Florence Loretta Stermitz
Florence Loretta Stermitz passed away on May 18, 1998 at the age of 89. She was born February 1, 1909 in Basehor, Kansas to Reuben and Anna Marie (Neust) Edminster.
Lured by friends and the high prospects of dryland wheat farming, her family moved to the Townsend area in 1917. Florence attended several one room school houses in the area for her elementary years. Four years of drought, hail, and grasshoppers convinced Florence’s father to return to his profession of stucco and plastering houses in the Helena. The family eventually settled in Tacoma, Washington, where Florence finished high school at Stadium High School. She then attended Knapps’s Business College and was employed as a secretary until she married Frank Stermitz on May 12, 1932. Frank’s work as a hydraulic engineer with the Water Resources Branch of the U.S. Geological Survey took them to Helena in 1936 where they have lived since.
Florence joined St. Paul’s Methodist Church and has been a member for over 60 years. She sang in the choir and took an active part in church activities for many years. She was also a member of the Helena Women’s Club. Florence had a great interest in many arts.
She learned to facet gem stones and faceted many sapphires from the Hauser Lake area where she and Frank had a cabin and later a home. Among Florence’s other interests was pottery at the Archie Bray Foundation, which she did for many years. She also painted china for and and was a member of the Helena China Painting group until the time of her death. Frank and Florence belonged to various dance clubs in Helena over the years. They traveled extensively including trips to the Orient, Central America and South America. Upon retirement in 1972, Frank and Florence spent their summers on Hauser Lake and wintered in Arizona based mainly out of Mesa, until 1995. Since then, Helena has been their year round home.
Florence is survived by Frank, her husband of 66 years….(remaining text omitted)
SOURCE: The Independent Record, Helena, Mont. Wednesday, May 20, 1998