Edith Buchanan, ageless wonder and longtime local florist, passed away on Tuesday.
Her exact year of birth is omitted because daughter Marcia says she’d want it that way.
Edith was preceded in death by her husband Walter, who passed away about a decade ago.
She is survived by her daughters Marcia Warrecker and Lynette Buchanan-Roth as well as eight grandchildren.
Edith was born in Jackson, Mich.and moved out to California in the late 1930s with her husband, who had just received a PhD in music.
They followed Walter’s parents, who had moved to Santa Barbara after a stint as missionaries in Japan.
Ross Mather sold Edith and Walter their first Mammoth condo in 1967. They moved up here permanently about 30 years ago.
According to Natalie Mather, who worked with Edith for many years, Edith was very creative and stylish as well as definitive and exacting as to how she wanted things. This sometimes made her difficult to work for, but “she was good at everything she did,” and generous with her time, her gifts and her advice. Mather described Edith as a “mentor.”
Edith was an extremely hard worker, and in fact, worked up to the very minute she died. She was found on the floor of her in-home flower shop, Celebrations. It is believed she may have collapsed in the middle of making a floral arrangement.
In fact, Edith had just done the flowers for a wedding this past weekend.
“She thought work was good for you, because that’s what you were supposed to do,” Mather said.
“It was typical of Mom not to let a day go by without hard work,” added her daughter Marcia, who credits Edith with passing on her artistic enthusiasm to her daughters.
Edith, who married a man 13 years her senior, was married for more than 60 years. She had both her daughters while she was in her teens.
In addition to her flower shop, during her time in Mammoth, Edith worked as a concierge and arranged flowers at the Mammoth Mountain Inn. She also managed a haberdashery in the Mammoth Mall.
She learned flower arrangement during a stint living in Japan following Walter’s retirement where both taught English.
To the end, Edith was tough. In the past year, she’d had a few falls, including one where she broke her pelvis. Did she seek immediate medical treatment? No. She thought she’d stay at home and see if it got better. Her explanation to her daughter as to why she didn’t mention it to her for weeks. “Oh, I didn’t want to bother you.”
Friends and family are planning Edith’s Memorial service for next week. Tentative location: Hayden Cabin. Check www.thesheetnews.com for details as they become available.