Florence Brown Catledge, 71, transitioned from her earthly house into eternal joy and peace on Saturday, February 23, 2013. Visitation will be held from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm on Friday, March 1, 2013 from Phillips-Riley Funeral Home, 2284 W. Fairview Avenue, Montgomery, Alabama. Homegoing Service will be held on Saturday, March 2nd at 1:00 pm at Bethel Missionary Baptist Church, 2106 Mill Street, Montgomery, Alabama. Interment will follow in Greenwood Cemetery with the Staff of Phillips-Riley Funeral Home Directing.
Florence was born July 2, 1941, to the late Rev. Willie and Katie Lee Brown. She was a graduate of Carver High School. She received her Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education from Alabama State University; Masters of School Administration from Cleveland State University; and was 6 credit hours away from completing her course work for a PhD in Education. After 33 years, Florence retired from the Cleveland Public Schools system. Florence believed education was the great equalizer. She dedicated her life to educating children and improving the lives of families, especially low-income and those underserved. Florence was founder and co-director of the New Beginnings Educational Center, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and national recognized program. Through her vision and leadership, New Beginnings' served hundreds of children and adults in its after-school tutoring, G.E.D. tutoring, mentoring, summer camp and family wellness/life skills programs. Additionally, toys, food baskets, emergency food and hygiene products were given to needy families. Florence served on the HIPPY of Alabama, Inc. Board of Directors and Alabama State University Drop-Out Prevention Advisory Council and Board of Directors. She was nationally recognized as a Purpose Prize Fellow for being a social innovator and helping to solve a wide range of pressing social problems. She was recipient of the Annual Seniors of Achievement Award for her significant lifetime contribution to her community by Montgomery Area Council on Aging (MACOA).
Florence accepted Jesus Christ as her personal savior at an early age at Mt. Gilead Baptist Church, Montgomery, AL. She was a faithful servant of Lee Seville Baptist Church, South Decatur Street Baptist Church and Bethel Baptist Church serving on the Usher Board, Christian Education Department, and teacher of the Deaconess Board.
Florence is survived by a loving and devoted husband, Joe Catledge, Jr.; three daughters, Tekla V. Williams of Shaker Heights, OH, Zina P. (Marvin) Wiggins of Greensboro, AL, Michelle V. Crawford of Montgomery, AL; one son, Kenneth L. Williams of Montgomery, AL; one grandson, De'von Williams of Atlanta, Georgia; two brothers, Allen (Mary) Brown, and Joel (Juanita) Brown, both of Montgomery, AL; seven sisters, Rosetta (Marion) Brock, Tommie (Johnny) Hardwick, Diane (David) Smith, Waloka Brown, and Cashada Brown all of Montgomery, AL, SeKeena Evans of Gulfport, MS, and Ketia (Michael) Martin of Douglasville, GA; three uncles, Rev. Allen Brown, Bennie Brown both of Montgomery, AL and Rev. Henry Brown of Cleveland, OH; one aunt, Irene Wiley of Montgomery, AL; a devoted cousin, Nancy Bibbins; three brothers in-law, Eddie (Elizabeth) Catledge, James (Viola) Catledge, K.C. Catledge, three sisters in-law, Janice Catledge, and Beverly (Stanley) Rone, and Barbara (Edward) Hall, and a host of nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.
Her remains will lie in repose one hour prior to funeral services.