Funeral services will be held 10 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 11, at Esterdahl Mortuary & Crematory, 6601 38th Ave., Moline. Visitation will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, at the funeral home. Burial will be at Greenview Memorial Gardens, East Moline. Memorials may be made to her family.
Florence was preceded in death by her husband, Ray Van Vooren, in 1971; and her oldest son, Ron, in 1992. She is survived by her other three children, Allan, Sandpoint, Idaho, Mike, Aledo, and Deb Hope, Moline, who along with her husband, Dave Hope, were Florence's longstanding and unfailing companions, aids, confidants and angels. Florence leaves behind 10 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren (and two on the way) who held special places in her heart.
"Flo" was born Dec. 17, 1915, and raised on a farm south of Milan near Coyne Center. She was raised along with three brothers and a sister by her widowed mother through the depression, an experience that left an indelible imprint on her. She moved into Rock Island at 18 to babysit her older sister, Gladys', son, Marvin. She eventually went to work at Servus Rubber. Despite being warned to stay away from "those Belgians," she met, fell in love and in the fall of 1941 ran off to Kahoka, Mo., where there was no waiting period and married Ray.
Following the war, Ray went to work at John Deere Malleable works, and in 1951 they bought a home on 25th Avenue in Moline, where they raised their four children. Flo continued to reside there for 30 years after her husband's death. She gardened, canned, quilted, baked, babysat, read, worked puzzles, enjoyed neighbors and looked forward to time with family. She was untiring, mowing her yard and adjacent lot with a push mower into her 80s, and walked all over Moline on errands rather than "waste the gas."
She was a lifelong, active member of Wesley Methodist (now Bethel Wesley). She enjoyed traveling with the Moline Senior Center and visited her son, Allan, in Idaho often, taking up whitewater rafting in her late 70s.
Florence battled back from a stroke in 1989, but in 1992 decided it might be OK to let someone else do the cooking and moved into Park Vista Retirement Village in East Moline, where she gained many friends and lived for 10 years until her recent move to Illini Restorative Care. The family is forever grateful to the caring staff at both Park Vista and Illini.
Despite the challenges and losses she had endured, Florence was easy to laugh, impossible to upset or discourage and possessed vision that only recognized the positive in people and situations. In the end, the only riches that we have, if we are fortunate, are our memories and the love of family and friends. Florence passed away a very wealthy woman. All those that knew Florence are richer for having had her in our lives.
Online condolences may be left for her family by visiting her obituary online at www.esterdahl.com.
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