NEWTON - Jack Rosen, of Newton, a pioneer member of the Bristol Glen retirement community, died Tuesday, July 2, 2013, 28 days before his 97th birthday.
Since January 2013, he had resided at the home of his daughter and son-in-law, Wendy and Joseph Priestner, on Dove Island Road, Newton.
Before that he had lived independently at Bristol Glen since the death of his wife, Sylvia, in 2001; childhood sweethearts, they had been married 65 years.
Mr. Rosen, the youngest of four brothers, was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. on July 30, 1916, to immigrant parents, Anna Axelrod and Gershon Rosen. At age 14 he found his life's work when he was hired as a delivery boy/florist trainee for Greenwich Village's exclusive Hawthorne Flower Shop. Years later, after a stint in the Army during World War II
, he opened his own successful "Flowers by Jack Rosen" and Professional Plantsmen, Ltd., serving the entire greater N.Y. area with flowers and plants for more than 50 years. He specialized in contract work, original designs and displays for restaurants, show windows, department stores and fashion shows.
He was a frequent exhibitor at the Gramercy Park and New York Flower Shows and was one of the original producers of the huge Macy's Flower Show every Easter. He belonged to the FTD Retail Florists Association and many professional floral and landscaping associations, and also Lion's Club International, the Masonic Order, and the Knights of Pythias.
Most of his life, Mr. Rosen lived in Franklin Square, L.I., N.Y., and also owned vacation homes in Palatine, N.Y., and Dorado, Puerto Rico, where he leaves many good friends.
Mr. Rosen leaves daughters, Wendy Mastro Priestner and Eleanor Sterling Fink of Sandwich, Mass., and their husbands Joseph Priestner and Raymond Fink; grandchildren, Diana Sterling Boydstun of Ventura, Calif., Jon Robert Sterling of Longmont, Colo., David Sterling of Boulder, Colo. and his wife, Jennifer, Chiara Mastro Engstrom of Chatham, and her husband Jimmy, and Jessica Mastro of Atlanta, Ga.; step-grandchildren, Peter M. Priestner and his wife, Michele, of Sparta and Joseph B. Priestner and his wife, Laura, of Vernon.
Great-grandchildren are Hannah and Sam Boydstun of Ventura, Calif., Ian and Sam McDiarmid-Sterling of Boulder, Colo., Sebastian and Annika Engstrom of Chatham, David Hill and Damian Priestner of Vernon, and Michael and Peter Priestner of Sparta. There also are many cousins, nephews and nieces, and his many close friends in the Bristol Glen community, who will miss him greatly.
Funeral arrangements are by I.J. Morris Funeral Home in Dix Hills, L.I., N.Y. A Celebration of Life gathering will be held in Newton at a later date, to be announced.
In Mr. Rosen's memory, contributions may be made to Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice or the Bristol Glen Fellowship Fund.