Memorial Flowers tradition continues

Kathryn SwanJ-C Correspondent
Memorial Flowers tradition continues

For more than a decade, Roger and Debbie Shepherd were familiar faces around Pawhuska’s Senior Citizens Center. Roger was the manager and Debbie was his “Girl Friday.” She was involved in just about every aspect of the center, particularly its annual Memorial Day flowers fundraiser.

“This was one of the major sources of income for the center,” said Roger Shepherd.

“I enjoyed creating these arrangements,” said Debbie. “I also felt, in some small way, I was helping our community by providing beautiful flowers at very reasonable prices. With the center’s closing, this was one aspect I wanted to continue.”

The Shepherd’s seriousness about fueling Debbie’s passion became a reality when Roger built a small workshop adjacent to their home at the corner of 15th and Johnston. The little shop is overflowing with assorted wreaths, crosses, picks and more. Several of the wreaths on display are suitable for year-round, such as a lariat enhanced with colorful spring flowers. Prices range from $1 to $50. Custom orders are welcome. Debbie said her flowers are available year round.

“I’ve even be asked to prepare arrangements for funerals, weddings and special occasions.”

Roger explained, “The Memorial Day Flowers (project) was started by the Senior Citizens Center. Debbie worked with this project for twelve years. When the Center closed, she visited with the center’s board about continuing the Memorial flowers as a private enterprise. They agreed and our little business was launched.”

Debbie added, “We are open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 6 p.m., the same hours we had while operating the Senior Citizens Center. Roger is the muscle behind this project. He puts signs out and alerts some of the center’s former customers to let them know we are up and running.”