Lawn Flamingo creator Don Featherstone 5th Year since his Passing

Don Featherstone who was a classically accomplished painter at the Worcester Art Museum, a gifted sculptor and an artist who became famous for creating the pink plastic lawn flamingo — the ultimate piece of American suburban kitsch.

And it didn’t bother him a bit.

Mr. Featherstone, who died at 79 on June 22, 2015, embraced the fame the invention brought him. Featherstone’s wife Nancy of 40-years said he battled Lewy body dementia at an elder care facility in Fitchburg, Mass.

Mr. Featherstone worked at Union for 43 years, created the ornamental flamingo in 1957 for plastics company, he also invented hundreds of products in that time and rising to the position of president before his retirement in 1999.

The flamingo almost met its demise in 2006, when Union went out of business. But the company was eventually bought by Cado Products Inc., which to this day proudly manufactures the ornaments in Fitchburg, retailing for about $14.99 a pair.

“We still sell thousands of them a year,” said Bruce Zarozny, president of Cado, noting that the company’s packaging refers to them as “The original Featherstone pink flamingo.”

He’s not sure how many have been sold over the years, but it’s in the millions.

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Mark Addy