|Birth: ||Oct. 3, 1933|
|Death: ||Jul. 23, 2002|
Florence was the third daughter of Ernest and Katherine Poling. Her sisters were Edith, Helen, Marian and Doris. Marian was more than a year younger and the two appeared so similar and with Katherine often dressing them to match, many thought that they were twins.
When Florence's oldest sister Edith was 12, she was stricken with Polio and none of the girls were allowed near water because water was inaccurately believed to be a carrier for Polio. Because of this Florence never learned to swim. Edith died ten years later after complications of the flu.
The family moved from Lenox to New Lyme to Rome, OH, finally settling in Williamsfield when Florence was 11. She graduated from Williamsfield High and was shy, beautiful, and graceful.
Florence was at a local dance with friends when she met Charles Armstrong. The dance was held in Kinsman for soldiers who were on leave. She thought that he was "a nice looking boy" but had a beau at the time so she was not available to date Charles. Charles said that once he saw Florence he wasn't interested in anyone else. He knew her current relationship wouldn't last, so he waited. Florence never knew this and as soon as she was available, he asked her out. She was not able to take the relationship seriously until her parents approved and as soon as they met Charles and gave their blessing, nothing stopped them from falling in love. Charles proposed at a drive in movie theater and she accepted.
They were married June 26, 1955 and honeymooned in Florida, the first time Florence ventured across the country. The rest of their honeymoon was spent in the Shenandoah Mountains, and on skyline drive before returning home to work on building their new house. They settled in Mecca, OH where they would live for the rest of their lives. They had two sons, Randy in 1956 and Dean in 1957. They later adopted a little girl, Connie.
Florence and Charles loved to travel and were able to vacation at nearly all of the 50 states, including Alaska. Florence loved working out in her gardens, growing flowers and vegetables. She also loved to sew.
Going to church and reading her Bible were important parts of Florence's life. She enjoyed Bible studies and attending women's AGLOW meetings of which she was Vice President.
Florence was diagnosed with myeleoplastic syndrome and was given three to five years to live. With faith and holistic medicine, she went on to live for nearly eight years. It was only after the death of her husband Charles that her health rapidly declined and she died from complications of her disease.
Her childhood in her own words:
"I was one of five girls, I being the third one. I had one sister 16 1/2 months younger. It was rare to go to the doctor's. Mother and Dad were strict-I believed. Mother made cough syrup and some other ointments. They always seemed to do what was needed.
We made cottage cheese, butchered own meat, canned vegetables and fruit from our gardens. When I was very small, we would heat water on the stove and Mother would wash clothes in the kitchen with two tubs and sliced Fels Napa soap. In winter, we hung clothes up to dry inside the house and in the summer, outside. We made starch for clothes, then had a wringer washer later on. We would heat up irons to iron clothes. When I was very small, the irons were also used to keep our feet warm in winter. The irons were wrapped in newspaper. When small, I wore long stockings in the winter and had to have garters to hold the stockings up. I wore hand-me-down clothes that were either too long or too short. We had a potbelly stove in the winter and I dressed by it to stay warm.
My sisters and I had a small outside building that we used as a playhouse. We had many hours of fun playing house and school. We liked to go sledding in the winter and added water to the hill to make it extra slippery and slide down on. Until I was ten or eleven, we had an outdoor toilet. In the winter, a pot was brought in to use for nighttime. It was my job to carry the pot outside to empty it and sometimes it would slosh out onto my legs as I carried it out.
When I was eleven years old, we moved to Williamsfield (from Lenox) and a new school. I was in seventh grade. This was hard to adjust to. We had always had to walk to school but now rode the school bus.
When I was a small girl, I heard about the TV coming in the future. I thought that it was really going to be something. I could not conceive of something like that. We did not have TV in our home until I was in my late teens, though a 10" or 12" screen. We had our chores to do in the house and barn before we were allowed to watch and then only until bedtime which was not much time. The programs were not at all like they are today. They were so much more wholesome! We used to mark the calendar between us big kids and the little kids on whose turn it was to do dishes.
I had only traveled to Michigan before I was married and that trip had been for the Poling family reunion. This was my father's side. As my mother did not drive, we were not involved in many outside activities except the church. My father was busy on the farm. We were kept busy working in the fields-we had a potato patch, strawberry patch, big vegetable garden, and orchard. We helped our mother clean and can when not working in the fields. It was also our job to mow the lawn and keep the car clean. Sunday was the only day we got to do what we wanted to do. From the age of sixteen until I was married, we milked cows morning and evenings as well as Sundays. I also worked at some outside jobs after I graduated from school. I was a very shy child and teen.
I don't remember getting presents at birthdays. We did not celebrate them too often. At Christmas we got one or two presents and candy and fruit. We always decorated the house inside and put up a tree. When I was in first and second grades, we had friends down beyond the school-maybe 1/2 mile where my sisters and I went to play with two girls who were near our age. We sometimes got a spanking for going after school without permission. My parents were friends with the family and got together often and had homemade ice cream. We all took turns turning the handle and set on the freezer and turn until it was too hard to turn anymore. This tasted so good to us. Then we would play games like "Kick the Tin Can" and "Hide-n-Seek", "Shadow" and "Tag". We liked to run around the house in the dark. We had so much fun. I did not own a bike until we moved to Williamsfield at age eleven, then we got a bicycle for all four of us older girls. Doris was still a baby. This was so much fun as we lived on a side road and could ride on the road.
Mother made most of our dresses. We loved to play store. We mowed the lawn for five or six years with a reel mower-we each had a portion to mow. In our teen years, we practiced making cakes, cookies, etc. We had many a flat cookie or lopsided cake which were made from scratch, as there were not all the preboxed cake mixes in the store then. We only got basic stuff: flour, sugar, brown sugar, etc. at the store. Once my mother accidentally baked a cake with cough syrup. Another time, I made a cake for company with a potholder frosted in.
We had popcorn in the evening, our own homegrown and shelled by hand, of course. We did not like to shell it, but we sure loved to eat it. One job we had every spring was to take sprouts from off the pile of potatoes left in our basement. Our basement was dark with a dirt floor. Some of the potatoes were rotten and didn't smell very good as you could imagine. I sure hated that job! This was to get them ready to plant in our big potato garden. We also had to go along in the summer and "hill" them. We had to take the potato bugs off of them and put them in a can of kerosene to kill them. Then of course there was the harvest which was no easy job. I used to think that my father laid awake at night to think of things for us to do. Of course he didn't, but he believed in keeping us busy and that it was our job to help out.
We always went to church as a family and to youth group. I was friends with Pastor Edgar Miller's daughter, Mary. I was Sunday School Secretary when a teen. We walked to church as it was only 300 feet down the road from us. I can still see the row of white shoes that we wore, outside drying after being polished. We were always dressed in dresses, polished shoes, and hair neatly combed. We pushed my sister Doris, who was ten years younger, in a buggy. This is where I learned a lot of the Bible stories and I'm sure I learned much. I was not actually born again until I was forty years old."
Florence L. Armstrong Obituary
MECCA TOWNSHIP - Florence Lucille (Poling) Armstrong, 68, of Greenville Road, died Tuesday, July 23, 2002, at her home after a lengthy illness. She was born Oct. 3, 1933, in Ashtabula, to Ernest C. and Katherine B. (Spencer) Poling. She was a 1951 graduate of Williamsfield High School. She married Charles Armstrong June 26, 1955, in Williamsfield Methodist Church. Mrs. Armstrong was a homemaker and secretary for her husband's business, C.W. Armstrong Inc., for 31 years. She was a member of the Mecca Community Church and vice president of her local women's Aglow group at church. She enjoyed sewing, traveling, square dancing, Bible studies and her grandchildren. Survivors include sons Randy C. Armstrong and Dean A. Armstrong, both of Mecca Township; a daughter, Connie Lucille Lafon of Knoxville, Tenn.; sisters Helen Eagle of Youngstown, Marian Friedrich of Jefferson and Doris Simon of Andover; and grandchildren Shannon, Derek and Ashley Armstrong, Alexia and David Battaly, and Joel, Paige and Hallie Lafon. She was preceded in death by her husband, her parents and her sister Edith Poling. Services were July 26, and burial was in Hillside Cemetery, Cortland. Arrangements were handled by the Shaffer-Winans Funeral Home, Cortland.
Ernest Clement Poling (1901 - 1981)
Katherine Bernice Spencer Poling (1908 - 1974)
Charles William Armstrong (1930 - 2001)
Edith M Poling (1929 - 1952)*
Helen L. Poling Eagle (1931 - 2008)*
Florence Lucille Poling Armstrong (1933 - 2002)
Marian Irene Poling Friedrich (1935 - 2010)*
Created by: Ashley Armstrong-Zwart
Record added: Apr 29, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 89318178