Florence Virtanen, beloved by generations of her family, passed away peacefully on June 14. She was 96 years old. She resided for more than 45 years in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, where she was a longtime member of St. Peter the Fisherman Episcopal Church, a member of the Order of the Daughters of the King, and for several years the church’s junior warden.
A native of Chicago, she was born in 1924, one of five children whose parents had each emigrated from Poland in their youth. The former Florence Rogowski married A. William Virtanen in 1945. She was a civilian employee of the U.S. Army, where she met her husband, a captain working in the same ordnance office. By her account they first became friends after both volunteered to donate blood for another friend of hers who needed surgery.
They had three children and raised them while following her husband’s career as an executive in industrial manufacturing, from Chicago to Houston, back to Chicago and then to Utica in central New York. They traveled around the world where he had business meetings and she explored various cities. Bill died in 1994 after a long illness in which she cared for him at home.
A determined golfer, Flo won amateur championships at golf clubs in New Hartford, New York, and New Smyrna Beach. She learned to paint in Florida, hanging some of her art in shows, selling some seascapes and landscapes and giving others to family. She was an avid bridge player, capable seamstress and knitter. Her cooking, which began only after she was married, eventually improved.
She is survived by her daughter Susan Murray (David) of Greencastle, Indiana, and her son Michael Virtanen (Saundra) of Mount Lebanon, Pennsylvania. She was predeceased in 2019 by her son John Virtanen (Debra) of Clifton Park, New York.
Others in her family include six grandchildren: Bryan Murray of Valparaiso, Ind.; Molly Yuska of Maitland, Fla; Kate Murray Wickhem of Brisbane, Australia; Kim Virtanen of Dallas, Tx; Rebecca Peh of Needham, Mass.; and Alexandra Havener of Mount Lebanon, Pa.
Nonny, as she is known to them, leaves 12 great-grandchildren: Michael, Andrew, Abby and Henry Yuska; Logan, Lucas and Levi Murray; Lucy Wickhem; Lily and Charlotte Havener; and Cameron and Lexton Peh. She was predeceased by great-grandson Landon Murray.
She is also survived by several nieces and nephews .
Funeral services for Flo will be at 2:00PM on Saturday, July 10th, at St. Peter the Fisherman Church, New Smyrna Beach.