|Florence Mathilda Sauer, 95, Knoxville, quietly passed away at 5:15 a.m. Friday, March 2, 2012 at Galesburg Cottage Hospital. She was born in Chicago on July 21, 1916, the only child of John Frederick (Bäch) Beck and Alma Albertina Nilsson. The family moved to Knoxville when Florence was 3.
Florence graduated from Knoxville High School, then attended Brown's Business College where she learned secretarial skills and bookkeeping. She worked at the FS Elevator in Knoxville. She also worked at Gale Products for several years, performing the payroll function during World War II.
Although she met and began correspondence with her future husband in 1931, he was a Navy man, and they waited to marry until after the war. Florence married Arthur E. Sauer at Grace Lutheran Church in Knoxville on November 22, 1947. Rev. Ordell Peterson officiated. As a Navy wife, she enjoyed living in many different parts of the country, including Pensacola, FL; Boston, MA; Reading, PA; Bremerton, WA and San Diego, CA. Florence and Art settled in Knoxville when he retired from active duty in 1958.
She was preceded in death by her parents and beloved husband.
Florence is survived by her daughter Lynette and son-in-law Nolan Clemens, Jr. of Grapevine, TX and Knoxville; granddaughter Elizabeth Lowe and fiancé Delfin Diaz of Grapevine, TX; many cousins in the U.S. and Sweden; and her cherished grandcats.
She was a lifelong member of Grace Lutheran Church in Knoxville, where she was active in WELCA and bible study, taught Sunday School, and volunteered for many activities. Until recently, she was a member of the Knoxville Women's Club and the Vasa Lodge in Bishop Hill.
Florence was an avid reader, enjoyed bird watching and baseball, and loved all animals, most especially cats. She was an accomplished pianist, playing almost daily for more than 80 years. Her love of travel and experiencing new places, people and activities began in her youth. She was able to visit all of the "Lower 48" states and several foreign countries.
She was honored to have a gathering of cousins at her home in 2010. It was a special time of story-telling and reminiscing by descendants of three young sisters (Florence's mother being one) who emigrated from Sweden in the early 1900's. New bonds were formed and old ties were strengthened into the next generations.
The funeral service will be at 11 a.m. Saturday (March 10, 2012) at Grace Lutheran Church in Knoxville. The Rev. Michel Clark will officiate. Friends are welcome to call one hour before the service, at 10 a.m. at the church. Burial will be in the Knoxville Cemetery. Memorials may be made to the Prairieland Animal Welfare Center, 1855 Windish Dr., Galesburg, or Grace Lutheran Church in Knoxville. Online condolences and sympathy cards can be made at www.hurd-hendricksfuneralhome.com.