Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Florist's Odd Figures Going Up for Sale ; Son Says Halloween Sale Would Please Artist

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Florist's Odd Figures Going Up for Sale ; Son Says Halloween Sale Would Please Artist

Article excerpt

CARMEL, Ind. - The house could have felt so empty after Bob Wietholter lost his wife four years ago, were it not for the many "friends" he created. The formally dressed servants, "Maurice" and "Sadie," joined him each morning as he sat at the kitchen table.

"Father John," in his brown monk's cloak, watched (and perhaps prayed?) from a distance in another room.

And at night, as Bob slept in his lonely bed, the beautiful "Ming Lee" stood by and watched over her creator, along with two of her friends and some Buddha statuary.

Some may have though it was a little creepy to build these life- size figures, dress them and place them at strategic points around the house.

But those who knew Bob - who died this summer - knew that he was simply filling the void of a lost wife by focusing his time on his passion for art, interior design and creating unique items to liven up a room.

They are the same kinds of figures he created for the display window at the downtown Bluffton, Ind., flower shop he owned for 31 years - Santa on a rocker at Christmas, Jesus with his cross on Easter.

Is that so creepy?

"It was something to keep him busy just something for him to do," said his son, Kyle Wietholter of Zionsville.

"Let me put it this way: My brother and I never heard him talking to them. To him, they were just decorations."

The entire collection was to be sold at auction today at Wickliff's Carmel gallery, where themed rooms have been pieced back together as much as possible to show interested bidders the vision of their creator.

"We have never sold an estate collection as unique as this," Darin Lawson, president of Wickliff Auctioneers, told The Indianapolis Star.

And nobody could argue that Bob Wietholter didn't know how to present a unique decor.

In addition to Country Squire Flower Shop, which remains open under a new owner, he was a director of

Floral Design for the New York-based W. …

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