Heartfelt tributes have been paid to the married couple who owned Nottingham’s Brookfield Garden Centre.
The family run business confirmed online that John Clower died on Christmas Eve, last year, just a couple months after his wife, Audrey Clower, died in October.
The Clower family have owned the business for over 40 years having bought the garden centre in 1978.
In a post released to their social media, Brookfields said: “With great sadness, we announce that Mrs Audrey Clower passed away in October last year, followed tragically by her husband John Clower on Christmas Eve.
“The Clower family have owned Brookfields Garden Centre from its early beginnings as a small traditional nursery, purchased by them in 1978, and John drove the subsequent growth and development of the business, supported by their son Andrew.
“Through their hard work, careful management and old school determination, with a team of dedicated staff, Brookfields has become the great, well respected family business it is today.
“Both John and Audrey remained actively involved in the centre for as long as they could, John until very recently.
“Many customers will remember seeing Audrey tending the houseplants she dearly loved when she was in the store every Friday, always with a friendly smile and happy to chat to customers and staff alike.
“Their presence in the store will be greatly missed and all staff will remember them with gratitude for their support, with respect and enormous affection.”
Condolences and tributes poured in online as friends and shoppers left their best memories of the couple and visiting the garden centre.
Martine Teft, 59, who lives in Arnold said: “I used to sit talking to Audrey when I worked nights in the care home, I used to talk about gardens, plants and flowers.
“I used to show her pictures even though she lost the ability to verbally communicate, she answered with her beautiful eyes and her beautiful smile, I loved her very much. RIP beautiful Audrey.”
Sarah Benedek, a regular visitor, said: “We have the most fabulous memories of our children enjoying time here, from nature inspired craft activities to arriving with Santa on his horse drawn sleigh.
“The staff ethos is one of kindness and generosity, I hope the family take comfort in the legacy they leave as Brookfields is wonderful.”
Kim Eyre said: As an ex member of staff I remember John well, coming in and discussing ideas for the centre and the story behind the ‘A’ frame – sending condolences to Andrew and family and the Brookfields family.”
Fiona Duncan Steer, who’s been visiting the store since she was a kid said: “Very sad to hear this news, I have such fond memories of visiting as a child with my late nannan – also called Audrey.”