extreme culture

Link Johnsten Passes Away

A photo of Link Johnsten, nearby his Eau Gallie Florist, surrounded by some of the community that continues to love him so.


The community is reeling from the shocking news that beloved Link Johnsten has passed away.

One of the most wonderful, involved, giving and talented people in Brevard County, Link co-owned the Eau Gallie Florist with his dear wife, Alexis. Together, the two made an impact on Brevard that is quite immeasurable.

When it came to charitable events and those in the cultural community, he was always among the first to arrive and last to leave. He brought the most glorious floral displays, towering with imagination and his innate talent and love of nature. He contributions elevated the events into sophistication and high style.

Link was also at the helm of turning his beloved Eau Gallie area along Highland Avenue into a thriving arts area. He helped create the Eau Gallie Arts District, now a go-to place for artsy strolls and stimulating events. He recently curated a show of work by famed Frits van Eeden at the Derek Gores Gallery.

He also was the brainchild behind the annual outdoor art show called ArtWorks. Mr. Gores, himself an active member of EGAD, said the organization will come up with an appropriate way in which to honor Link Johnsten.

“EGAD was built on his shoulders,” said Mr. Gores.

A native son, Link was involved at the get go with the forming of the museum, which is now called the Foosaner Art Museum. He was the one so very many people turned to for guidance and help.

Indeed. We owe a profound debt of gratitude to him.

There is no way you can sum up Link’s great life into a few paragraphs. Many of you already know that this talented man worked on the Rose Bowl Parade, the Oscars and the White House, which he frequently helped decorate for Christmas.

He was also a potter. I am blessed to have a couple of his creations which I will hold even more dear now.

His aesthetic was close to Mother Nature. He told me once to look at how nature works in certain palettes, and how she composes with line, shape and mass. Consider that, he told me, when he working with floral artistry. And be bold, he would say.

Then, there was that wicked sense of humor and an infectious laugh. He was honest, compassionate, smart. What a guy.

Oh dear…I feel all over the place on this brief story. We’re all quite gobsmacked about his passing. He was a wonderful cheerleader not only for Brevard, but also for his family, for innate talent in others.

My heart goes out to Alexis and his dear children and grandchildren…and, the entire community. What a gift he was.

Read more about Link in a FLORIDA TODAY story by my friend, Suzy Fleming Leonard by clicking here.