RONDA — Eloise Dimmette, also known in Ronda as the flower girl, passed away last Friday evening. Born in April 12, 1937, in Wilkes County to Rosevelt and Grace Love, Mrs. Dimmette was known for growing and selling flowers in the town of Ronda, maintaining two acres of flowers including irises, day lilies, tiger lilies, peonies, and daffodils.
She and her husband, Fred Dimmette, had been married for 61 years. Together they worked on making their house feel homey, producing clothes, drapes, and furniture while raising their three boys, Derrick, Dennis and Maverick. Their wedding and life together was a team effort between the two. Mrs. Dimmette had a passion for making her house a home. She also made clothes for her husband and their three boys, including shirts, pants and pajamas.
Mrs. Dimmette started growing flowers when she was a teenager, learning the basics from her mother, Grace Love. When she and Fred Dimmette were married, she got boxwoods, irises and petunias from her mother.
“It’s a pastime. She made custom drapes before she got in the flower business selling,” said her husband, Fred Dimmette. “I’d come home and there would be pickups just going out full of flowers. I’d ask ‘what did you get for them,’ and she would say ‘nothing, I just give them to them if they bring me something I don’t have and they never bring anything in return.’”
With a little push from her husband, Mrs. Dimmette began selling flowers and met many people through her business.
“Twenty-six years of doing flowers and you meet a lot of good people and she loves talking to them,” said Mr. Dimmette. “When she wasn’t busy she’d talk to them for 30 minutes. There’s good therapy in the flowers and talking to people.”
Mrs. Dimmette also collected a lot of stuff and doodads for their home, knickknacks ranging from bowls and lanterns to old vintage mechanical wind up toys, jugs, glasses and mugs. As Mr. Dimmette said, the more she collected, the more he had to build.
Fred and Eloise met in 1955 when their schools consolidated.
“We played ball and I would go by and pick her up with her two cousins to go to the ball games,” said Mr. Dimmette. “Six months later we were married. I sold my hog for $60 and used that money for two trips to York. After the first trip applying for a marriage license, we had a mandatory one-week wait before the marriage vows could be performed. We got married in York, South Carolina, on June 19, 1955, on Father’s Day and we’d been together ever since. We enjoyed our life. We had only $16 left when we got married, but I helped my dad on the farm. She looked after the boys, kept them straight. No smoke, no drink, no drugs. They’re good boys. She got interested in custom-made drapes, and when she got through making her clothes, I talked her into doing the flowers.”
Mrs. Dimmette sold flowers to many people throughout the state and she received more and more people throughout the years. She sold flowers to people at Merlefest, the race track, and motorcycle riders.
“They’d come down from Pennsylvania and put the flowers in the side box on the motorcycles,” said Mr. Dimmette.
Mrs. Dimmette’s sales were impacted by the closure of the speedway in 1996, the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, and by the recession of 2008.
Mrs. Dimmette passed away at 79 at Joan and Howard Woltz Hospice Home in Dobson, and Mr. Dimmette is grateful for the amount of care and love they showed her. She was a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, and a loving wife.
Mr. Dimmette gave the land with the flowers to his grandson, Lindsey Dimmette, due to his interest in the flower operation over the years.
Troy Brooks may be reached at 336-258-4058.