AFTER THEY SELL their home on Blossom Street, Iris and Lee Miller will be moving to Florida to be closer to their son, Andy. 				Tim Lyke photo
AFTER THEY SELL their home on Blossom Street, Iris and Lee Miller will be moving to Florida to be closer to their son, Andy. Tim Lyke photo

     A female patient at Ripon Medical Center peers longingly as still another floral arrangement is brought past, but never in, her room. She expects no flowers will brighten her way.

     Suddenly, in walks Lee Miller with a bouquet — for her.

     He hands her the arrangement. She smiles. He turns on his heels and leaves the hospital.

     These flowers are from Lee.

     This is one of many stories about how Ripon’s most prominent florist sold flowers but gave away love through his more than 30-year association with Flowers by David, first as employee and then as owner.

     Last week Friday that changed, when Ripon’s only stand-alone floral shop permanently planted a “closed” sign on its front door.

     ... As former employee Jody Thiel said: “Not too many businesses help people begin little babies’ lives and go all the way through the life cycle to the last breath that people take and they’re there for that, too.”

     ... Lee, who owned the business longer than its namesake founder, never considered hanging up a “Flowers by Lee” sign. “It wasn’t important to me to have my name on it,” he decided after buying the business in 1985. “I would put my stamp on it by the kind of work I did.” ...

— Tim Lyke

     To read the entire editorial, see the Jan. 5, 2017 edition of The Ripon Commonwealth Press.