Florence Elizabeth Fitzpatrick Poole entered the United Church Training School in 1951 in a special 8 month program designed to short track women into new church development work. The rapid post war expansion of suburban Canada, with thousands and thousands of potential Sunday School children was an opportunity too great for the United Church to pass by. The church couldn’t keep up with the need for workers. Florence’s class was the largest that UCTS had ever experienced. (See the United Church Observer photo.)
Florence arrived at the school well steeped in the church. She was a child of the manse, born June 10, 1928, three years to the day, after the formation of the United Church, to Rev. Percy and Helen (Harper) Fitzpatrick of St. Stephen, New Brunswick.
Florence graduated from the Provincial Normal College in Truro, Nova Scotia and taught grade 1 at Windsor Elementary School from 1947 – 1951, before heading for Toronto. In 1952, after her graduation, she undertook New Church Development work in The Moncton Suburban Charge in New Brunswick. It was work she loved, and she might well have continued if if hadn’t been for one Gordon Poole! She and Gordon were married in 1955 and Florence turned her attentions to raising 4 children and managing a busy home.
Florence was an Elder at Brunswick Street United Church and a life member of The United Church Women. Her interests included playing the piano, crafts, baking, gardening, and bird watching.
Florence experienced a stroke when she was 69 which left her with short term memory loss and cognitive difficulties. It did not stop her though from being warm and welcoming. She always lit up when young children were around. She was proud of her grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.
Sitting with the photo album from her United Church Training School days she was able to recall some of her experiences and remembered faces. It gave her great pleasure; so too did being with her husband Gordon. The deep care for one another was obvious.
Florence died on August 2012 at the age of 84.
This memorial was prepared by Caryn Douglas, February 2013