G. Howard Medicus, an area flower shop owner for more than 40 years who enjoyed "just being around" people and often donated flowers for community activities, died Jan. 21 of heart failure at Ridgeway Manor nursing home in Catonsville. He was 83.
Mr. Medicus, who usually wore a red carnation on his lapel, operated Hilton Flower Shop, first at two locations in Baltimore and later at two Catonsville locations, from 1938 until the late 1980s. The business now is on Frederick Road.
Mr. Medicus married Fran Kesting in 1938. They operated the small but successful flower business, performing nearly all of the shop's duties.
"But it seemed as though he really liked being out there with the customers and having me in the back arranging the flowers," Mrs. Medicus said. "He was really a people person."
Mr. Medicus also enjoyed arranging flowers, especially arrangements for funerals.
"He let me do most of the weddings and smaller arrangements," his wife said. "He didn't like to do the dainty thing. He liked the funeral arrangements."
A Catonsville resident, Mr. Medicus worked at the shop six days at week and was regularly seen sitting behind his desk smoking a pipe and chatting with customers.
Friends and relatives said Mr. Medicus was active in community affairs and frequently donated floral arrangements to church socials, high school parties and friends' events.
"He was a very generous person who liked doing things for other people" said his daughter, Suzann D. Medicus of Clarksville.
Mr. Medicus belonged to the Catonsville Kiwanis Club and was past president of the old Catonsville Business Association, which named him Citizen of the Year in 1976.
His busiest times were usually during the Christmas season, and on Mother's Day and Easter. If he got home early on a Christmas Eve, he would complain that " 'business must be shot to heck because I'm home early,' " his daughter said.
Mr. Medicus provided floral arrangements for the wedding in Catonsville of a son of Vice President Gerald R. Ford in the 1970s.
Mr. Medicus and his wife had some problems bringing flowers into the church.
"The Secret Service was poking at the flowers, and he said, 'Look, buddy, you are not going to do that,' and told them off," his daughter said. "He said there was nothing but flowers in there. They had to pull him aside and tell him what they were doing."
Mr. Medicus also provided the flowers for the Baltimore County wedding of a relative of Vice President Spiro T. Agnew.
A native of Baltimore, Mr. Medicus attended the Polytechnic Institute but dropped out in the early 1930s, during the Depression, to work with his mother, who started the flower business.
He never graduated from Poly but frequently sang the school's song, "Poly Polytechnic Poly Boys Are We." He was awarded an honorary diploma by the school in 1984.
Mr. Medicus especially loved roses, and flowers were always around the house.
Services were held Jan. 24.
"At his funeral, there were lots and lots of flowers," Fran Medicus said. "He would have loved it."
He also is survived by three sons, Timothy Medicus and Thomas Medicus, both of Catonsville, and George Medicus of Stevensville; two brothers, Wyatt Medicus of Severna Park and Melvin Medicus of Catonsville; and nine grandchildren.
Pub Date: 2/01/98