Charles R. Limonius of East Hampton, who with his wife had owned Buckley's Flower Shop and Garden Center for more than 60 years, died at home on Saturday evening, surrounded by his family, who said he'd hurt his back at work a few years ago and had increasing difficulty walking. His son Dennis said that he was all there mentally until almost the end.
Mr. Limonius arrived in this country in 1951 from Bavaria, sponsored by Carl Webber, a family friend. He took a job at a greenhouse in Farmingdale before being drafted into the 82nd Airborne Division of the Army. After his discharge he returned to the greenhouse and went on to study horticulture at the State University at Farmingdale, graduating with a degree in floriculture.
Charles Richard Limonius was born in Riga, Latvia, on Dec. 15, 1930, one of two children of Karl Limonius and the former Olga Thonigs. He grew up with his older sister, Margarete, in Germany, where his family had fled as refugees during World War II following the Soviet annexation of the Baltic States. He attended Traunstein High School and was a trained textile apprentice.
After he earned his degree, he made a weekend trip to the Catskills, where he met his future wife, Adelheid Sontheimer, also an immigrant from Germany. They married in June 1957; the first of their three sons, Charles, was born the year after.
In 1960 they arrived in East Hampton and bought the business, on Montauk Highway at the western entrance to the village, from Jerry Buckley. They settled in, worked hard, and had two more sons, Robert and Dennis. Mr. Limonius believed in making an effort to achieve one's goals, the family said. He retired only in 2019, at the age of 88.
His sons continue to run Buckley's, making it, along with Hren's (Groundworks Landscaping now), one of the oldest family-owned greenhouse businesses left in East Hampton Town. As of spring 2018, Buckley's had stopped selling cut flowers and arrangements designed by Mrs. Limonius, whom friends call Heidi, but continue to sell the plants grown at their wholesale farm on Long Lane.
Mr. Limonius loved wildlife and feeding the birds in his garden, his family said, but put his heart and soul into the business of serving the community. A sign of his green thumb may be the ficus elastica Decora that he bought with some other plants in 1964 at Otto Keil Florist in Huntington. The ficus is still there in the greenhouse on Montauk Highway, almost as long-lasting as Mr. Limonius's tenure at the shop.
In addition to his wife, Mr. Limonius leaves Charles, Robert, and Dennis Limonius, all of East Hampton; and four grandchildren, Hannah Perini, Kristina Limonius, and Lily and Lucia Limonius. A great-grandson, Cameron Perini, survives him as well.
The family will receive visitors at the Yardley and Pino Funeral Home in East Hampton on Saturday, from 5 to 8 p.m. On Sunday at 1 p.m., the Very Rev. Denis Brunel of St. Luke's Episcopal Church will officiate at a graveside service at Cedar Lawn Cemetery.
Memorial donations have been suggested to East End Hospice, P.O. Box 1048, Westhampton Beach 11978, or the Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, Kans. 66675-8517.