Floral Design Maestro: Eileen Gist’s Blooming Legacy and Inspirations
Eileen Gist’s career in the floral business spans over 70 years, and her passion for flowers continues to inspire. From early beginnings at her family business, Stewart N. Dutterer Flower Shop, Inc., to designing floral arrangements for presidential inaugurations, she has left an unforgettable mark on the industry.
Located in Westminster, MD, Stewart N. Dutterer Flower Shop, Inc. was a beloved local establishment. Her love for flowers and incredible talent blossomed during her time at the family business. It’s also where she discovered her favorite flower, Freesia – she loves its beauty and enchanting fragrance. Sadly, after 93 years of serving the community, the shop closed its doors in 2011, marking the end of an era.
Gist’s floral design expertise took her far beyond her family’s shop. Teaching floral design at floral conventions and workshops became her calling in 1954. Her talent and joy of sharing her knowledge led her teaching and designing in more than 27 states. She also studied abroad, immersing herself in the floral traditions of five European countries.
In 1986, Gist’s talents caught the attention of Roses Inc., who recruited her to their floral design team for the momentous rededication of the Statue of Liberty. Her creativity and skill brought life and beauty to the occasion. The Society of American Florists also recognized her talent and enlisted her for their design team, where she contributed to five presidential inaugural celebrations, orchestrating decorations for 12 functions and celebratory balls.
Despite her impressive achievements on the national and international stage, Gist remains deeply rooted in her community. As a member of Carroll Lutheran Village’s founding board of directors, she served as president during the construction of Windsor Terrace. Gist’s volunteerism at CLV continues through her involvement with FreeCycle, a resident-led fundraiser that benefits the community’s Benevolent Care Fund. To support this worthy cause, she has designed and donated over 100 wreaths to be auctioned or sold.
Residents and family members can witness Gist’s artistry firsthand – her remarkable floral designs are displayed in Windsor Terrace Room 403.
Gist’s story reminds us of the incredible impact one person can make when they share their gifts with the world. She truly is a maestro of floral design.
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