Florence C. Mathis, 80, of Margaretville.
On Thursday, July 17, 2008, although our mother, Florence C. Mathis, took her last breath, we rejoice that she entered the heavenly arms of our father, Alfred E. Mathis, who joined our Lord in 1996. Florence began her life in Dumont, N.J. on June 27, 1928, the daughter of John and Gladys Meister.
She married her one and only love, Alfred, on March 2, 1947, and began her journey to Margaretville, to their farm on Hubbell Hill, and raised their loving children.
Along the way, Florence and Al opened their hearts and home to several foster and Fresh Air children, and helped Florence’s cousin, Ruth Callahan, raise her children, Judy (Ryan) and Tom, Daniel and Jackie Callahan.
As her family grew, she dedicated her life to the community as a Girl Scout leader for more than 50 years, active participant in the Margaretville Hospital and American Legion Auxiliary and member of the Margaretville Methodist Church. She also looked forward to her monthly gatherings of the Foxy Ladies and the pleasure of visiting her neighbor, Barbara Kapitko and friends.
Her love for children gave her the opportunity to run her own preschool for many years, and then to volunteer at MCS for several years, working primarily with Wayne Garelick and Bonnie Hinkley in the kindergarten class.
Florence is survived by her loving children, Andrea (Alton) Byrd, Gregg (Roxanne) Mathis and Caroljean Finch and her partner, Charles DiGiacomo. Her greatest joys were her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, Trevor (Mary) Hammond and children Trevor and Nicole of Walden, Kelly Byrd of Astoria, Sarah and Carrie Mathis of Schenevus, Steven Sines and fiancée Alex, Bruce Sines and Jodi Mathis of Margaretville, Shawn and Jennifer Finch and children Jeremiah and Jada of Margaretville and Santana Finch of Boynton Beach, FL. She also became “Nana” to all of their close friends, in particular Amber Butler of Elmira and Sam Dunnings of Mar-garetville.
She was always there for her numerous nieces and nephews, the closest in proximity being Sheila (George) Brown and Sheila’s children, Vincent Miguel, Marie, Rayme and Cassie. She is also survived by her three brothers, John (Dottie) Meister, George (Ramona) Meister and Edward (Irene) Meister.
She was predeceased by a niece, Shawn Meister and is survived by Shawn’s daughter, Katie.
A celebration of her life was held at the home of Caroljean and Charlie at 1056 Canada Hollow Road, Andes, on Sunday, July 20. Stories and jokes were shared with the family on memories of Florence.
In memory of Florence C. Mathis, contributions can be made to the Margaretville Girl Scouts, the American Legion Post 216 or the Margaretville Fire Department.
The family would like to thank the Margaretville Fire Department volunteers who worked tirelessly to combat the blast that consumed both her life and home.
Arrangements were by Hynes Funeral Home, Margaretville.