Florence L. Flanders of Vineyard Haven died peacefully on March 4, 2016, at Windemere Nursing Home. She was 99.
Florence was born in Lawrence on June 12, 1916, the daughter of Florence and Harry Bradbury. She grew up in Lawrence and graduated from Salem State Teachers College in 1938.
To the horror of her parents, she accepted a teaching position at Tisbury High School on an island off the coast of Cape Cod! But it was for the best, as this was where she met Leslie Mayhew Flanders. They married in 1940 at the house of her parents in Lawrence, but Martha’s Vineyard was her home from that point forward. Florence and Leslie raised their three sons on Skiff Avenue, where she lived until 2008.
Florence was predeceased by her husband in 1972. As a young widow, her family, friends, and faith kept the momentum going of the life they had built together. She supported her sons and their families’ pursuits, and always maintained a strong belief that education was the path to success. She was a proud mother and grandmother at many graduations.
Florence was an active member of Christ United Methodist Church, serving as membership secretary for many years. She enjoyed being part of the bell choir, and substitute organist. A woman of many talents, she was instrumental in organizing and completing the lovely needlepoint around the altar. She was an accomplished seamstress, making slipcovers and drapes for her home, as well as for rental properties in Chilmark.
For her leisure, Florence played the piano and was a member of a local ladies’ bridge club, the Bridgettes. In the spring, when it was her turn to host the group, she enjoyed entertaining them at the family home, Heritage, on Flanders Lane in Chilmark.
Dedicated to her family, Florence moved her mother and aunt from Methuen to the Island in 1974. Her mother was one of the first residents of the new long-term-care unit at the hospital. Inspired by her example of compassion, the next generation was committed to her comfort and care.
She is survived by her three sons, Allen B. Flanders of Chilmark, Vineyard Haven, and Milton; Graeme L. Flanders and his wife Judie of Chilmark; and Brian Flanders and his wife Noreen of Vineyard Haven. She also leaves her granddaughter, Amy (Flanders) Harris and her husband Jed of Falmouth, Maine; and three grandsons, Matthew Flanders and his wife Carole Lee of Vineyard Haven; Ned Flanders and his wife Melissa of New Canaan, Conn.; and Christopher Flanders and his wife Brianna of Buzzards Bay; as well as 10 great-grandchildren.
A graveside service was held on March 9 at Abel’s Hill Cemetery in Chilmark. Arrangements were under the care of the Chapman, Cole and Gleason Funeral Home, Oak Bluffs.