A memorial tribute honoring Nicholas Ignatius Paul has been established by Georgianna and Dennis Paul through the American Floral Endowment (AFE).
Nicholas Ignatius Paul “Nick” (affectionately known as “Chief” by his colleagues) of Paul’s Wholesale Florist Company passed away on January 14, 2023, at the age of 82. He was a devoted member of the floral industry for over 60 years. His last days were spent with family and friends by his side as he had his entire life.
Upon their father’s death in 1961, Nick and his brother Dennis became the owners of Paul’s Wholesale Florist Company. They devoted their lives to the company, which was established by their father in 1937. This legacy inspired Nick’s passion and commitment to the floral industry.
Being young (and perhaps idealistic), the Paul brothers decided if they were to spend their lives in the business they had inherited, they wanted to establish a more congenial working relationship among their competitors. Among many other challenges at the time, this was their mission.
In 1986, Nick was instrumental in developing a trusting relationship with the company’s wholesaler partners resulting in a joint move of McCallum Sauber Florist Inc., A. Gude Sons, the Washington Florists’ Exchange, and Paul’s Wholesale Florist. Through keeping this collective together for the move, Nick was a part of preserving a 70-year tradition of doing business side-by-side.
The original location of the wholesale partners on I Street in Washington D.C. had become difficult for in-person shopping due to limited space, traffic, and parking. The new and larger location on Eckington Place, NE permitted each business to have and own its own space and became the Washington Flower Center.
The brothers, Nick and Dennis, were joint partners throughout the project, which ultimately aided in launching the build-up of commercial and residential development known as North of Massachusetts Avenue (NOMA) today.
As an industry enthusiast, Nick served as a Past Director of the Allied Florist Association of Greater Washington, was a supporter of the American Floral Endowment (AFE), and a member of the Wholesale Florist and Florist Supplier Association (WF&FSA) and the Society of American Florists (SAF).
Nick was also a 32nd degree Mason, a member of St. John’s Lodge No. 11, in Washington, DC, and a lifetime member of the DC Ramblers Motorcycle Club.
Nick is survived by his loving wife of 39 years, June; daughters, Mary Elizabeth Duke (Andrew) and Catherine Geasling; grandchildren, Ann Duke and James Duke; brother Dennis Paul (Georgianna), and by other family members whom he loved mightily. Nick was preceded in death by his beloved nephew James D. Paul II (Christiana), his business partner for fifteen years.
Funeral arrangements are private. In remembrance of Nick, please consider a donation to the Nicholas I. Paul Memorial Tribute. Donations can be made online here or by sending a check with this form to:
American Floral Endowment
c/o Nicholas I. Paul Memorial Tribute
610 Madison Street, Ste. 101, PMB 803
Alexandria, VA 22314
The family is always notified of donations, and contributions can be made in any amount.