Jim Nordlie, Nordlie’s long-time owner, president, and leader passed away on Friday, July 1, 2016. He was 93 years old and dedicated his entire working life to serving the floral industry. He began working in the downtown Detroit store in 1946, after returning home from World War II where he served as a Flying Tiger pilot based out of Hsian, China. Under his direction and leadership, Nordlie grew to seven stores in Michigan, Ohio, and Florida. Having a passion for roses and understanding the importance of supplying the best quality rose in the marketplace, Jim managed two successful rose growing greenhouses in Ohio. He also started his Norcafe farm in Guatemala that supplied the market with premium roses for many years.
Jim’s passion for our industry was only surpassed by his passion for the people in it, whether they be employees, customers, peers, or his family. No one came into the Detroit location without receiving an introduction, handshake, and a friendly welcome. He also had a knack for identifying key personality traits in hiring employees who would “make a difference” to the Company and customers. He gave many an opportunity when it was greatly needed, resulting in careers that truly made a difference in their lives.
Jim is survived by his wife, Nancy and his two children James Nordlie and Nancy Nordlie. He will be greatly missed by all of us at Nordlie but his words of wisdom and culture that he developed will continue under the Nordlie/Kennicott name. Our thoughts and prayers are with Jim’s family.