Virginia Lamb Wilson, 85, painter of Preakness daisies


Virginia Lamb Wilson, a retired floral designer who years ago painted daisies to transform them into the fake black-eyed Susans that blanket the winner of the Preakness Stakes, died of cancer Sunday at Gilchrist Center for Hospice Care. The Roland Park resident was 85.

Born Virginia Lamb in Wilson, N.C., she moved to Baltimore as a 5-year-old when her parents were building a home at 8 Merrymount Road.

She attended Girls Latin School and in 1937 married J. Hofmann Wilson, a Koppers Co. foreman, and moved a few doors away to 18 Merrymount Road, where she lived until she moved to a seniors apartment building in Towson two years ago. Her husband died in 1960.

After her husband's death, she taught preschool at Episcopal Church of the Redeemer, where she was a member.

In the early 1970s, she was hired by Roland Park Florist. Later, she worked for Jerry Geary Florist on Park Heights Avenue, where she annually helped paint the centers of yellow daisies for the traditional blanket of the official state flower, the black-eyed Susan, which is not in bloom when the race is run each May.

She retired in 1980.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Aug. 26 at Church of the Redeemer, 5603 N. Charles St.

Survivors include a son, Cameron Stansbury Wilson of Baltimore; three daughters, Juliane Wilson Monroe of Berkeley, Calif., Rebecca MacRae Wilson of Baltimore and Virginia Louisa Leonnig of Beaverton, Ore.; two brothers, Wilson G. Lamb of Parkville and Christopher Lamb of Baltimore; two sisters, Mary McCubbin of State College, Pa., and Farinda Atkinson of Blue Bell, Pa.; nine grandchildren; and 14 great-grandchildren.

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