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HINGHAM Florence Mildred Effinger, 100, retired elementary school teacher, died Saturday, Oct. 19, 2002, at a Sheridan, Ore., care center of natural causes.

Funeral services are 9 a.m. Saturday at the Holland and Bonine Chapel with the Rev. Robert D. Grosch officiating. Committal rite is at the Calvary Cemetery in Havre.

Florence was born Aug. 2, 1902, to Alexander Fitzpatrick and Charlotte (Squires) Murray at Sandstone Village, Minn. She attended school in Sandstone Village, where she graduated valedictorian of her class. She was very dedicated to the Camp Fire Girls and Royal Neighbors. She graduated from The St. Cloud State Teachers' College in St. Cloud, Minn., in 1923.

On Aug. 9, 1924, Florence married Clarence Effinger in Lancaster, Minn. To this union two children were born.

Florence was a school teacher in Lancaster. She later taught for the Hingham Public School system and was bookkeeper for their family-owned and operated hardware store, which Florence and Clarence shared from 1948 until 1964, when Clarence died. Florence sold the store and moved to Great Falls to be near her son and his family. Her former students honored her by dedicating their senior yearbook to her in the early 1970s. In September 1999, Florence moved to a care facility in Sheridan, Ore. Florence enjoyed playing bridge, doing needlepoint, knitting, sewing, and traveling.

Florence did not allow age to interfere with adventure. While in her 80s, she visited her daughter in Hawaii and was a passenger in a glider plane as it floated high about the ocean. Her love of the sky was not forgotten. For her 94th birthday, she was lifted back into the heavens in a hot-air balloon ride. In 1998, Florence joined her granddaughter in Sheridan, Wyo., to once again be closer to her family. She relocated one more time with her granddaughters in 1999 out to the Pacific Northwest.

Florence was preceded in death by her husband, Clarence Effinger in 1964; son, Richard Effinger in 1977; infant daughter, Beverly, who died in childbirth.

Florence is survived by her granddaughters, Michelle Bleth of Sheridan, Ore., and Barbara Shirley of Hayden, Idaho.

Memorials in Florence's honor may be made to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital Memorial and Honorarium Program, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105-1905.

Services and arrangements are under the direction of the Holland and Bonine Funeral Home.


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