Florence W. Roessler
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Florence W. Roessler
  • November 8, 1919 - March 19, 2017
  • Boulder, Colorado

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Crist Mortuary

3395 Penrose Place
Boulder, CO 80301
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Florence Whittington Roessler passed away peacefully at Frasier Meadows Manor in Boulder, Colorado on March 19, 2017. She was 97 years old. Her loving children, Florence Fetterer and CJ Roessler were with her. Florence Whittington was born in Kansas City, MO, the year after WWI ended and the year before women had the right to vote. She grew up in Amarillo, TX with two brothers, Charles and Joseph, and a sister, Eugenia, who was 15 years her senior, and with whom she was very close. She had another sister who died in infancy. Florence turned 10 just a week after the October 1929 stock market crash. She learned her strong sense of social justice from her father. He was a farm loan mortgage broker, and it is said that he would not foreclose on farmers during the Dust Bowl. While her family was not poor by any means, times became difficult for the family. However, she was still able to learn piano and study ballet. She loved music and dance. As a child she was in a ballet class with Cyd Charisse. She taught dancing before being told that she had a heart murmur and that she should give up dance. It was later discovered that she had "innocent murmur" rather than an "abnormal murmur" and she could have continued to dance. Florence took flying lessons because she wanted to be a WASP during WWII. As fate would have it, the WASP program was disbanded before she had enough hours to qualify as a pilot.
Florence worked as a secretary at the First Presbyterian Church in Amarillo. It was there she learned of the Church of Savior in Washington DC. It was established after WWII by Gordon Cosby, a pastor who felt that churches of the time had not done anything for the people he met. Although the church had a small membership, it had an extraordinary outreach program, creating many organizations serving the needy, such as Miriam's House, and more recently, Christ House. These are the two organizations, along with the Southern Poverty Law Center, that Florence requested donations be sent to in her memory.
Florence later became a flight attendant for American Airlines, and flew often into Washington, DC. She met William Fred Roessler, Jr., the man who became her husband, at Washington National Airport. They settled in Northern Virginia to raise their two children. Bill worked for the Federal Aviation Administration and Florence worked for the National Education Association. She later worked for the National Academy of Sciences, where she made many good friends. Florence and Bill would eventually separate, and Bill passed away in 1981.
When Florence retired, she moved to Santa Barbara, CA, to be close to her sister, Eugenia. After her sister moved back to Texas, Florence moved to the Mississippi Gulf Coast to be near her daughter, Florence and son-in-law, Tom. When they moved to Boulder in 1996, Florence moved as well. After a few years, she started showing signs of dementia. She moved to an apartment at Frasier Meadows Manor, then to Frasier Meadows Assisted Living, and finally to the Health Care Center. With the excellent care she received at Frasier, she spent many happy years, even as Alzheimer's disease slowly took her away. She died at 97. She is survived by her older daughter, Florence Fetterer, her son-in-law Tom Fetterer, and her younger daughter, CJ (née Cynthia) Roessler.
Florence will be remembered as someone who was hopeful and positive, fun-loving and adventurous. She deeply believed in social justice, had a wonderful sense of humor, and she loved her children unconditionally. She was loved and will be deeply missed by her Frasier Meadows family, her friends, relatives, and especially, her children.
Memorial contributions may be made to Southern Poverty Law Center (splcenter.org), Miriam's House---now merged with N Street Village (nstreetvillage.org), and Christ House (christhouse.org).Arrangements under the direction of Crist Mortuary, Boulder, CO.