Florine May Harper-Theobald, age 92, of Beaver City, Nebraska passed away on Friday, July 11, 2014 at the Beaver City Manor, in Beaver City, Nebraska. She was born on April 25, 1922 at Beaver City, Nebraska to Leo & Mabel (Thompson) Harper.
Florine attended the Beaver City High School, graduating as “Valedictorian” with the Class of 1939. Upon graduation, she taught in Rural Schools for 3 years. On August 31, 1942 she was united in marriage to Robert S. Theobald of Beaver City, Nebraska. At the time, Robert was in the Army stationed at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. While Robert was at Fort Leavenworth, Florine worked at North American Aviation in Kansas City, Missouri for 3 years. When Robert was transferred to Fort Lewis, Washington, she accompanied him and took a Civil Service Appointment at Tacoma, Washington. Robert was then sent to Camp Roberts, California prior to going overseas to serve in the Philippine Islands in World War II. Florine and Robert were in California for 3 weeks prior to his departure, and she returned to Beaver City. For the following two years, she was employed in the County Clerk’s Office in Beaver City. When Robert returned home in 1947, Florine resigned this position and became a homemaker and a Mother to 3 children: Patricia Ann, Barbara Jean, & Robert Harper Theobald.
After the 3 children were all attending school, Florine returned to work outside of the home. She enjoyed her position at the Beaver Valley Clinic as Receptionist for 4 years, and the Furnas County Welfare Office for 2 years. Then she decided to return to her first love of teaching, and was a teacher in the Hendley and Beaver City Schools. Florine retired in 1984 after 23 years in the Education field.
Florine graduated from Kearney State University with a “Bachelor of Science” degree, and a “Master of Science” degree in Education. She was honored in 1984 by receiving the “Outstanding Educator’s Award”. Education was paramount in Florine’s life, and she served as President of the Beaver City Teacher’s Association, and the Furnas County teacher’s Association. She was a member of the Nebraska Evaluation Committee which evaluated Nebraska Schools for State Accredidation.
Following the death of her husband, Florine took early retirement and pursued avenues of volunteer service. She was accepted as an English teacher with Educational Services Exchange with China. She taught in Universities in Chengdu, Wuhan, Shanghai, Tianjian, China for 5 years.
Broadening her experiences, Florine was accepted as an “Ambassador” with the “Friendship Force”. She lived with families in Bandung, Indonesia and Riga, Latvia for 3 weeks each. This was an educational experience, and she learned extensively about the culture of these countries.
Continuing to serve in Volunteer Service, she took the necessary year’s training to become a Red Cross worker. To date Florine had worked on 16 National Disaster teams. Her areas of expertise include: Mass Care; Mental Health; Disaster Assessment; and Records and Reports.
Florine was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Beaver City, And throughout her lifetime served her Church faithfully. She was Senior Choir Director for 25 years, and Junior Choir Director for 10 years. Florine also served as Sunday School pianist, Senior High Sunday School teacher, and a teacher in the Children’s Department. She was also an elder in the Church.
Florine was a member of the local VFW Auxiliary and served in many offices. She was a District President and elected State President in 1969. Florine was a Past Worthy Matron of the Order of Eastern Star. She was a Girl Scout Leader for 10 years, and was elated when her troop received the highest honor in Girl Scouting, the “Curve Bar” in which her daughters were members.
Florine enjoyed the activities and helping at the Senior Center. She was the chairman of the “Highway Litter” program for many years. Florine was an avid reader, enjoyed playing Bridge, walking, and tutoring adults who desired to receive their GED.
Florine loved traveling throughout North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and Africa. She considered an “African Safari” and an educational study of the “Holy Land” to be highlights of her travels. Florine made trips to New York City many times to see the latest Broadway productions and performances at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center.
Florine and Robert were faithful Nebraska Cornhusker Fans, purchasing season tickets in 1962. Upon Robert’s death, Florine continued attending the home games and even some bowl games.
During Florine’s life of volunteer service, extensive travels, and experiences of living in foreign countries, she said that she always remembered what the late Rev. Jack Dixon told her; “While danger and the unknown are always Near, GOD is always NEARER.” Her love of God and her faith remained strong, knowing that God was in control of her life.
Florine was preceded in death by her parents, husband Robert, son Robert Harper Theobald, brother James Harper & sister Doris Davis.
Florine is survived by her daughters: Patty & husband Ben Stump of Grand Island, Nebraska
Barbara Johnson of Palmetto, Florida
8 Grandchildren & 16 Great Grandchildren
Sisters-In-Law: Julie Harper of Beaver City, Nebraska
Carol Theobald of Beaver City, Nebraska
Condolences or personal reflections can be left at wenburgfuneralhome.com
Viewing and visitation will be Wednesday, July 16, 2014 from 10 AM till 8 PM at Wenburg Funeral Home in Beaver City, Nebraska and prior to the services at the church. Funeral services will be Thursday, July 17, 2014 at 10 AM at the First Presbyterian Church in Beaver City, Nebraska with Pastors Ivan and Joyce Dean, & Keith Theobald, officiating. Interment will be at the Mount Hope Cemetery at Beaver City, Nebraska. Memorials may be given to the First Presbyterian Church in Beaver City, Nebraska or Asera Care Hospice.
Wenburg Funeral Home of Beaver City, Nebraska is in charge of the arrangements.