NORWAY – Main Street lost a colorful presence when Stina Josephson, former owner of Petal Pushers, suffered a brain aneurysm last spring.

Josephson’s friends hope that the community will come out to support her at a Chinese auction to be held at Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School on July 29.

Josephson is recovering in a rehabilitation center in Effingham, N. H.

Her friend and former coworker Marcia Ross said that there are no apparent physical signs to show what Josephson has been through. “When I visit her she looks great,” Ross said, but “she’s very confused.”

When Josephson was hospitalized, family and friends worked together to keep her flower shop open through the busy Mothers’ Day and prom seasons. Amber Wakeman, co-owner of The Phantom Florist in Norway, had helped out at the shop during busy spells before Josephson became ill, and chipped in to help run the store.

Without her former employer there, “it was very difficult being in that store,” Wakeman said. “She was always so exuberant,” and would greet Wakeman with “hello, my darling,” every time she came to work.

“I just expected to hear that voice any instant,” Wakeman said. “She was a blast, very fun, very energetic even when we were tired. Never had I met anyone like her. She definitely had her own style.”

Wakeman said that friends were able to keep Petal Pushers open for about a month after Josephson took ill. “It took an army of people to keep that store running,”she said, but “they did it for her.”

Handcrafted items, or items in like-new condition are needed for the Chinese auction, and can be dropped off at the Advertiser Democrat in Norway. Donations should be labeled with a name and phone number. Food, such as finger rolls, pastries, and deserts would also be appreciated.

Monetary donations can be made to the Stina Fund at the Rainbow Federal Credit Union.

The auction will be held in the cafeteria of the high school at 5 p.m., Saturday July 29. Set up is from noon to 4 p.m.

Josephson is “a very strong woman,” Ross said. “She has done so much for the community and I think everyone should rally and try to help out.”

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