Dennis P. Stimart, age 61, passed away peacefully on Saturday, September 4, 2010 surrounded by his family at his home in Verona. He was born on January 10, 1949 to Joseph and Jeanette (Weitzel) Stimart in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Dennis obtained his bachelor’s degree in Horticulture from the University of Minnesota. He subsequently served in the Peace Corps for the next 2 years in Morocco, where he worked on improving the yields of small grains. Upon his return, Dennis achieved his PhD at the University of Minnesota, and for the following 8 years, taught at the University of Maryland.
In 1986, he began as an Associate Professor in the Department of Horticulture at the University of Wisconsin—Madison. Dennis was promoted to Professor and served as Chair of the Department of Horticulture from 2000–2008. His research interests included plant breeding and genetics, with an emphasis in cut flower longevity.
He was instrumental in the formation of the Allen Centennial Gardens, the design of the D. C. Smith Greenhouse, and secured funding for graduate fellowships in horticulture at the UW-Madison campus. Dennis also mentored numerous students and served as an advisor for a number of post-graduate students. In December of 2009, he retired to spend additional time with his family and friends.
Dennis will be remembered as a loving husband, devoted father and good friend to all who knew him. Dennis is survived by his wife, Jane Barnett; his children, Erica (Joseph) Svec and Dane Stimart; two step-children, Mathew (Helen) Stanke and Kelly (Darren) Hoyland; one grandchild, Emily Hoyland; and two siblings, Mary (Guy) Gregg and Gregory (Martha) Stimart.
A Celebration of Dennis’ Life will be held at 3:00 p.m. on Friday, September 10, 2010 at the ALLEN CENTENNIAL GARDENS, 620 Babcock Drive, Madison. (In the case of inclement weather, you may call Cress at 608-238-3434 or use the Cress website http://www.cressfuneralservice.com/ on Friday to confirm the location.) In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Allen Centennial Gardens at www.horticulture.wisc.edu/allencentennialgardens/; or The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation at http://www.themmrf.org/; or the charity of one’s choice.