Longtime Montrose Gift Shop Owner Will Be Missed

The 93-year-old La Crescenta resident and proprietress of Fiona's Antiques & Gifts died Nov. 29 in her home.

Fiona Genevive Bayliss was the kind of shop owner who people popped in to see, regardless whether they made a purchase, local residents said. 

Almost 50 years after opening Fiona's Antiques and Gifts on Verdugo Road, Bayliss has died, at the age of 93. An obituary in the Crescenta Valley Weekly stated Bayliss passed away from natural causes. 

Larry Moss, a friend of Bayliss' for more than 50 years, told the La Cañada Valley Sun, “There isn't anything negative to say about her. She was a very positive, caring, generous person who was full of life.

"She wasn't your typical older person who goes to the rest home and sits in her rocking chair,” added Moss, whom the paper identified as co-owner of Penelope's Café, Books and Gallery in La Cañada and owner of the landscape design firm Moss & Associates. 

For Susan Colosimo, who posted condolences on the Montrose Patch Facebook page, it was Bayliss' congeniality that kept her coming back to the gift store. 

"Just wanted to say how much Fiona will be missed. I loved to go in and talk with her, shop and enjoyed the ever-present tea/hot cider and cookies she would offer to all who came into her shop. Montrose will never be the same, but I am so glad that I had the opportunity to know her. She will be greatly missed,'' Colosimo wrote.

Nicole Charky December 09, 2012 at 10:49 PM
@Cindy - Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful memories of Fiona. She will be missed by so many.
Marina December 10, 2012 at 07:36 PM
My mom and I spent many hours prowling around her store during my childhood. It always struck me as being someplace magical, and she was like a fairy godmother. And the complimentary cider and butter cookies were more delicious there than anywhere else in the world. She and the store will always live on in my memory and heart.
Carolyn Renz January 05, 2013 at 05:29 AM
I lived in the Glendale/Montrose/La Canada/Shadow Hills areas until 2005 and then moved to Dallas, TX. I discovered Fiona's way back in the 70's and stopped by off and on over the years both in Glendale and later up in Montrose. I have many objects in my house from her store, and wonderful memories of her and positive, inspiring attitude. Our last visit to the area was in 2009 and she was as cheerful as ever and asked me to keep in touch.....this year in response to my Christmas card her son sent a note telling me of her passing. She will be missed!
Sue Cool February 04, 2013 at 03:51 AM
My sister stumbled on Fiona's five or six years ago just before Halloween. I was living in Portland, OR at the time and my sister mailed tea towels in a bag that Fiona had decorated with a hand drawn pumpkin! I moved to Ventura about three years ago and had the pleasure of meeting Fiona and visiting the shop quite often. A note which I received from her late last summer said she already was getting the shop in order for autumn and Halloween as she so loved pumpkins. Fiona's was magical and to have been in the presence of Fiona herself has blessed and enriched my life.
Robin Collins June 06, 2013 at 06:22 PM
I met Fiona in her shop in the 1970s, while working at Larry Moss Landscape Architect, when his office was on Verdugo Rd. It was wonderful to take a lunch break, browsing in her shop but mostly getting to know her and feeling warmed by her genuine affection and joy in life. Along with Jane Humphrey's Once Upon A Time, then also located on Verdugo, I found sweet community and refreshment. So glad that I found my way back to Fiona's shop last October, purchased some tea towels for gifts, sipped cider and shared some thoughts and memories. Fiona will live on forever.


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