“If I had a flower for every time I thought of you, I could walk in my garden forever,” —
Alfred Lord Tennyson
Those words from the famous English poet could be part of John McKeon’s legacy.
“Our family is very sad to share that our wonderful John, AKA “Johnny Flowers,” passed away on Jan. 23, 2024,” the family stated.
Beloved husband to Lourdes, he shared their beautiful Riverdale home with for the past 35 years.
Born on Dec. 19, 1953, John is survived by his two sisters Barbara and Maureen.
He was a staple in the Riverdale community having started John’s Botany Bay Florist in 1999 and for 25 years serviced families, congregations and institutions with his amazing designs and his gift for choosing only best the world of flora had to offer.
“We were all so proud when John’s work was on display for President Obama, when he spoke at Columbia University,” the family stated. “John was a kid from Washington Heights and a self-made successful businessman.
“John planted and cared for flowering trees around the neighborhood for friends and loved ones who passed.
“He kept the tree beds on Riverdale Avenue filled with foliage every year and decorated the avenue for holidays.”
He was a regular volunteer at Hebrew Home giving floral arranging classes to residents. John was a fourth generation native New Yorker who never ran out of stories to tell about his hometown and the characters he met over the years.
He brought joy and comfort to every celebration and occasion — weddings, funerals, graduations, births, mother’s and sweethearts. He “painted” with the flowers that he so cherished for their beauty and diversity.
The line out the door of his little shop on holidays never daunted him and he loved what he did every day. His favorite time was heading to the flower market on icy winter mornings before dawn, to see his city waking up.
The morning John went into hospice, the sunrise was every shade of scarlet, pink, rose, apricot, coral, peach, lavender and lilac.
“It was a heavenly bouquet blossoming in the sky, the family said.
“Our John didn’t just live; he bloomed.”