Sympathy tributes

Today I want to spend a little time writing about appropriate sympathy tributes.

Although many obituaries say something like “in lieu of flowers”, we have learned most families appreciate the beauty and softness flowers provide at a funeral or memorial service. The obituary request, often suggested by the funeral director, is more a suggestion than a demand, and people are certainly welcome to send condolences in whatever manner they deem appropriate.

Funeral flowers come in all styles and colors, multiple colors, red, white and blue, or all white. Ranging from large funeral sprays and casket covers (sometimes called blankets), they are expressions of sincere loss. Here are a few examples of funeral sprays and casket covers designed by Roadrunner Florist.

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Another very popular floral arrangement is the traditional basket. These can be filled with flowers or all types and designed in all price ranges. Here are a few examples of traditional funeral baskets.


Many people choose to send green plants to funeral services as a long lasting tribute to the deceased.


Appropriate for Jewish funerals are fresh fruit and goodie baskets.

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It is important that each of us convey our condolences in our own special way.

Let us help you send your thoughts and prayers to a grieving family with fresh flowers or a gift basket from Roadrunner Florist & Basket Express.


Who, What, When, Where and Why?

#flowers #florist #giftbaskets

I love to talk about flowers & gift baskets! I love posting pictures of our designs and sending them to you for your perusal.

But do you know who we are and when we started doing what we do?  Let’s see…

Pamela E Smith was born in Detroit, MI in 1944. Her dad was born on a street corner (honestly!) and was a policeman for the City of Detroit for almost 30 years! Her mom was a homemaker and a terrific cook. Pamela attended Michigan State Universitymsu logo

(Go, Sparty!) where she received a degree in Floriculture in 1971. She then opened a flower shop in Oak Park, MI, which she sold to move to Phoenix in 1979. That’s where she opened Roadrunner Florist and she’s been here ever since.

I’m Tina Ashburn, a Denver girl, and a Denver Bronco fan!

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I attended Clark College (now part of the University of Washington) in Vancouver, WA, before moving to Tucson where I met and married Richard. We moved to Phoenix in 1984 and I gave birth to my beautiful daughter Lauren in 1985. I’m a grandmother now, to Harper, age 18 months. Photo

In 1992 I purchased Basket Express, and the previous owner introduced me to Pamela, who at the time was the full-time care-giver to her friend Lizzy, who had suffered a serious stroke a short time earlier. Lizzy wanted nothing more than to see the turn of the century, but alas she didn’t survive, and after her death Pamela and I decided it would be a perfect “marriage of 2 businesses” if I brought Basket Express inside Roadrunner Florist. So that’s how we became

Roadrunner Florist Basket Express, Phoenix, AZ

Over the years Pamela has received numerous awards for her designs and creativity, including a long-standing achievement award from the Society of American Florists .SAF logo

I have been honored to have had an article published in The Basket Whiz Report .

We are proud to be a small business working hard to benefit our community including Desert Mission Food Bank and Washington High School. I sing in the choir at North Phoenix Baptist Church and Pamela plays in the band at Phoenix College and the City of Glendale Summer Band.

food bank logo     city of glendale public art program

We strive to provide our customers with the freshest and finest flowers available (more about that later), custom designed gift baskets and terrific customer service.

Today we wished 3 people Happy Birthday! Here are the custom designed arrangements we made for them.

hb aunt elaine man floral hb tele bowl

And we shared in the loss of loved ones with these flowers to soften the sorrow.

funeral for Richard lav & white

We look forward to telling you more about us, including information about The Cold Chain! Stay tuned!

Are We Getting Ready? You Bet’cha We Are!

You bet’cha! We’re getting ready for Valentine’s Day,

ImageImageImageBut in the meantime we are celebrating other occasions, too!

Here are flowers and gift baskets we delivered today for Birthdays.




And anniversaries.


And we extend our most sincere condolences to families who have lost loved ones.

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We look forward to hearing from you for Valentine’s Day and your special occasions!

Such a busy day!

We love it when we’re busy at the flower shop! WHEW, I finally have a minute to post some pictures of the amazing floral arrangments going out today. Do you have a favorite?



And then there are Hawaiian Tropicals!


And 2 funeral covers, one all white and one pink and white.


And plants! We love to decorate our plants. Do you like them?



I know what we’re doing today to make is special. We’re delivering flowers and smiles!

What are you doing today that’s making it special?

White or White

#flowers #florist #giftbaskets We had the opportunity to design 2 stunning white funeral floral arrangements going to the same funeral on Saturday. Both flower orders were for about the same amount of money.

The first order for #flowes was placed online through an “order gatherer” (Teleflora), who is happy to take your money, charge you a service fee, and then send the order to a local florist at a discount of 73%.  Here is the arrangement we sent. (approximately 18X22)

The second order was placed at your local flower shop! @RoadrunnerFloristBasketExpress (approximately 32X34)
Why am I mentioning this to you?
Because you save money when you contact your LOCAL FLOWER SHOP! Why pay a service fee? Let your local florist design and deliver a stunning floral arrangement (at full value). Support your local economy instead of spending your hard-earned dollars who-knows-where.

How do you find a local florist? It’s easy! You can find a local florist online underneath the paid ads on google, yahoo, yelp or bing. That eliminates names like Teleflora,ftd,1800flowers,proflowers,justflowers,fromyouflowers,flowerssenttoday,newcityflowers,myflowers,or.r_qf.&fp=7fc5fedc30003249&q=local+florist+phoenix+az

It’s worth a minute of your time to CALL the number and ask these 2 simple questions:
1. Do you have a store where I can pick up flowers?
2. Do you have a person there who can design something for me while I wait?
If the answers are not YES and YES, then you have not found a local florist.
Turn that frown upside down by contacting a LOCAL FLOWER SHOP! smiley

We are always happy to be of service to you.

Pamela & Tina heads only

Pamela and Tina, your LOCAL FLORIST at

Now, don’t you think you can find and use a local flower shop for your flowers?

Why Send Funeral Flowers

Funeral Flowers soften the sorrow and comfort the living.

“Families deserve the right of complete freedom of expression at time of death. People are not cut from the same spiritual or emotional mold. Therefore, they should be free to express themselves in the manner which best conveys their emotions. Any expression which is the result of dictate, ceases to be an act of the heart”. Todd Van Beck,
Funeral Director

Tina and funeral for lady

The death of a family member or close friend is one of life’s most painful episodes. Those in mourning need support and most of us are anxious to find some way to comfort them. One of the most appropriate and appreciated ways to express sympathy and compassion, as well as respect for the deceased, is by sending flowers.
Occasionally, the obituary announcement includes the phrase “In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to…”. Often times, this terminology is used to encourage charitable gifts but not necessarily to discourage other expressions. Most families sincerely appreciate all personal expressions and may later regret having too few flowers at the funeral. It is important that each giver make their own choice and many people are choosing to send a floral remembrance to the service or family home as well as a donation to the charity indicated. While a monetary donation is a worthy tribute, there is really no substitute for beautiful flowers at a sympathy service. They comfort the living as they commemorate the lives of the deceased.

garden funeral garden for gerta

When planning a funeral, alternative sayings are suggested instead of “In Lieu of Flowers”.  As part of making funeral arrangements, family members sometimes select a charity or other organization to receive financial contributions given in memory of the deceased. Occasionally this request is made “in lieu of flowers.”

Funeral directors who recognize the important contribution flowers can make to the traditional service are concerned that the solicitation is worded tactfully.

They realize that florists hope the charity can be identified in a phrase that does not single out the floral industry in a negative manner.

Funeral directors may also be asked to comply with newspaper obituary guidelines which prohibit discriminatory phrases.

Choosing one of the suggested alternative phrases which simply eliminates the expression “in lieu of flowers”, achieves three important goals. It honors the family request for a charity, meets the high standards for a charity, meets the high standards of good taste and decorum insisted upon by most funeral directors and does not dictate to friends the manner in which they express their sympathy.

“When Memorial Contributions Are Requested…These Phrases are Suggested:

  • The family suggests memorial contributions be sent to….
  • Should friends desire, contributions may be sent to….
  • Memorials may be made to the charity of your choice
  • The …. Memorial has been established for those wishing to contribute.
  • As an expression of sympathy, memorial contributions may be sent to….
  • The family has designated the …. for memorial contributions.
  • Remembrances may be made in the form desired by friends.
  • Memorial contributions may be made to….
  • Flowers are welcome. Contributions may be sent to…

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May the passing of a loved one be softened by beautiful flowers.

Roadrunner Florist & Basket Express  Phoenix, AZ