October 31, 1924 - December 17, 2021
Mary Flora Finch Mary Flora Finch (she went by ”Flora”) was born in the family home, then south of DeLand, on October 31, 1924, to Mary and Charles D. Finch. She was the last of their 4 children, 3 of whom survived to adulthood. She was born a tiny and frail baby and her father summoned the only female doctor in the area. The family had moved to Volusia County from Racine Wisconsin, in 1919, when her father retired. The family kept fruit trees, a chestnut tree, chickens, and bees, as well as raising black-eyed peas and other produce on their 5-acre tract. As a child, she learned to stay clear of the path that the bees took between their hives and their water source. The family would often sit on the porch and shell peas or process other foodstuffs, while singing and telling stories in the evenings. Then, rural Volusia County was a wild place, with open range cattle, moonshine, cross burnings, violence, and the on-going conflict between the local “Ring” and “anti-Ring” political groups. Segregation was both the written and unwritten law, strictly enforced, both lawfully and otherwise. The last legal hanging in Florida was in DeLand, witnessed by both her father and older brother. Flora graduated from DeLand High School in 1942. Graduation was the last time she was to see many of the boys in her class, as most went off to war, many not to return. She worked for part of the war at the naval air station (now the DeLand Airport) and another part of the war working in the Atlanta area, living with her sister, Elizabeth (Betty). Flora learned bookkeeping and was bookkeeper for Roberson-Clark Furniture while attending Stetson University. Graduating in 1963, she became a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in 1965. She encountered considerable difficulty finding employment as a female CPA, but eventually became Assistant Comptroller for Lakeland General Hospital. By the late 1960s, with professional experience and changing times, she was able to find a suitable position close to home, where she could spend time with her aging mother. Flora and her 2 siblings cared for their mother from 1976 through 1979, when the mother became bed-ridden after a series of strokes and required around-the-clock care. This was a very difficult time for all of them, as the siblings each had a full-time job. Flora was an active practicing CPA until age 90 and also kept her mind alert with crossword and jigsaw puzzles, as well as reading novels. Through the years, she had 3 special dogs that were almost like children to her. She also enjoyed watching old movies. Mary Flora Finch was preceded in death by her brother, George Jacob Finch (2009) at age 92 and her sister, Elizabeth Mary Baker (2017) at age 96. She became ill a week before her death and was visited many times by family and friends before passing quietly on Friday, December 17, 2021. She is survived by 3 nieces, their extended families, and one nephew. A memorial celebration of her life will be held at Allen-Summerhill Funeral Home, in DeLand, on January 5 at 10 AM.
Mary Flora Finch Mary Flora Finch (she went by ”Flora”) was born in the family home, then south of DeLand, on October 31, 1924, to Mary and Charles D. Finch. She was the last of their 4 children, 3 of whom survived to adulthood.... View Obituary & Service Information
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Mary Flora Finch
Mary Flora Finch (she went by ”Flora”) was born...
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