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In Memory of Randy Siem

Updated: Mar 5

It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Randy Siem, a beloved member of the Dahlia Society. Randy leaves behind a legacy of passion, knowledge, and camaraderie.

It all started during the Mothers' Day Arboretum sale in 1986, a fateful encounter where he bought every last tuber and his passion for dahlias was ignited. Randy joined the Minnesota Dahlia Society shortly thereafter, and this marked the beginning of a remarkable legacy.

Randy has been an integral part of the Minnesota Dahlia Society for almost four decades and the contributions he made are invaluable. He served as Co-Director of the North Central Trial Garden alongside Gary Unger. He also took the ADS Judges Candidate course in 1988 and earned the title of Senior Judge in 1997. He was a knowledgeable and well-respected judge at countless National and local shows. One of Randy's most enduring qualities was his willingness to share his knowledge with others. Whether through mentoring, sharing tips on growing and timing blooms, or simply discussing his passion for gardening, Randy's generosity knew no bounds.

His dedication to dahlias took him to numerous National and local shows where he judged and exhibited. He was always a big winner at the shows and you'll find his name on nearly all of our perpetual trophies.

Beyond his passion for dahlias, Randy also grew gladiolus. Actively involved with the Gladiolus Society, he showcased his vibrant gladiolus at the State Fair, and then the following weekend he would truck in hundreds of dahlias for the MDS show. Fairgoers were captivated by his stunning blooms. Randy worked tirelessly alongside his daughter, Sherry, and their entourage, pulling all-nighters to stage their award-winning blooms.

Randy's garden was a marvel to behold, showcasing his favorite varieties with pride. He welcomed visitors to his gardens for garden tours and they were always surprised to learn he also rented his neighbor's yard to accommodate his extensive collection, a testament to his unwavering dedication.

Not content with mere cultivation, Randy generously grew varieties for hybridizers and entered them for scoring on the ADS seedling bench. His wealth of knowledge was matched only by his willingness to share it with others, enriching the lives of all who had the privilege of knowing him.

In the annals of our society's history, Randy Siem will forever be remembered as one of the greats. His passion, generosity, and expertise have left an indelible mark on the gardening community, and his legacy will continue to inspire for generations to come.

Rest in peace, Randy, knowing your legacy will continue to bloom in the hearts of those who knew and loved you.

Mass of Christian Burial will be 11:00 a.m. on Friday, March 8, 2024, at Sts. Peter & Paul Catholic Church, Richmond, MN for Randy L. Siem, age 76, who died February 27, 2024, surrounded by his family. The burial will be in the parish cemetery. The service will be live streamed at

The visitation will be from 4:00-7:00 p.m. Thursday, March 7th at the Wenner Funeral Home in Richmond. Visitation will continue Friday, 9:30-10:30 a.m. at the funeral home.

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