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The Floral industry mournes the loss of a great ambassador and WWII patriot

Mel Schwanke AAF, Past President of the Society of American Florists, and Recipient of the SAF Floriculture Hall of Fame Honor passed away at his home in Fremont, Nebraska on Monday, Dec. 17, 2018 at the age of 92.

mschwankeMel SchwankeMel and his surviving wife of 70 years, Joey, are known throughout the Flower industry for their passion and dedication — and also as the Famous Matching Couple, having dressed in coordinating outfits at industry events and every day in Joey’s family business, Greens Greenhouses Inc.  

Mel served as the executive director of the Nebraska Florist Society for over 50 years and also was the executive director of NeMoKan (the Nebraska Missouri and Kansas Florist Association Convention) held annually for many years.

Mel served on numerous committees, including the Retail Florists Council for SAF and helped to create the American Florist Endowment for research and education in the flower industry. 

Mel served as a Marine in WWII and was awarded the Purple Heart for his service.

He was the Chairman of the Building fund for his church, Trinity Lutheran Church, where the service was held on Friday, Dec. 21 at 1:00pm.

Mel is survived by his wife, Joey, and children Jo Heinz, Cindy McKown and J Schwanke; four grandchildren and six great granchildren.  

Ludvigsens Funeral Home in Fremont, NE, was in charge of the services. Visitation was held Thursday, Dec. 20.

Greens Florist in Fremont was in charge of flowers. 

On behalf of the entire floriculture industry, we send our condolences to the family of this remarkable legend.