Florence Walter

Florence “Flo” Elaine Walter, 92, passed away September 19, 2018 in Downs.  She was the third of five children born to Elmer and Anna (Wiersma) Walter on April 29, 1926 at the family home northeast of Downs.  The family moved several times and Florence grew up just one half mile north of Downs.  At an early age Florence felt God calling her to full time Christian service during family camp at Forest Park in Topeka.  In preparation for service, Florence received a B.A. degree from Westmar College in Le Mars, Iowa; took nurses training at Bethel Deaconess Hospital School of Nursing in Newton, Kansas; studied tropical diseases at the Liverpool Royal Infirmary in England; and received midwifery certification from Frontier Nursing Service in Hyden, Kentucky.

Florence was assigned to a remote medical dispensary at Zinna, Nigeria under the Evangelical United Brethren Mission Board (later United Methodist) in January 1953.  She was later transferred to the hospital at Bambur where she delivered innumerable babies and established a pre-natal care program. Her last assignment was in Jos, Nigeria where she became the school nurse at Hillcrest School, a boarding school primarily for missionary children.  She became “Aunt Flo” to hundreds of children each year.

During her thirty years in Nigeria, Florence delivered babies in mud huts, dispensed medication for those with leprosy, malaria, or snake bites, and cared for the medical needs of children far from their own homes and families.  In so doing she communicated the love of Christ through her faithful dedicated service.

Florence retired from the mission field in 1982.  From November 1982 to June of 1988 she worked as the supervising night nurse at the Downs Nursing Center.  She was a life-long member of the Rose Valley United Methodist Church, where she taught Sunday School and was a district officer in the United Methodist Women’s organization.  She was a member and officer in the Osborne County Historical Society and an avid bird watcher.

Florence was preceded in death by brothers Don, Bob, and Glenn; sisters-in-law, Roberta and Margery and brother-in-law, Wills Elliott.  She is survived by her sister Beth Elliott of Wichita; three sisters-in-law, Helen Walter of Grand Rapids, MI., Mary Ann Walter of Hillsboro and Florence Marie Walter of Weeping Water, NE.; twelve nieces and nephews and their spouses; 23 great nieces and nephews and spouses; 25 great-great nieces and nephews; plus a host of “nieces”, “nephews” and friends around the world.
Services will be held on Saturday, September 22, 2018 at 10:30 a.m. at Rose Valley United Methodist Church in rural Downs.  There will be no visitation.  Memorials may be given to Rose Valley United Methodist Church or Downs Senior Center in care of Domoney Funeral Home, PO Box 127 Downs, KS 67437. 

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