Lilly Pulitzer memorial service to be held on Palm Beach today

PALM BEACH, Fla. -- A memorial service will be held Thursday for fashion icon Lilly Pulitzer.

The 81-year-old died Sunday at her home on Palm Beach.

The memorial begins at 2 p.m. at The Episcopal Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea.

Friends of Pulitzer said attendees at the memorial probably won't be wearing black -- but will instead be wearing bright colors and prints from the Lilly Pulitzer line.

"Her clothes reflected who she was," Pulitzer's friend Kathie Orrico said. "The happiness, the joy. Everything was joyful in her life. She loved to have fun. She wanted everyone else to be happy and have fun."

Pulitzer, who's formal name was Lillian Bostwick Phipps Pulitzer Rousseau, is best known for founding the Lilly Pulitzer fashion company in 1959.

Her clothing and other wares featuring bright, colorful floral prints, has been very popular with high society, especially in Palm Beach, gaining Pulitzer the nickname the "Queen of Prep."

Mrs. Rousseau is survived by her children Liza, Minnie and Peter Pulitzer, and grandchildren.

Her schoolmate Jacqueline Kennedy, while first lady, was photographed wearing one of Pulitzer's dresses -- and made her a star. The dress "was made from kitchen curtain material -- and people went crazy," Pulitzer said in her book, "Essentially Lilly: A Guide to Colorful Entertaining," excerpted on her company's website. "They took off like zingo. Everybody loved them, and I went into the dress business."

Her career sprang from her husband Peter's citrus groves, Sports Illustrated reported in 1968.

She opened an orange juice stand in Palm Beach, and designed colorful cotton shirts for herself to work in comfortably. Soon, customers wanted to buy her shirts as well as the juice.

She began a collection of informal dresses, called "Lillys," and then began designing clothes for girls and a men's sportswear line.

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