COATESVILLE – The community is invited to celebrate the life of Carmen DePedro, 96, on Saturday.
“We all hold the true meaning of the unconditional love given to us by this great man,” the DePedro family said in a statement.
Carmen founded the Coatesville Flower Shop, a family business, over seven decades ago.
He worked at the florist until a dozen days before his death on December 16, 2020. Carmen first started the family florist business in Coatesville 72 years ago alongside “the love of her life “Margaret” Peggy “Monaghan.
The couple shared 53 years of marriage. She died in 2001.
On January 24, 1924, at a Chester County house along the 800 block of Coates Street in the town of Coatesville, DePedro, 96, was born. Along with Pearl Harbor, Carmen, 17, served as a soldier in World War II. Upon his return to the United States, he began working at Sears & Roebuck on Lincoln Highway in Coatesville, his family said.
Then, in 1948, Carmen purchased the A. Muir Flower & Jewelry Shop at 334 E. Lincoln Highway after returning to America after WWII and marrying her beloved, Peggy, her descendants said in a statement to the Daily Local News.
After taking possession of the store, Carmen changed the name to Coatesville Flower Shop. After 30 years at this location, DePedros moved to the corner of 3rd Avenue and Lincoln Highway.
The company has served the community – over generations, Carmen’s son Greg DePedro, 72, said on Friday.
“In the tradition of a true family business, my wife Dorrie and I took over the reins of the business in 1972,” said Greg DePedro.
“Dorrie and I worked side by side to raise our family,” he said. “Once they started school, they would walk from St. Cecelia Catholic School to the flower shop and stay there until it was time to go home. They eventually started to help clean the flowers, help with deliveries, and try their hand at conception over the years.
Her daughter ended up having a special affinity for flowers. She sadly passed away after a battle with cancer.
“Our daughter Lisa showed real design talent and business acumen,” said Greg DePedro. “Over the next 10 years, she started taking the reins from us and became the face of our company. “
She died on August 23, 2004.
“After losing our daughter, we had a very difficult time,” said Greg DePedro.
To honor her, anyone can walk into the Coatesville flower shop each year and request a dozen roses – for free, with a commitment to donate 11 of those roses to others. The annual event is titled “Lisa’s Roses”.
Greg DePedro said Coatesville flower shops are donating 10,000 roses each year on August 23.
“They got us through the darkest time of our lives,” said Greg DePedro. “And every August 23, if we can help even a parent survive the devastating grief they endure, we know Lisa is smiling.”
Until the next event in Lisa’s honor on August 23, 2022, the DePedro is set to honor the legacy of his grandfather, Carmen.
The Patriarch of the DePedro family was part of many local civic organizations in Coatesville including: Optimist club, Coatesville Country Club, Wagontown Fire Co., LGM Italian American Club, American Legion & Polish American Club, Coatesville Chamber of Commerce, VFW, Elks , Washington Hose Co, Brandywine Fire Co, West End Fire Co. and Moose Lodge.