Many people frequented Echter’s Nursery and Garden Center in Arvada for the customer service that Bob Echter provided. “What an extraordinary man,” Deb Hampton-Steinshouer wrote of Echter on …
Many people frequented Echter’s Nursery and Garden Center in Arvada for the customer service that Bob Echter provided.
“What an extraordinary man,” Deb Hampton-Steinshouer wrote of Echter on the business’ Facebook page. “I started shopping at Echter’s in 1985 and never have stopped, due to best quality and outstanding customer service.”
Echter died in his sleep Nov. 6, at the age of 97, surrounded by his children and grandchildren.
An outpouring of support came from the community when Echter’s death was announced on social media.
“I am so sorry for the family’s loss, but grateful for this man and his outstanding legacy,” Hampton-Steinshouer wrote.
Echter founded Echter’s Greenhouses in 1959 with his brother, Jim. At that time, they grew only carnations. Jim sold his interest in the business to Bob in 1965 and moved to California. Over the years, Echter’s expanded and Bob won many awards for the quality of his carnations and introduced several new varieties to the market.
In 1971, Bob, along with Don Rody, started Rocky Mountain Wholesale Florists and shipped their carnations, as well as flowers of other Colorado growers, throughout the country. He served on the boards of the Colorado Flower Growers Association, the Colorado Floriculture Foundation and the American Carnation Society. He was inducted into the Colorado Floriculture Hall of Fame in 2002.
Bob and his wife Mary raised six children in Arvada. All of them worked at Echter’s at some point in their lives. In the late ‘70s, Bob and his eldest son Steve began to grow and sell bedding plants for the local market, and the business transformed over the years into a complete garden center.
In 1989, he sold Echter’s to two of his sons, but continued to work each spring well into his 80s. Steve and Dave Echter continue to operate Echter’s today.