Visionary and flower forwarder Julio ‘Toots’ Armellini dies at 90

Born on January 5, 1923 in Vineland, New Jersey  Julio ‘Toots’Armellini was the youngest of five children. After serving in the Navy as a Seabee in the Caribbean and Okinawa during World War II he returned to Vineland and married Sarah Dauito, his beloved wife of 68 years. He became involved in the flower industry when he took over the trucking for his brothers who were flower growers in South Jersey.

Soon afterwards, Julio and Sarah formed what became Armellini Express Lines. In the late 1940’s he expanded the floral transportation business to include Florida product. After concentrating on the east coast distribution for nearly 30 years, in 1972 he acquired Gilbert Express and began servicing the Midwest markets. With the introduction of South American production in the mid-1970’s he was instrumental in the development of that segment of the industry.

He was an innovative thinker with a warm heart and a never say die attitude. He was a friend to many and a devoted father to his five children. Toots was an imposing figure who enjoyed being with family and friends, especially his golfing and hunting buddies. He played a significant part in building the U.S. flower industry into what it is today. His strong work ethic and pro-active personality was instilled in his children and grandchildren as they carry on the family tradition. When asked about the reason for his success, he always attributed it to “luck, guts and hard work”. He was a very accomplished man who not only served his country but his local community and its industries and in doing so, received many awards.

  • Man of the Year, Customs Brokers and Forwarders, Miami, FL 1971
  • Floral Marketer of the Year 1997
  • Business Man of the Year, Stuart, Florida Chamber of Commerce
  • Hall of Fame Award, Society of American Florist 2006
  • Governor’s Business Leadership Award 1996
  • Man of the Year, Florida Import and Export Organization

Mr. Armellini is survived by his loving wife Sarah, his five children, Richard Armellini (Bonnie), Judith Dusharm (Sterling), William Armellini (Gabriele) Stephen Armellini and David Armellini (Patricia), thirteen grandchildren and six great grandchildren. Donations can be made to Treasure Coast Hospice, Stuart, FL

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