Michael Knowlton Obituary, Death – We must break the news to you all with a heavy heart that former BSF President Michael Knowlton has passed away. These are some pictures that Mike took of the trees that he and his cherished wife Lunetta have in their garden. I pray that God will provide you eternal rest in complete serenity. I must convey the terrible news that a prominent force inside BSF passed away on July 7 with a heavy heart since I know it will upset many people. Michael Knowlton was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in January, not long after he attended our semi-annual Board meeting as the Trustee for District 7 and shortly after the meeting. After holding the position of trustee for a number of years, Mike was elected President of the BSF in 2013. During his term as President, which lasted for five years, he was the driving force behind a number of noteworthy projects.
These included the publication of a commemorative book that featured convention exhibit trees and headlining musicians, as well as the successful negotiation of favourable terms at the Florida Hotel, which has served as the stunning location for our meetings since 2014. He was instrumental in turning the Florida Bonsai Magazine into digital format, and through diplomacy and hard effort, he created unity and a sense of belonging with other BSF member organisations. He was also instrumental in transferring the magazine into digital format. He served as the director of the BSF Visiting Artist Programme for a number of years, and in 2017, he was responsible for coordinating the enormous undertaking of a joint convention celebrating the 50th anniversary of the ABS. In every sense of the term, Michael was a leader who commanded admiration and respect from everyone around him.
Mike and his wife, Lunetta, were very active participants in presenting their cherished bonsai. They moved them, together with other trees from Florida, to Bill Valavanis’ United States National Bonsai Exhibition in Rochester, to Miami’s Komorebi, to the Bonsai Society of Florida Annual Convention, to Epcot, and to the Sho Fu annual displays. Because they placed such a high priority on displaying trees, the entire club collaborated on a project to create a composition of raintrees that were owned by Sho Fu and donated to the National Bonsai and Penjing Collection in Washington, DC. Since the beginning of the preparations, all of the members have been strongly urged to take part in the activities, which have also provided excellent chances for learning.