Florence Nielson, 85, of The Villages, Florida, formerly of Wheaton, Morris and Glenwood, Minnesota passed away May 3, 2008 at Heidi's Haven in Lady Lake, Florida. Although her health steadily declined over the past ten years, she kept a positive attitude and never felt sorry for herself. She spent her last year at Hospice of Lake/Sumter and Heidi's Haven. Florence Irene Hoffmann was born to Richard and Martha Hoffmann on the family farm near Wheatland, North Dakota on August 1, 1922. She was baptized and confirmed at St. John's Lutheran Church in Embden, North Dakota. While growing up, Florence either walked or rode her pony to a nearby one-room school through eighth grade and spoke German until she was ten. She attended high school in Casselton, ND for two years and then in Buffalo, ND for two years, graduating in 1940. After receiving her Teacher's Certificate from Valley City State College, she taught in Page and Hickson, North Dakota for one year each. After that, Florence was a bookkeeper at the West Fargo Stockyards for a year. She then accepted a second grade teaching position in Wheaton, Minnesota because the salary was $15 a month more. On a fateful Saturday night in 1945, she met Glenn Nielson on a blind double-date to a dance in White Rock, South Dakota. Although Florence thought Glenn was quite bold because he dared to tell her that her slip was showing, they were married on December 29, 1946 at St. John's Lutheran Church in Embden, North Dakota. It was a very cold night (-32 degrees) and they had to borrow a car for their honeymoon because theirs wouldn't start. To this marriage, three sons and one daughter were born. While raising her family in Wheaton, Florence worked at the family's Wheaton Dry Cleaners and administered surveys for The University of Michigan. After her family was grown, she resumed teaching in the Head Start Program. She retired after teaching for a total of 34 years. In 1977, Glenn and Florence moved to Morris where they owned Morris Dry Cleaners and King Koin Laundromat. Once again, she continued serving as the family's skilled bookkeeper in all their endeavors. In 1987, Glenn and Florence moved to Glenwood to retire. Shortly thereafter, they started spending winters in Florida and purchased a home in The Villages in 2000. Florence was active in the First Presbyterian Church, P.E.O., Decade Club, American Legion Auxiliary, Wheaton Country Club and Lakeside Ballroom Dance Club. She enjoyed visiting with family and friends, dancing, parties, going on walks and traveling. The Nielson home always had lots of company and Florence never knew who Glenn might bring home unexpectedly. She will be remembered as a loving mother/grandmother, true friend and gracious hostess. She is survived by Glenn, her husband of 61 years, of The Villages, Florida and Glenwood, Minnesota; sons Gregg (Judy) Nielson of Rapid City, South Dakota, Brent (Laura) Nielson of Chesapeake, Virginia, and Royce Nielson of Spring Hill, Florida and Glenwood, Minnesota; daughter Nancy (Ralph) Kimbrough of DeLand, Florida; grandchildren Brooke Nielson of Chesapeake, Virginia, Grant Nielson of St. Augustine, Florida, Rachel Kimbrough and Andrew Kimbrough of DeLand, Florida; and numerous relatives and friends. Florence was preceded in death by her parents; brothers Arnold and Hugo Hoffmann; sisters Lillian Erdman, Lydia Hoffmann and Lorina Freitag; and granddaughter Karyn Nielson. A memorial service and inurnment at Wildwood Cemetery will take place this summer in Wheaton, Minnesota. Arrangements by Beyers Funeral Home in Lady Lake, Florida and the Ranney Funeral Home in Wheaton, Minnesota. In lieu of flowers, the family prefers that memorial contributions be made to Hospice of Lake/Sumter, 601 Casa Bella, The Villages, FL 32162 or the First Presbyterian Church, 905 2nd Ave. South, Wheaton, MN, 56296. Expressions of sympathy may be mailed to Glenn Nielson, 1809 Durango Drive, The Villages, Florida 32159.
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