Florence was born on November 18, 1926, in Akron, Ohio and she was the second of four children to Otis and Frances. Florence and her siblings attended Catholic school throughout their education. She graduated from St. Vincent High School in 1945. She continued her education at a business school where she learned shorthand and other secretarial skills.
Florence began a pen pal correspondence with her uncle’s Army commander, an Alabama sharecropper’s son fighting in the South Pacific in WWII. She and Merrill, her pen pal, exchanged letters throughout his service and he kept a promise to come to Ohio to meet her after the war. When he arrived, it did not take long for the two to fall in love!
Merrill’s work, construction, took him back South, so the two were married in Jacksonville, Florida, on February 9, 1947. After a few jobs in Florida, the two settled down in Atlanta to raise their two children: David born in 1950 and Debra born in 1960.
Although she held many jobs along the way, including at H&R Block and one 24-hour period at a mortuary! Florence worked for 30+ years as the Administrative Assistant/Bookkeeper at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic School in Decatur. After retiring from the school, Florence worked for many years as a tax volunteer with AARP doing taxes for the elderly and for people who could not afford services.
She is known for her fabulous cooking and her kind, generous heart, but her greatest joy has always been, and will always be, her family! She proudly boasts that she has one of each: son, daughter, daughter-in-law, son-in-law, grandson, granddaughter, granddaughter-in-law, great grandson, and great granddaughter! She is much loved by all here in the community and by anyone who meets her!