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Florence R. Genser

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Florence R. Genser, a long- time resident of Gladwyne, PA, died following a long illness, on the evening of January 1, 2013. Mrs. Genser was always known as "Floss" to family and friends. Floss was born in Brookline, Haverford Township in Philadelphia, and graduated from Haverford High School. She was an outstanding student and was a member of the National Honor Society. Following graduation, Floss worked as a legal secretary in a law firm in Philadelphia. Floss's deep and life-long interest was to study and work in the field of Horticulture. She was a graduate of the renowned Barnes Foundation Arboretum and later attended Temple University in Ambler, PA. For seven years, she worked at the Henry Foundation for Botanical Research as a full time assistant to Miss Josephine Henry, who was known for her many exploratory trips to both North and South America in search of hitherto unknown plants. With this great experience and background, Floss was employed by Haverford College as the Director of the Arboretum. As Director of the Arboretum, Floss renovated and updated the campus which is home to the famous Penn Treaty Elm Tree. Floss embarked on a program to build membership and of identifying and labeling the trees on campus which included many "Champion Trees". She also wrote and published many prize winning brochures and newsletters, which for most of her 17 years at Haverford, were awarded Best in every category at the AABGA-American Association of Botanical Gardens & Arboreta annual meeting. Somewhat jokingly it was said that Floss would win no matter the competition. Floss retired from Haverford College and devoted the remainder of her working years to her landscape design business, Greener Pastures. In 2007, Floss and her husband of 47 years, Matt Genser of Gladwyne, PA, relocated to Charleston, SC, to be near their children. Floss is survived by her husband, Dr. Matthias P. Genser, her daughters, Stephanie Stockwell of Charleston, Antoinette Knorr of San Francisco and Susan Gale of Charleston. Floss's older sister, Attala Barclay lives in Phoenix, AZ. Her grandchildren include Amy Mercer of Charleston, Erin Grimm of Burlington, VT, Christopher Gale of Raleigh, NC, Andrew Gale of New York City, and Alexander Gale of Charleston. Great grandchildren include William Mercer, Miles Mercer, and Reid Mercer of Charleston, and Gabriel Grimm and Harrison Grimm of Burlington, VT. Floss, Matt and family members spent over 20 years traveling to Santa Fe and Taos, New Mexico, for Christmas. After an early trip there in 1964, Floss established a connection and later deep affection for this special place in the American west. An avid Philadelphia Phillies fan, she and her husband were season ticket holders. Floss was a longtime member of St. Christopher's Church in Gladwyne and she and her husband were members of the Merion Cricket Club in Haverford. Funeral services were held at Stella Maris Church on Sullivan's Island, SC, and internment followed at the Columbarium at Mepkin Abbey in Moncks Corner, SC. Anyone wishing to communicate with the family may send notes to Dr. Matthias P. Genser, 1505 Jenys Street, Daniel Island, SC, 29492. Donations may be made to Mepkin Abbey, 1098 Mepkin Abbey Road, Moncks Corner, South Carolina 29461

Published in Main Line Media News on Jan. 15, 2013
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