STRANGE,Florence Helen Florence died October 9 in San Diego from a massive stroke. She had been in good health and was enjoying a brief trip to southern California with a group of fellow artist friends when she suddenly lost consciousness October 7. She remained unconscious until her death two days later. Florence was 85 years old. Florence was born August 20, 1928, in Medford, Wisconsin, the second child of Emil Pernsteiner and Elsie Rothamer Pernsteiner. She attended Holy Rosary Elementary School in Medford and developed a deep respect for and identification with the Nuns who were her elementary school teachers. Florence resolved to enter the Convent herself, and when she was 16, she entered St. Josephs Convent in Milwaukee. As her schooling and her religious life progressed, Florence became a postulant, an aspirant, and finally took her vows as a Nun in the Order of School Sisters of St. Francis in Milwaukee. She graduated from Alverno College in Milwaukee and was selected by the Convent to be sent to National College of Education in Evanston, Illinois, where she earned her Masters Degree in Education. She taught elementary school, where her favorite students were the younger grades. She was then chosen to teach at the Laboratory Campus School at Alverno College. Florence taught college students majoring in elementary education during the evenings, and during the day taught a demonstration kindergarten behind one-way glass, where college students could quietly observe Florence interacting with the children. As Catholicism changed under Pope John XXIII, Florence attended a series of lectures at Marquette University in Milwaukee. She studied and deeply meditated her core values, and ultimately resigned from School Sisters of St. Francis in 1969. In 1969 she moved to San Francisco to join her brother Richard Pernsteiner. Florence met David Strange at a dance in 1973. They were married in 1974 and moved to Petaluma in 1987. They have regularly attended Unitarian Universalists of Petaluma and have been active in Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Sonoma State University. Florence has been a life-long gardener, was a life member of California Rare Fruit Growers, and has written many articles for Fruit Gardener, the California Rare Fruit Growers publication. She has loved to create art since childhood and has exhibited many water color paintings and pieces of sculpture. While a member of the Alverno College faculty, Florence served as an editor for Mime Magazine, and wrote and illustrated the series A Time for Living, publications for elementary teachers. She is author and illustrator of the children's book Rock-A-Bye Whale and illustrator of Brown Pelican at the Pond, written by her nephew Edward O'Reilly. She is also author of genealogy books about both sides of her family, Rothamers in Medford, Wisconsin and Pernsteiners in America.. Florence was preceded in death by her brother William Pernsteiner and her sister Ann Moertl. She is survived by her husband David Strange of Petaluma, by her sisters Mary Jane Bonneau of Puyallup, WA, Caroline O'Reilly of Nashotah, WI, Frances Ruplinger of Hartland, WI, Joan Altenhofen of Marathon, WI, Bernadette Vos of Duluth, MN, by her brothers Bernard Pernsteiner of Holcomb, WI and Richard Pernsteiner of Oakland, CA, by her step-sons Mark Strange of Oakland, CA and Keith Strange of Pacifica, CA, and by many devoted nieces and nephews. There will be a Memorial Service to share memories of Florence on Sunday, November 17, 1:00-2:30 at Petaluma Womens Club, 518 G St., Petaluma. We ask in lieu of flowers that you make a charitable donation to a
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Published Online in the Press Democrat from Oct. 27 to Oct. 30, 2013