Kenwood Press

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Obituaries: 02/01/2015

Peter J. Guasco, 1930-2015

Peter Guasco
Peter J. Guasco, known to many as the King of Chrysanthemums, or “Mr. Mum” for his lifelong love of growing the beautiful flowers, passed away at his home in Kenwood on Jan. 20, at the age of 84. Born and raised in Marin County, Peter was a first-generation American of his Italian-born parents, who established Guasco’s Market in San Anselmo in 1925. He graduated from St. Mary’s High School in Berkeley and attended College of Marin before going to work in his father’s store. Upon his father’s death in 1973, Peter owned and operated the store until 1995.

He married his wife Linda in 1978 and moved to Kenwood, living in two different Kenwood locations over the last 36 years, where he grew flowers in abundance.

Peter indulged his passion for mums to the extent that he became the first American ever to be awarded a gold medal by the Japanese All Japan Chrysanthemum Federation for raising Fukusuke style mums in the U.S. At times, he had up to 20,000 plants blooming in his many greenhouses.

He is survived by his wife Linda Guasco, six biological children (a seventh child preceded him in death), two adopted children, two stepchildren, 15 grandchildren, and 10 great grandchildren.

A celebration of Peter’s life will be held from noon to 3 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 22, at Oakmont’s Quail Inn Restaurant and Bar, 7035 Oakmont Dr., Santa Rosa.

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