Florence’s parents, Caroline (Carrie) Messerschmidt and John (Jack) Pokrandt were married July 18, 1911 in Bentinck Township. They moved to Lots 18 and 19, Concession 6 of Bentinck on a 200-acre farm. It was here that Estella was born September 5, 1912 as well as Louise on November 15, 1915. It wasn’t until thirteen years later that Florence May Elizabeth was born, this time in Hanover Hospital. It was May 26, 1928.
All three girls attended Lamlash School on the 6th. Following public school, Florence worked on the family farm and also cleaned the local church. She also cared for the neighbours and babysat the Weirmeir children. Florence also worked as a telephone operator in the Allan Park office. The two older girls were eventually married and moved to their own homes and farms. Jack had a stroke in 1949 and Florence and her mother were forced to run the home farm. Jack passed away in March of 1956 and the farm was sold in July of that same year. Carrie died in 1981 at the age of ninety-three.
Just down the road lived Maurice Brown on Lot 22, Concession 6. This farm had been bought from the Crown in 1866 by Maurice’s grandparents. After Irwin, Maurice’s father, passed away in 1955 the farm was left to Maurice. It was then that Florence moved onto the farm as a housekeeper for Maurice. Loving to be outside, Florence worked side by side with Maurice to run the mixed farm.
They had Short-Horn and Hereford cows which they milked by hand and also sold, churned and sold cream, pigs, sheep, as well as numerous fruit trees. Maurice loved his little orchard and grew apples, pears and plums. It was the apples that Maurice and Florence were most famous for. Maurice was better known as the “apple peddler.” Apparently, Florence had a favourite Russet apple tree. It was on the east side of the Apple Barn Shed which was geothermically heated. That is, the shed was built deep in the ground where the apples were stored as well as jars of preserves.
Florence was a favourite aunt to many. She had a great sense of humour, was easy going and fun to be with. Seemingly, the thing Florence loved the most was spending time with family. Well, that and ice cream. Black Cherry ice cream could almost beat the enjoyment of Florence spending time with family. She kept the nieces and nephews in line and would often pinch them or give them a good swipe. It was all in love and the staff at Hanover Care Centre even experienced this first hand, right up until the days before her death. The nephews, especially, loved to get Florence vexed and have her chase them around the house, most often on purpose.
All through her life, Florence struggled with asthma. Though, it obviously slowed her down it did not stop her from doing much. She loved to play ball with the nephews. She and Maurice really, really enjoyed watching wrestling as well as her favourite hockey team, Toronto Maple Leafs. For a long time, there was no TV in the house and so it was trips down to Kitchener in order to watch the wrestling. After having hydro installed in the house in the forties or even fifties, the black and white TV soon arrived. Wrestling then became even more important – more important than even milking the cows which wouldn’t happen until all the wrestling was over with, sometimes well after midnight. Her nephews remember when the indoor plumbing went into the house as they helped to it. Watching old-time Country-Western TV shows, like Gun Smoke, was also enjoyed by both Florence and Maurice.
Florence also enjoyed eating chocolate of any kind and drinking root beer. She read like a fiend and loved the old country-western music. She enjoyed playing board games like checkers with the family. Along with a good sense of humour, Florence also loved to rub things in. If she “had” something on you she never let you forget it. Maurice, too, loved to horse around with the nieces and nephews. After thrashing the family would go down to the Saugeen to go swimming. He would jokingly try to drown the kids. “Ahhh, they are not blue enough yet!” as he dunked them for the third, or so, time!
It can be said that Maurice and Florence are also remembered for the cars they drove. There was a beautiful blue Chevy, a Model T and a Model A. Maurice was an important person in Florence’s life. They were engaged at one point but never did marry.
Maurice died in March of 2004 and Florence was left the farm. Her age and declining health forced her to sell the farm in 2005. Florence moved into Saugeen Villa in Hanover. In 2009 the farm was sold to Maryanne and Carl Holst who live there to this day. Florence made her final move in 2017 when she called Hanover Care Centre home
Throughout her life, Florence encouraged and taught her nieces and nephews how to be good people and will have a lasting effect on them all. Sadly, she passed at Hanover Care Centre on Monday, November 4, 2019 in her 92nd year.
Loving partner of the late Maurice Brown (2004). Florence will be dearly missed by the entire Emke, Messerschmidt and Brown families. She was predeceased by her sisters Estella (Wilfred) Vickers, Louise (Norman) Emke and her parents John and Caroline (Messerschmidt) Pokrandt.
Visitation will be held at Rhody Family Funeral Home, Chesley on Thursday, November 7, 2019 from 12 noon until the time of the funeral service at 1 p.m. Interment in Durham Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations to The Lung Association, Heart & Stroke Foundation or Diabetes Canada would be appreciated as expressions of sympathy.