Anthony John F. Aloi, a longtime Washington-area floral designer, died at the Williams House hospice of the Washington Home on June 9 of kidney failure and complications from prostate cancer, according to his partner, John Bekeny. He was 78.
Aloi, born Feb. 20, 1938, was a native Washingtonian and lifelong resident, having been born at the old Providence Hospital. In floral design, he worked for the Kelsey, Dove, Palace, Friendship, York and Caruso flower shops. His plant maintenance business serviced clients including the National Football League Players Association, the National Catholic Educational Association, the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, and the Mathematical Association of America.
Prior to entering the floral design industry, he worked for Mitchell Construction on the D.C. Stadium and Central Intelligence Agency headquarters building projects. When he learned the next project was to be the Rayburn Office Building, he decided that he didn’t want to work construction during another winter and answered an ad for a florist trainee. In the years that followed, he did the flowers for the weddings of scores of Washingtonians and also did flowers for prominent residents of the time, including Elizabeth Taylor and Lynda Carter.
He volunteered his floral design services for many years, first at St. Matthew’s Cathedral and for the past 15 years at Immaculate Conception Church. Years earlier, he volunteered floral design services to help decorate the White House for the holidays.
In January 2014, he received an official apostolic blessing from Pope Francis. Recently he was honored to be selected by the Order of Malta to journey to the prominent Catholic pilgrimage site of Lourdes, France, from which he returned in May 2016.
He was a veteran of the U.S. Marines.
Aloi was a member of Alcoholics Anonymous, where he provided continuing support to others in the fellowship. He celebrated his 31st anniversary of sobriety on June 3, 2016, while in Williams House.
He is survived by his partner of 31 years, John Bekeny of Washington, his brother Ross Trimarchi of Navarre, Fla., and sisters Victoria Hull of Ft. Walton Beach, Fla., and Jean Winchester of Bowie, Md., as well as four nieces, two nephews, and 17 cousins.
A funeral was held in June.