|Tomorrow is Father's Day so we thought we'd share a little
about the father of our family and company - Mr. William A. Roozen - or as we
remember him here on the farm, Pa.
Back in our March newsletter we shared with you how we began
as a company.
The short version is that William and Helen Roozen decided to leave their home
and families in The Netherlands to create a new life for themselves here in
America. After working to save money for a few years, William purchased five
acres of farmland and Washington
Bulb Company began blooming as a business.
Like most farmers, Pa was a hard worker. You could mostly
find him in his office or walking through the fields to check on his favorite flowers. He spent much of his time down in
the dirt, hands filled with flowers or bulbs
and covered in soil. In his later years, he was often found reading on his
back porch or motoring around the farm on a gator with one of his sons. He was
tall and slender and almost always wearing a wool flannel over his turtleneck matched
by a pair of perfectly creased slacks.
Pa came from a large family and it's no secret that he had a
few kids of his own - ten to be exact! As a father he was a strict but fair man
- some might say a disciplinarian. As a boss he was quite direct - always
getting straight to the point. And as a grandfather he was at times intimidating
but always loving. All of his kids and grandkids have a favorite Pa story or
five, and so too it seems, does everyone else who ever met the man. This was
Pa, but this wasn't all of him.
He was a man who believed in hard work and expected it in
return; a man with the kindest soul, the greatest generosity and the largest
heart you could ever meet. The life he built with his family was simple as were
his rules: you do your very best in everything and you treat everyone with
respect. While his body worked long days, his thoughts were always turning, his
ears always listening, and his mind always looking to grow.
Pa believed there was not a single person who didn't deserve
to be respected and loved. He treated friends and employees like they were
family - pushed them hard and loved them harder. Pa was a listener and a
learner. He wanted to know more about those who he met. It didn't matter who
you were, where you worked, where you came from or what you looked like - he
wanted to hear your story and learn from you.
To us, Pa was someone you come across once in a lifetime but
also someone we hope to find more of in our lifetime. A man who had a place in
his heart for anyone and everyone. A man that would never expect something
from others that he wouldn't give in return. A man who cared more for others
than he did for himself. A man who believed in fairness for all. A father who
loved his family.
Thank you Pa for not only creating a lifetime of beauty
through the blooms
you planted, but for setting a wonderful example for your family. You set the
bar high and we know you would want us to do our very best to reach beyond the
example you set.
Happy Father's Day, Pa!