Resident Spotlight: Florence Beeman

Florence Beeman moved to University Village in July of 2003. She is a delightful 96 years old. Florence will honestly tell you what is on her mind and is a person who loves to visit. She stays current on the news of the day and also remembers details from long ago. She has a very positive attitude about life in general and feels that “doors were opened for her” that gave her many wonderful opportunities. Florence was in college at Cornell College in Iowa from 1939-1943 studying psychology and sociology. During this war time, there were trainees for the Navy Air Force on campus taking basic courses. In 1943 there was a “women’s choice” dance with the trainees. Florence walked up and chose a tall, handsome man to dance with. He walked her home that night and she went in and wrote in her diary that she had met the man she would marry. Florence went on to finish her undergraduate degree and she and Bill went their separate ways for a while, but kept in touch. Florence moved to New York to attend graduate school at the New York School of Social Work, which later became Columbia University. While there, she lived in a settlement house and was responsible for activities and recreation for Irish and Italian kids. In 1945 Bill asked Florence to come and visit him in San Francisco. Florence told her mother that she was going to “pick up her engagement ring”. Indeed, Bill had a ring waiting for her and they were married in April of 1945. Bill and Florence had two boys (born in Manhattan) and one girl (born in Kansas City). In 1957 Bill got a job offer in Oklahoma. Florence recalls saying, “Oh, not hot, old Oklahoma!” They did move and made Oklahoma their home. Later in life, Florence and Bill had the joy of 3 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren. It was in Oklahoma that Florence began her career in social work. She worked for Family and Children’s Services for 30 years. She had actually gone in to apply to volunteer and they instantly wanted to hire her due to all of her extensive education in the field. In the later years of her career, she was referred to as “Mrs. Family and Children’s Services” and was very well known throughout Tulsa. Florence was in charge of Family Life Education. She went to groups to speak about parenting, children and divorce. She also wrote columns for the Tulsa Tribune and worked with the adoption agency. At the age of 66, Florence retired from Family and Children’s Services. But her work was not yet finished. For the next 5 years, Florence worked at what was then called Tulsa Junior College, teaching classes on Family Life, Human Sexuality and Aging. Florence loves to travel and has been to 19 countries. She is a people person and loves to tease. She says she got her sense of humor from her father. When asked if she has been happy here at University Village, she said with a grin, “Oh, you know I have!”

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