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Mark Vasquez, the longtime civic leader and owner of Saywell Florist, died Tuesday, family members announced. He was 75.
Although he kept a low profile, Vasquez cared deeply about his community, belonging to the Elks Lodge and serving as past president of the Downey Rose Float Association.
He was a florist for more than 60 years and, although officially retired, still worked at the family's Saywell Florist business.
He twice ran for Downey City Council, the first time in 2004 when he lost to David Gafin. Though he came up short, he was appointed by Gafin to the city's hospital board and Community Services Commission.
Vasquez ran for council again last year on a platform that promised to keep the Downey Fire Department. He lost to Luis Marquez.
"I'm a concerned citizen dedicated for Downey," Vasquez told the Patriot last year. "I've supported Downey, I'm all for Downey - I'm not running for state or county, I'm running in support for Downey.
"I'm a retired florist of 60 years. Downey has been good to us, I just want to fulfill my civic duties and help the city."
Vasquez is survived by his wife, Dee Bacus, and daughter, Mia.