Dolores "Dee" Parks Peck, 90, formerly of Wyndmoor, a gifted gardener who regularly competed in the Philadelphia Flower Show, died of complications of heart disease Monday, Dec. 12, at Cathedral Village, a retirement community in Andorra.
Orchids, African violets, and all manner of other plants bloomed under Mrs. Peck's care and under the glass of her greenhouse at her longtime home.
She was a member of the Rock Garden Society, the Fern Society, the Indoor Lights Gardening Society, and the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, which sponsors the annual Flower Show.
Besides competing in the Flower Show, for many years Mrs. Peck was one of the nomenclature checkers, verifying thousands of entries' botanical names. She was also a longtime judge for the Doretta Klaber Award, given by the North American Rock Garden Society, Delaware Valley Chapter, for an outstanding Flower Show entry in the rock garden class.
In 2002, she was cochair of the Cathedral Village Greenhouse Growers window box entry at the Flower Show, which won an honorable mention ribbon. She had lived at Cathedral Village since the late 1990s.
Mrs. Peck's son, Timothy, described his mother as a positive, intelligent, and straightforward woman who was deeply involved with her family. She had an adventuresome streak and traveled widely, visiting all five continents, recalled Timothy Peck's wife, Susan.
Mrs. Peck grew up in Cleveland, the daughter of a homemaker and a lensmaker. She earned a bachelor's degree in biology from Notre Dame College in South Euclid, Ohio.
She met Harold Peck while he was a student at Western Reserve University Medical School in Cleveland, and they were married in 1942.
During World War II, the couple lived in Chicago, where he completed a medical residency. According to family lore, while in Chicago, Mrs. Peck worked on hush-hush research that she later learned was affiliated with the Manhattan Project to develop the atomic bomb.
After the couple moved to the Philadelphia area in 1948, he was a toxicologist and executive for Merck, and she cared for her family and cultivated plants. She was also an accomplished quilter.
In addition to her son, Mrs. Peck is survived by a daughter, Wendy Bennis, and a sister. Her husband died in 2006.
A memorial service will be at 10 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 22, at Cathedral Village, 600 E. Cathedral Rd.