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"SHM" 2008 Obituary


SHMUEL o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2008-03-01 published
Robbery possible motive in florist's death
Neighbourhood shaken after body of mother of three discovered bound and gagged in North York store
By James BRADSHAW, Page A17
A tight-knit North York neighbourhood is reeling after a local florist and mother of three died Thursday night during what police are calling an apparent robbery in which she was bound to a chair, gagged and left helpless in the washroom at the back of her store.
Felicia HOSANY's husband, Rafick, found her shortly after 9 p.m. Thursday in Flowers By Felicia on Wilson Heights Boulevard at Sheppard Avenue. Mr. HOSANY called police, who later confirmed that money was missing from the store, suggesting robbery as the motive. An autopsy revealed Ms. HOSANY died of suffocation with ligature restraints.
In a poignant tribute, several people stopped yesterday to place flowers in front of the store. Friends and customers described Ms. HOSANY, 51, as a kind and generous person who was more concerned with her neighbourhood relationships than running a prosperous flower shop.
One area resident, who asked to be identified as only Dave, said he and his wife bought their wedding invitations from Ms. HOSANY 11 years ago, and his mother is a friend who buys weekly flower arrangements to leave at her late husband's grave.
"She wasn't about business," he said. "She charged my mum $3, and my mum would give her a $2 tip and she wouldn't take the tip. She just wanted to know how the family was doing, how my mum was doing; she was just there for company. Business was secondary to the neighbourhood."
Susan SHMUEL, who owns a pet daycare and grooming centre a few doors away, said Ms. HOSANY came to her store on Thursday to buy a collar for her dog, a pit bull that was in the store with Ms. HOSANY the night of the robbery.
"It's just awful, she would come in to just say hi," Ms. SHMUEL said. "Everybody knew her to be a friendly, nice person. She was always smiling, she was always happy."
Kim PERRY has been working at the nearby Times Square Diner for eight years, where Ms. HOSANY often stopped in for meals. Ms. PERRY said they were on a first-name basis and that she was devastated by the news of her death, having just heard that Ms. HOSANY was expecting to become a grandmother any day.
Most residents and business owners describe the area as safe and quiet, a sentiment that added to their horror upon hearing the disturbing details of Ms. HOSANY's death.
"We haven't had any issues, any problems -- it's so quiet," said Josie MARQUES, a customer of Ms. HOSANY since she moved to the neighbourhood nine years ago. "It's a small little area, everybody sort of knows everybody."
But others said they have noticed the local character changing recently.
"It is a pretty safe, quiet neighbourhood, but the last year there's been a lot of drug activity," Dave said, pointing out several "hot spots" he says are dens of vice.
Another resident, Kimberly CLISH, said she has seen evidence of an increasing drug problem, and her brother discovered a used syringe in the parking lot of the Country Style coffee shop across the street a few days ago.
Police are asking anyone who might have information about the crime to get in touch with them.

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