Florence Madeline Mynarski (1921 - 2018)

  • "What a delightful person and a life long friend. Florence..."
    - Warren Wiley
  • "Prayers for the family during this time. Florence was such..."
    - Carol Pitts
  • "Florence was our friend in Juneau in the 50's and 60's. She..."
    - Marl and Bruce Campbell

Long time Juneau resident Florence Madeline Mynarski, 96, passed away March 9, 2018, at the Juneau Pioneer Home.

A funeral Mass will be celebrated Saturday, April 21, 2018 at 10 a.m. at the Cathedral of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in downtown Juneau, with a reception immediately afterwards in the parish hall.

Florence was born October 27, 1921, in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, to John Mynarski and Sophia (Seffert) Mynarski. Her father, who had emigrated to the U.S. from Poland, was a lacemaker. She is survived by an older sister, Viola Mynarski, of Pawtucket, and a younger brother, Thomas, of Rumford, Rhode Island; a nephew, Jay Mynarski, and niece, Patricia Mynarski, both of Rumford.

In her younger years, Florence was a talented figure skater and belonged to the Providence Figure Skating Club. She graduated from Pawtucket High School and went to work in a factory, spinning thread on spools. She attended a business college at night, eventually earning an associate's degree in secretarial studies.

Her family says Florence was always an adventurous person, and when she was 33 years old, Florence bought herself a new Oldsmobile convertible. With her pet dachshund as company, Florence left Pawtucket to drive across the country and up the Alaska Highway to Haines, Alaska, where she caught the ferry to Juneau. She applied for a job as a secretary for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services and was hired two days after taking an exam for the job, beginning a career which spanned more than four decades.

Florence had several automobiles over her lifetime, all convertibles! She loved the Alaska outdoors. She was an avid skier and member of the Juneau Ski Club. She especially enjoyed fishing, hiking, and camping with her many friends.

Florence was a devout Catholic and the church was an important part of her life. When Pope John Paul II came to Alaska in 1981, she went to Anchorage to participate in the Mass he celebrated at the Park Strip. Then three years later, when the Pontiff was en route to the Far East and stopped off at Eielson Air Force Base for refueling and to meet with President Ronald Reagan, Florence and others from Juneau went to Fairbanks for the occasion. They were rewarded with a chance to personally meet the Pope. Years later Florence, on at least two occasions, went to Rome to participate in activities at the Vatican.

Florence used to tell friends that one of the more memorable days of her life was when she got to shake the hand of then presidential candidate John F. Kennedy when he visited Juneau while campaigning in Alaska in 1960.

She was a life member of the Pioneers of Alaska, Women's Igloo No.6, and the Epsilon Sigma Alpha international sorority.

Florence was a very organized and meticulous person. In 1996, at the age of 75, she had made all the arrangements for her future funeral, including paying for a burial plot in Evergreen Cemetery, buying a pink granite headstone with all information etched on it except for the date of death, and picking out a casket.

Burial will take place in June at a date to be announced.

Friends who wish to do so many send condolences to Florence's sister, Viola Mynarski, 66 Bellevue Avenue, Pawtucket, Rhode Island 02861.
Published in The Juneau Empire from Apr. 16 to May 15, 2018