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Florence Matura Hozempa

Florence Matura Hozempa, 87, passed away Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014, at her home in Dallas after a 12-year battle with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Born in Edwardsville, Florence was the daughter of the late Paul and Elizabeth Matura.

She attended Edwardsville public schools, from where she graduated in 1943. She then went on to earn her undergraduate degree from College Misericordia, graduating in 1947 with a degree in elementary education. Florence continued her education and received her master's degree in education from Wilkes University in 1973 and her reading specialist degree in 1977 from Lehigh University.

Florence was a retired reading specialist for the Wyoming Valley West School District. She also taught in the public school systems in New Jersey and Illinois.

After college, Florence married Dr. Stanley T. Hozempa, and together they celebrated 63 years of marriage.

Florence was the first homecoming queen for King's College and was crowned the "Queen of Kings" in 1947.

She was very involved with Misericordia University activities and many alumni affairs. Florence was currently on the alumni board, Emerita, and spent numerous years volunteering for many of the college's events. In 1960 she was president of the Wyoming Valley chapter of the College Misericordia Alumni Association. Florence received the Hilda Staub Garvey Award in 2001, the Alumni Medallion Award in 2007, and the Mission Award in 2012 from the college's alumni association.

Florence has served on several boards, including Volunteers of America, National Committee of Teachers of English, and the Board of Sinfoniadacamera (a chamber music orchestra affiliated with Misericordia). She was selected as Mrs. Wyoming Valley by the Junior Chamber of Commerce and was a former president of the Dallas Women's Rotary Club. Florence became a Mercy Associate in 1999.

On Nov. 3, 2012, Florence received the Volunteer of the Year Award in Elizabethtown for her 20 consecutive years of volunteer work at Chase Prison and Retreat (formerly SDI), visiting inmates once a month.

Florence loved to travel with her husband, Stanley, and did so extensively; Rome, London, Hawaii, Bermuda, Spain, and Jamaica, just to name a few. Her real loves, however, were the beach and New York City, visiting them as often as she could. Florence led a very active life and never let her cancer or macular degeneration interfere. She was a member of the FANN Group (Friends and New Neighbors) and loved the book club, trips, socials and the great friends she met there.

Many people viewed Florence as a dedicated, upstanding and prominent local figure. She was involved in numerous community activities, including the Meadows Nursing Center, Meals on Wheels, American Red Cross, Bible Study, Back Mountain Historical Society and the . She also volunteered at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital.

Florence was a member of St. Therese's Church, Shavertown, where she served as an instructor in the SPREAD Program, Eucharistic minister, lector and was active on the Social Justice Committee and Prison Growth Group.

Surviving are her husband, Dr. Stanley; daughters, Ann, at home; and Lisa and her husband, Joe Kane; grandchildren, Stephanie, Joseph, Deanna and Paul; great-grandchildren, Emma and Kenley, all of Arizona; and her sofa-buddy, "Missy," her cat.

Funeral services will be held at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday from Harold C. Snowdon Funeral Home Inc., 140 N. Main St., Shavertown.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 a.m. in St. Therese's Church, Pioneer Avenue and Davis Street, Shavertown. The Rev. James J. Paisley will officiate.

Interment will be made in St. John's Cemetery, Dallas.

Friends may call from 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesday at the funeral home.

The family would like to express their deepest gratitude for the professionalism and compassion of all the staff at Erwine Home Health and Hospice Inc., Dr. Bruce Saidman, Dr. John Carey, and Dr. William McLaughlin.

Published in Citizens' Voice on Feb. 8, 2014
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