Sigmond S. Seward, 82, florist and maker of bows

September 10, 1997|By Fred Rasmussen | Fred Rasmussen,SUN STAFF

Sigmond S. Seward, former owner of a Baltimore florist business who became known for making Christmas bows at Watson's Garden Center, died of cancer Thursday at his Cockeysville home. He was 82.

Mr. Seward, who was known as Siggie, began working in the floral business as a youngster when he was forced to leave school to help support his Highlandtown family.

In 1935, he established his business in a stall at the old North Avenue Market. He later expanded Seward Brothers Florists to include shops on Liberty Heights Avenue and in the Thirty-Nine Hundred North Charles Apartments.

He retired and closed the business in 1975. But he returned to work that year at Watson's in Lutherville, where he was greenhouse manager until retiring a second time in 1995.

"He was an unforgettable character who was popular with both his employees and the customers. He was reliable, knowledgeable and great with people," said Robert C. "Bobby" Watson, retired president of the nursery and garden store.

"But what he was really known for was his Christmas bows, which he'd start making in the summer and warehouse until the Christmas season. He made a particular type of bow which we call a 'Siggie Bow.' It was twice as large as a regular bow," Mr. Watson said.

Mr. Seward also had a well-earned reputation as a maker of custom Christmas wreaths.

"He could make any kind of wreath that a customer wanted and each year he made a special wreath for the Little Sisters of the Poor. He was a very talented man," Mr. Watson said.

Mr. Seward's love of flowers and vegetables also was evident on the 2-acre property at his Padonia Road home, which he carefully planted with hundreds of tulips and other flowers. During the summers he enjoyed raising vegetables in a large garden.

During World War II, he served as a ship's carpenter with the merchant marine and sailed in wartime convoys to Europe, Africa and South America.

L He was married in 1942 to R. Virginia Lee, who died in 1992.

He was a communicant of St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church in Texas, where a Mass of Christian burial was offered Monday.

He is survived by two sons, Sigmond L. "Skip" Seward of Towson and Raymond Seward of Perry Hall; and four grandchildren.

Pub Date: 9/10/97

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