Obituary of Robert N. Felthousen
Niskayuna- Bob Felthousen passed away at the age of 90 after living a terrific life.
He was born in the family home on Van Antwerp Rd on May 7, 1932, and was at his home (attached to the flower shop) on Van Antwerp Road at the time of his passing on Nov 19th, 2022.
Bob was predeceased by his parents, J. Edwin, and Viola G. Felthousen; his brothers Russell, Kenneth, and Ronald; his sister Bernetta and his former wife Theresa.
Bob is survived by his loving and close companion, his significant other of 30+ years, Maria Gabryszewski who was by his side to the very end. She was of great help and support to him, especially during his later years. He is also survived by two sisters, Marilyn Greene, and Nancy Ridenour, along with many nieces and nephews. Bob’s nephew and partner, Mark Felthousen, will make sure that his floral legacy continues to prosper into the future.
The family would like to say “thank you “to some friends who were a huge part of his life; Connie Masters Stahlman, who worked for Bob for 37 years and most importantly, was like a daughter to him; Mike Modelowski, who kept Bob in motion and had a treasured friendship; Larry D’Alessandris, one of the original designers, has known Bob and been an honorary Felthousen for over 50 years! Of course, many, many more have come through Bob’s life over the years, and we thank them all, especially all the staff of Felthousen’s Florist.
Bob’s life has been defined by creating beauty and bringing it into people’s lives and homes. He has always been a floral designer, gardener, grower, and admirer of nature and splendor. The Dutch roots run deep with Bob being the 3rd generation of florists since his grandfather, EVB Felthousen, began the business in 1913. You can imagine a life growing up amongst the potted plants and soil, and the hard work that came with it that eventually bloomed into a career lasting 70 years. Bob was still very much interested in the direction of his business, the look of the shop, and the lives and wellbeing of his employees right up to his 90th year.
Bob began his career in earnest after serving in the Army during the Korean conflict from 1953-1955, and as a member of the Army National Guard. He and his brother, Ron, took over the Niskayuna business in the 1960’s from their uncles after working in Johnstown, NY, as florists with their older brother, Ken. Originally focused upon landscaping, they gradually turned to floral design (easier on the back) and established two of the area's prestigious flower shops in Niskayuna and Cohoes.
Bob was a genuinely kind soul who wholly enjoyed learning about and conversing with his customers, many of whom became his friends. He was the kind of person who remembered names and faces, from being in business long enough to have done the weddings for three generations of family members. He was the kind of person and businessman who knew that “‘so and so’ was related to that person, and we did their mother’s funeral work and that is why they are back again...’. Those kinds of memories were stored in him because he really cared about people and cared about providing great service. He not only employed lots of people but trained many to be florists, designers, and hard workers. People liked him and he liked people.
To quote one of his nieces, “The love and forgiveness he has in his heart was truly amazing. He was a role model for me and my family.” That’s something to aim for in life....
As florists, we don’t like seeing in the paper “in lieu of flowers...,”
But in this case, please don’t send flowers. We have it covered.
Bob was a big animal and dog lover and we hope he finds his dog, Kita,in heaven. He would look kindly upon you if you donated to the Humane Society or adopted a pet and loved it.
Friends and Relatives are invited to attend calling hours at Glenville Funeral Home, 9 Glenridge Road, Glenville from 11 am to 1pm, Sunday Dec. 4th, followed by a service at 1pm with Pastor William Grosso presiding.
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