Todd Del Johnson

Todd Del Johnson entered life at Sacramento on December 12, 1962, and left it on May 18, 2024. In between he became a familiar figure on Grass Valley’s Main Street, where he was a mainstay of Foothill Flowers and a stalwart of the downtown community.

Todd came to Nevada County at age three and was raised with his older sister and brother among supportive families in Cedar Ridge. His single mother, Marie Johnson, started Foothill Flowers in 1966. She instilled a strong work ethic in her children, who often walked into town after school to help in the shop.

Todd made his oldest friends at Cedar Ridge and many more at Nevada Union High School, where his determination inspired teammates on the swim team. His caring nature and respect for others made him popular and all his life he nurtured the friendships he made when young.

Friends remarked on his loyalty. As one of them said, “When Todd had something to do for someone, don’t get in his way.” He was laser- focused on getting it done.

Todd studied ornamental horticulture at Yuba College and learned floral design, the art of flowers, from his mother. He also learned from other American Institute of Floral Design professionals who worked in the family shop. He developed a unique and clever eye for making beautiful arrangements. Friends called him “Todd, the flower god.”

Todd followed his mother in giving back to the community and he contributed unique arrangements to many community events. He was always aware of others, as evidenced in simple ways. The sidewalks around the shop were always swept in summer, for example, and shoveled clear of snow in winter. He was a thoughtful neighbor on Chester Street in Grass Valley.

His friends knew Todd’s generosity in the flowers he brought to Easter brunch or Super Bowl or other parties. He gave leis at high school graduations. Friends remember him bringing not one but five dishes to potlucks. “Everyone good?,” he would ask, and he meant everyone.

In addition to his local career, Todd went to Southern California every season for over 25 years to work for Fiesta Floats in designing and assembling floats for the Pasadena Rose Parade on New Year’s morning. He was well known in the floral industry and served several terms as president of Northern California Teleflorist’s.

In his spare time, Todd loved deep sea fishing, and after a 1999 excursion to the Sea of Cortez he came home with the nickname “Tuna Slayer.” He had many wonderful fishing trips to Alaska with his uncle, Sacramento attorney Carl Larson, and with friends.

Weakened in the end by a lung ailment and cancer, Todd died as gently as he had lived. Stoic till the end, Todd greeted olds friends who visited in his last days and spoke gently in his last hours about joyful times. He drifted away gently in the evening.

Todd will be interred at Greenwood Cemetery on West Main Street next to his mother and his older sister, Beth. He was predeceased by his mother, father and sister and by his Larson family uncles and aunts. He is survived by his brother, Mark Johnson, numerous cousins and too many friends to count. A celebration of Todd’s life will be held at noon on Sunday, June 30, at the Miners Foundry in Nevada City.