Monday, February 2, 2004

Linus Sehlhorst's flowers brightened many an occasion



By Nicole Hamilton
The Cincinnati Enquirer

For decades, florist Linus T. Sehlhorst helped Delhi Township residents mark their milestones.

He'd wrestle with the snow on Christmas and Valentine's Day, to make sure flowers got delivered on time, sometimes staying overnight in his greenhouse to keep the boilers running.

On Mother's Day, he'd often have to battle rain.

But a little bad weather didn't faze Mr. Sehlhorst.

"Sometimes he could act like he didn't have a care in the world. He loved people, and going around to dinners and parties," said his wife of 40 years, Betty Sehlhorst of North Bend. "He never let on to the people what was bugging him. If he'd just come out of a hailstorm, he'd say, 'Oh, I'm fine.'"

Linus Sehlhorst, who owned and operated Sehlhorst the Florist in Delhi Township along with his brother, Bob, died Jan. 25 at Hospice of Cincinnati at Mercy Franciscan Hospital in Westwood after a short illness.

The North Bend resident was 80.

His parents, Frank and Dora Westrich Sehlhorst, opened their greenhouse in the mid-1920s.

As soon as they were old enough, Mr. Sehlhorst and his siblings began helping out..

After he injured his arm at the greenhouse and was told by teachers at Western Hills High School he'd face limitations in school, he started working at the family business full time.

He operated Sehlhorst the Florist, which included a retail shop and cut flowers, for decades, pausing only once - during World War II, when he worked for Wright Aeronautical, now the General Electric plant in Evendale.

It was as much a family affair for the Sehlhorsts' - other employees included his children and his wife - as it was for the generations of customers.

"We'd make high school corsages for some people, and then wind up doing their weddings," his wife said.

Mr. Sehlhorst retired in 1986 but continued to work at the greenhouse.

He sold the business to his son, Stephen, in 1994. It closed in 2002.

He was an honorary member of the Cincinnati Flower Growers Association; a charter member and past president of Riverview Delhi Kiwanis; and a charter member of the St. Christopher K of C 4558 Council.

He was a longtime member of Our Lady of Victory Church in Delhi Township.

Besides his wife, son, and brother, other survivors include four daughters, Barbara McCane and Cathy Sehlhorst, both of Green Township; Dawn Valla of Binghamton, N.Y., and Stephanie Kassman of Miamisburg; five sisters, Dolores Bailey, Jeanette Mather, Virginia Bolser, Thelma Dasenbrock, and Blanche Renzenkuper, all of Delhi Township; eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Services were held.

The body was donated to the University of Cincinnati Medical College.

Memorials: American Cancer Society, 11117 Kenwood Road, Cincinnati, Ohio 45242, or to Miami Township of Hamilton County Life Squad, 112 South Miami Ave., Cleves, 45002.

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E-mail nhamilton@enquirer.com




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