Jack Ingram deLashmet, a renowned landscape architect and garden designer whose sense of humor and courtly Southern manner charmed friends and clients, died at Good Shepherd Hospice in Port Jefferson on Sunday after a long illness. He was 58.
Mr. deLashmet moved to the East End in 2000 and opened his firm, deLashmet and Associates, soon afterward.
In a 2011 article in The Star, he said, “It’s a beautiful place, but all of my reasons for being here were career-driven.” He commented that the area “has people who have the resources for gardens and is full of an increasingly environmentally conscious group of people with whom you are designing.” The firm completed notable landscape projects and historic garden restorations throughout the United States and Europe. Its work has been seen in Town and Country, Elle Décor, House and Garden, and Architectural Digest, among other publications, and was featured in the books “Hamptons Havens” and “Houses of the Hamptons, 1880-1930.” His bestselling book, “Hamptons Gardens,” was published by Assouline in 2011.
One of his East End clients, Susan Dusenberry, wrote, “His loss is profound. He was a tremendously unique person of various and crazy talents. His early season concept of radiating rows of plantings, mimicking the dunes below my house, was really Jack at his best.”
He was born on Jan. 25, 1958, in Jackson, Miss., to Dr. John I. deLashmet and the former Katherine (Pete) Wicks. He grew up in nearby Clinton, where his maternal grandparents, Garden Club of America members, lived at Wickstead, an estate whose gardens set him on the path he followed most of his life.
After studying urban planning at the University of Mississippi, Mr. deLashmet detoured for a successful turn on Wall Street before resuming landscape studies at Georgia Tech, the Inchbald School of Design in London, and the English Gardening School, also in London.
Before his move to New York, he had lived and worked in Greensboro, N.C., where he was executive director of the Triad Health Project, an organization that served the region’s H.I.V./AIDS population. His environmental, human rights, and H.I.V. fund-raising efforts led to his being named one of Ten Outstanding Young Americans in 1996, and he was honored as an “Unsung Hero” by the city of Atlanta for tree-saving efforts there.
He was a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects, the American Institute of Architects, Garden Writers Association, Institute of Classical Architecture, and the Mississippi Society of Arts and Letters.
Mr. deLashmet is survived by Geoffrey Nimmer, his former companion and longtime friend, two sisters, Katherine Ann deLashmet Wheeler and Jeannine de- Lashmet Anderson, and a brother, Arthur T. deLashmet, as well as eight nieces and nephews. His siblings live in Mississippi.
A memorial service will be held next Thursday at 11 a.m. at St. Ann’s Episcopal Church in Bridgehampton, of which he was a member. The Rev. Timothy Lewis will officiate. A celebration of his life will be held in the spring.
Memorial contributions have been suggested to God’s Love We Deliver, 166 Avenue of the Americas, New York City 10013 or to Good Shepherd Hospice, 200 Belle Terre Road, Port Jefferson 11777.
Sallie White, a friend of Mr. deLashmet’s for 25 years, spoke of him this week, saying, “Jack was one of the most extraordinary, talented, brilliant, and imaginative humans to grace our planet. His wit and humor were legendary. He was the toast of every town and the brightest light in every room. Jack left the world a more beautiful, wondrous, and joyful place for his having visited, and he will be missed beyond words.”