TUPELO – Florence Ann ""Flo"" Aldridge, 69, died Tuesday, April 29, 2014, at North Mississippi Medical Center, Pontotoc. She was born June 25, 1944, in Coral Gables, Fla., to George Frederick Clarke and Martha Virginia Killian Aldridge. She began her piano studies at age seven, and was the accompanist for junior and senior high choruses all through her public school years. She received her Bachelor of Music Education degree from Florida State University, where she studied organ with Dr. Ramona C. Beard. Her Master of Organ Performance degree was earned at University of South Florida during which she studied organ with Paul Jenkins, Stetson University.
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During her studies at FSU, she won several district and state American Guild of Organists' competitions; she received a Federation state award in Florida. Florence is a member of Sigma Alpha Iota, International Music Fraternity and Pi Kappa Lambda, National Music Honor Society. While in Lakeland, Florida, she served as organist at United Methodist Temple, First United Methodist Church and First Presbyterian Church. She was an adjunct professor of organ and piano at Florida Southern College, Lakeland, for many years. Flo's love was accompanying: she held that position with the Lakeland Choral Society for 37 years, and for the Chorale at Florida Southern College.
Since retiring to Tupelo in 2005, Florence has served as a substitute organist, program chairman of the Fortnightly Musicale and state sacred music chairman for the Federation of Music Clubs. She lived the past several months at Church Street Personal Care Home in Ecru.
She loved listening to others play, offered encouragement to others, and accompanied young string players during recitals. She was a member of Fortnightly Musicale, the Grace Ringers Choir at First United Methodist Church, and a member of Philanthropic Education Organizations (PEO), a sisterhood of women who support young women to further their education, and offer scholarships and grants to young adults who did not complete their education. She was involved in the Singles Ministry at First Baptist Church in Tupelo.
Flo was a very gracious lady who had a flare for dressing, jewelry, and a beautiful smile. She always asked, ""What does it take to be a true Southern Belle?"" never realizing she had already reached that status. She was always friendly and never met a stranger.
A memorial service celebrating her life will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 3, 2014, at First United Methodist Church with the Rev. James R. Curtis officiating. Visitation will be from 10 a.m. to service time only in the Gathering Room at the church. Holland Funeral Directors Tupelo Chapel is entrusted with arrangements.
Survivors include her son, Clarke David Aldridge (Julie) of Hanover, Pa.; one brother, George Author Clarke of Atlanta, Ga.; her compassionate and loving caregivers at Church Street Personal Care Home; and a host of dear friends. She was preceded in death by her parents and husband, David Aldridge.
Memorials may be made to First United Methodist Church Music Department, P.O. Box 854, Tupelo, MS 38802 or
, 607C West Main St., Tupelo, MS 38804. Condolences may be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Holland Funeral Directors
5281 Cliff Gookin Blvd
Tupelo, MS 38801
Published in Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal on May 2, 2014