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JAN. 15, 1921 -- OCT. 30, 2004

Margaret Palmer Seibel, former operator of a thriving dried flower business in Orchard Park who was known as the "Flower Lady," died Oct. 30 at her home in Owl's Head, Maine, after a brief illness. She was 83.

"She passed away in her sleep," said a daughter, Patricia Buettgens of Geneva.

Born Margaret Palmer in Holland and raised there, she married Clayton Seibel in 1939. They lived in Orchard Park from 1939 until 1998, when they moved to Maine.

She worked at Liberty Bank in Orchard Park for many years until her retirement in 1982. She was active in the Home Bureau and enjoyed working with dried flowers.

She also was a master quilter and was recognized for creating "wonderful works of art." She made each quilt by hand.

She and her husband, who died in 1999, grew the flowers they dried and sold. They said in an interview with Buffalo News reporter Bob Buyer in 1992, "It keeps us out of trouble."

They operated their business from an old house on a 3.5-acre lot on East Quaker Road that President Millard Fillmore is said to have owned but never occupied.

The front part of the house had been a grist mill on Grover Road before it was moved to East Quaker Road, the couple told Buyer.

Their retirement business "just grew" from their former small garden. The 100-foot-square plot was lined with rows of annuals. The property also had an old red barn, which was used for drying the flowers.

Survivors include another daughter, Sandra Heimann of Owl's Head; a son, Clayton D. of Daintree, Queensland, Australia; three sisters, Gladys Williams and Edith Lepine, both of Florida, and Orvilla Rogers of Delevan; three brothers, Bennett and David Palmer, both of Holland, and Raymond Palmer of Florida; five grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

A family memorial service is planned Nov. 20 in East Aurora, according to relatives.


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