Tezak Florist brought beauty to her world
By Denise Baran-Unland For The Herald-News August 19, 2012 4:14PM
Updated: September 21, 2012 6:11AM
As the manager of Tezak Florist in Joliet, Gloria Goebel, 69, of Joliet delivered personalized service and beautiful arrangements for every imaginable occasion, including birthdays, weddings, funerals and anniversaries.
Moreover, up until the florist shop closed in 2010, Gloria ran the business 24/7 without a computer, fax machine or website. She completed all paperwork by hand and showed unwavering loyalty to the small suppliers that provided the shop’s fresh flowers.
“This was her life,” said Sheri Longnecker of Joliet, Gloria’s niece, who worked with Gloria and still lives above the former florist shop. “She enjoyed the smiles on people’s faces after creating something beautiful.”
Sheri recalls Gloria’s six- and seven-day workweeks, which intensified to all-nighters during the holidays when flower orders dramatically increased. The shop atmosphere was lighthearted and friendly, but it never distracted Gloria from her primary purpose.
“She had her own worktable and she stayed there all day, making arrangements,” Sheri said.
Gloria’s interest in flowers possibly originated from her father Raymond Goebel (deceased), who had grown up on a Plainfield farm. At the family home in Joliet, where Gloria lived her entire life, he grew a variety of flowers and vegetables. Gloria and her two siblings maintained that garden after their father’s death in 1961. Gloria died May 30.
“We had a big rock garden in the back, a cement wall south of the house with perennials and rose bushes. The north side had lily of the valleys,” said Kathleen Longnecker of Joliet, Gloria’s sister. “We had an empty lot that we plowed up to plant vegetables.”
At harvest time, Gloria helped her mother, Catherine Goebel (deceased), can tomato sauce, chili sauce, pickled beets, green beans, apricots and corn. As her mother grew older, Gloria managed the florist shop and cared for her mother.
Gloria’s floral career began immediately after high school when she accepted a job at Labo’s Florist in Joliet. Five years later, Gloria moved to Tezak’s Florist where she would work the rest of her life. She generally chose close friends and family members for assistants.
Julie Washington of Lockport, Gloria’s niece, recalls sweeping floors and watering plants as her after-school job when she was in the seventh grade. This initiated Julie’s lifelong interest in floral design. Gloria, Julie said, had an inbred artistic sense that manifested itself in the arrangements she created.
“Flowers touch everyone’s life,” Julie said. “You receive flowers when you’re born, they’re with you when you walk down the aisle, and you get flowers in the hospital. Up until the last day on earth, you’re touched by flowers.”
Contact Denise M. Baran-Unland
at 815-467-5249 or email@example.com.