Yuma Garden Club meeting.  She said that the garden club members made her feel so welcome that she joined in 1945.  She has enjoyed her experiences with the Yuma Garden Club ever since.

     This year, Elizabeth has been kept busy participating with the club at the Yuma Tree Expo, the Garden Party fundraiser for the Sanguinetti Garden, the Sanguinetti Garden Clean-up, the Yuma Holiday Bazaar, the Yuma Home and Garden Show, as program presenter for our club, talking about “Native Plants of the Yuma Desert”, and entering both arrangements and plant specimens in the Yuma Federated Garden Club Flower Show held during the Yuma Co. Fair.

     We are very lucky to have such a wonderful person as Elizabeth Moody as a member of the Yuma Garden Club




Yes, I'm from Texas - thus the hat, but, my heart belongs to gardening.

I served for 23 years in the military as a medic, retired from the USAF and settled in Arlington, TX for the next 25 years. My love of gardening bloomed there and I cultivated numerous cacti and flowering plants over this period.

My other love has always been soccer and I served as a player, coach, and FIFA referee/assessor over a 30 year period.


I was a Texas state auditor, Insurance underwriter and school teacher during my working career.  My first wife, Jan passed away in 1999, and I sold everything, bought a trailer and hit the road as a full time traveler.  I now live in Yuma, AZ, with my wife, Georgia Brown. We still have an RV and do some traveling in the summer, and will go on campouts one weekend each month with the Elks RV group in the winter months, but we consider ourselves as full time Yuma residents. 

I am the Historian and Ways and Means chairman.  We buy lots of succulents and small cacti and create dish gardens for sale.   Members will come to my house and make cement dish containers and create these beautiful dish gardens.

     I was Chairman of the 2008 AFGC State Convention here in Yuma, and President of the Yuma Garden Club from 2007 to 2015.  I also served as the Western District Director 2008 to 2011.