Hank Lith Obituary, Death – It is with a heavy heart that we have to share the news that on January 1st, Hank Lith passed away after suffering a deadly heart attack when he was visiting friends in Johannesburg. He had been there for many days. Hank was a prominent figure in the field of landscape architecture in Cape Town, and he was instrumental in the revitalization of a large number of historic landscapes. He was known as “Hank the Landscape Architect.” During the time that he was employed by the Cape Town Municipality in the public sector, he was recognized and honored for the design work that he had done in the city, as well as for his role in supporting the planting of thousands of street trees in Cape Town.
After he retired, he put in many hours of labor as a volunteer fundraiser and as an active part of the planning committee that was responsible for the Renaissance of Arderne Gardens, which is located in the middle of Claremont. His Saturday morning guided tours were superb, and many members of the public will recall the study he did to write up the history of this once-neglected public park. His excursions took place on Saturday mornings. The Vergelegen Wine Estate in Somerset West is another significant heritage landscape that was revitalized under Hank’s guiding hand as a board member, and the new Arboretum that he envisaged will hopefully grow in the years to come and be a fitting legacy for a life well lived.
Hank passed away in 2013. It was always a treat for students of Landscape Architecture to go on field trips to Hank’s garden, which was located in the Cape Town district of Newlands, which was known for its lush vegetation. His personal space exemplified the high degree of attention to detail and interest in all things beautiful that Hank stood for during his whole professional career. In addition to being an avid gardener, he was also a collector of fine arts and sculpture. Please take note that a celebration of Hank Lith’s life will be place in Arderne Gardens in the Claremont neighborhood of Cape Town on Thursday, February 23, at 17:30.