Celebrating the `rose lady of South Pasadena’

first_imgALHAMBRA – It began as a show of appreciation, quickly became a tradition and soon won its practitioner fame as the “rose lady of South Pasadena.” Miriam Spaulding, the rose lady in question, celebrated her 100th birthday Monday, but at her party on Sunday, relatives and friends were joined by employees from the South Pasadena Post Office. Postal clerks from the office were the recipients of Spaulding’s flowers. Six days a week, she would walk to the post office and place a vase of flowers at each clerk’s station. Spaulding began the tradition in the early 1990s, when she worked out of her home as a products distributor for Neo-Life, which sells health products. Because she depended so much on the Postal Service for her business, “she really began to appreciate the people at the post office,” her son, Lincoln Spaulding, 60, said Monday. “That’s when she started to do the flower thing,” he added. “It even smelled like flowers in there,” her other son, Dick Spaulding, 68, said. These days Dick and his wife Linda run his mother’s business. “My mom says it started when she took a rose to one teller and gave it to her,” he said. “The other clerks said, `Where’s mine?’ So she brought a rose for each of them, and she couldn’t get out of it after that. That started the tradition.” “They still remember me,” Miriam Spaulding said. “I did it every day, I never missed a day. I always walked over. I didn’t have the heart to give it up, so I went every day. I put the flowers on the counter, in vases. The people loved the roses.” She delivered roses to the post office until 2003, when she retired and moved to the Marguerite Gardens retirement community in Alhambra. Born on Nov. 19, 1907, in Chardon, Ohio, Spaulding studied at the Oberline Conservatory of Music in Ohio and came to South Pasadena in 1933. She became a music teacher and one of the first members of the Pasadena Symphony Orchestra, where she was principal violist. “I walked around” South Pasadena, she recalled, looking for students and visiting their homes to give them lessons. She married Howard Spaulding in 1936 and the couple had two sons, Dick and Lincoln. When he died in 1954 at age 50, Miriam realized she had to do something to support her family, so got involved in selling mail-order health products. “She was interested in good health way back as a young person,” Dick Spaulding said. “She practiced natural, healthy living before it was cool. Good nutrition has always been her passion. “She believes that embracing a positive mental attitude, staying active both physically and mentally is the key not only to aging successfully, but living successfully and it played a big role in her longevity.” Spaulding had two older brothers who lived into their 90s, as did her mother. She has eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. “She had a good mix of business sense and a passion for good nutrition,” Lincoln said. “All the time she was making a business of it, she was sharing good nutrition with other people and sharing her passion with other people.” In 1996, the South Pasadena Chamber of Commerce honored Spaulding by naming her “Business Person of the Year.” CBS-TV did a story about her in 1996, her son said. And Huell Howser also did a segment on her that originally aired in September 1997. The program was shown again Monday to celebrate her birthday. Howser called her on Sunday and wished her happy birthday. “Miriam is truly a remarkable individual and makes an impact on everyone around her,” said Debbie Massey, Marguerite Gardens’ activities director. “As a musician, wife, mother, grandmother and businesswoman, she is an inspiration.” [email protected] (626) 578-6300, Ext. 4475160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img