Florence, Mary (94) Cherished wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, aunt, and friend passed away on January 24, 2007. She was born to James and Nettie Northcott on March 31, 1912 in Liberal, Kansas and was a 67 year resident of Redondo Beach. She met and married her beloved husband Robert and began their family in Longview, Texas. On a vacation to California, Mary decided that California was the place that she wanted to raise her family. She made Bob promise that they would return and make it their home. True to his promise, they moved to California with their 3 daughters, Bobbie, Kathryn, and Shirley. After their move, they added a son, Richard to their family. Mary was a remarkable self-taught businesswoman. In 1947, Mary opened her first fabric store in Redondo Beach, 'The Remnant Shop'. There were three more stores to follow with the entire family working in the business, Florence Fabrics, Inc. Family was the foundation of Mary's life and she treasured her time with them. She leaves behind her daughter and son-in-law, Shirley and James Maxwell. Sadly, she was preceded in death by her loving husband Bob, daughters Bobbie and Katy, and son Richard. She had 13 grandchildren and 25 great-grandchildren that loved and adored her and called her 'Nan'. Mary and her husband enjoyed traveling. They traveled throughout the world on business and pleasure. One of her favorite places was the Hawaiian Islands. She also enjoyed Europe and the Orient. Mary was direct and had a great sense of humor. She was a great listener and always had an interesting or amusing story to tell. If anyone ever needed anything, she knew how to make it happen. She was our source of inspiration and encouragement. Love and beautiful memories outlast the pain of grief. We know that there is a place inside the heart where love lives always… and nothing cherished can ever be forgotten. We could not keep her forever but we can hold the memories close in our hearts. She was so dear to all of us and we were very fortunate to have had her for so many years. She was a role model to us all. We love you and will miss you 'Nan'. Visitation will be Monday, January 29, 2007 at 9:00 A.M. with services at 10:00 A.M. at Rice Mortuary, 5310 Torrance Blvd., Torrance. Interment will immediately follow at Green Hills Memorial Park, Rancho Palos Verdes.

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  1. I was priviledged to know Nan from my childhood. Having been best friends with one of her granddaughters, I got to know Nan alomg with her children and grandchildren. We used to spend nights, weekends, even a whole summer week, at her home. We could walk to Riviera Village to browse the shops and buy ice cream. We could walk to the beach and spend the whole day there. We had our own room where we slept….well, it was “our” room until Uncle Richard came home and then it was his. We didn’t mind because Uncle Richard was “so cool.” Nan and Bob would take us to the Bull Pen for dinner and let us order Shirley Temples. It seemed they knew everyone in town; people were always stopping at the table to say hello to them. I was fascinated by the long trips Nan and Bob would make to foreign countries and awed by the exotic fabrics that would arrive at their store afterward. In later life many years would go by that I didn’t see Mrs. Florence. When some event would bring us together she would always say “Of course I remember you!” Her daughter, Kathryn, became my best friend and “mom” in the last several years of her life. Because of my re-established relationship with Katy, I saw Nan in recent times and was able to thank her for all her kindness to me as a child and remark on what a beautiful family she has – which she well knew. I’ll keep very fond memories of this wonderful lady. My sincere condolences to all her family. (25 great-grandchildren!!!! – wow)

  2. I was so saddened to read of your Mom’s passing, Shirley. I’m sure you do not remember, but your Mom helped me learn how to make a blue and black skirts for the uniforms of RUHS. I learned I could make a skirt out of 3/4 of a yard of fabric (boy, those were the days) and hide the zipper in the placket in front. Wow – no waist band needed. Then Peasant skirts came out and back I went to your sweet smiling, patient MOM! Yep, she taught me how to gather a skirt on our old Singer peddel sewing machine and how to figure out how much eyelet I needed for the bottom. Yes, I was very inexperinced but that didn’t stop her. She was a very dear person. Unfortunately I cannot be t the services this morning. But Marsha and I will be thinking of you and Jimmie and your families. We will also be praying the rain hold off. Love to you all. The Williams, Doolittle family.

  3. Nan, you will be missed. You were an inspiration to us all. Love, Kathy, Paul, Chris, Matt and Alyssa Purcell

  4. I was so sorry to hear of the passing of Mrs. Florence. I do remember her as the lady my own mother would go to for fabric and advice when sewing my clothes. I am now a almost 70 year old Torrance residence, but growing up as a child, age 8 in Redondo Beach with a mother that sewed all my clothes Florence’s Fabric was the place to go for all your sewing needs. I even remember buying the fabric I needed for my first sewing project in homemaking at Mira Costa High School from Mrs. Florence, yes after all these years I do remember what that fabric looked like. A very careing lady will be missed. May God bless the family of Mrs. Florence.

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