July 17, 2012
Florence Elizabeth Pomeroy, member of East Longmeadow UMC for more than 67 years, beloved member to annual conference for over 30 years, and the first woman to give the laity address in 1994, died Tuesday afternoon, July 17 at Wingate Nursing Home, across from the church. Born May 7, 1916, she became a member of ELUMC in 1945 where she taught Sunday School for 38 years, served on numerous committees and knitted more prayer shawls than were counted. She led Disciple Bible Study and a covenant prayer group until last year. She was certified a lay speaker in '72 and preached throughout the CT/WMA district.
Florence and her husband Herb were active in peace groups for decades participating in Vietnam War demonstrations and the Civil Rights Movement. She went to Nicaragua with the Witness for Peace delegation in 1985, and in 1987 (at the young age of 71) walked the Via Cruces from Pittsfield to Boston. A peace pole was planted in her honor in 2011 in the church garden with the eight languages related to her ministries.
She worked many years at the Women's Shelter and Open Pantry, serving meals and doing overnight shifts. She was a member of Church Women United, serving as president for 4 years; was a delegate to the Springfield Council of Churches and led a worship service at a local nursing home once a month for 16 years.
Her home was always open to others, taking in foster boys. In 1982, her and her husband provided a home for four refugee boys (two Vietnamese and two Cambodian) until they could learn English and were able to be on their own. One stayed four years and graduated from East Longmeadow High School.
She was a dedicated leader of the United Methodist Women, serving in many capacities. And in 2001, at the age of 85 she worked at the Red Bird Mission with the youth of the church in scorching hot conditions-- they report that she worked harder than any of them.
Her husband passed away in 1999. She leaves three children, seven grandchildren (including one who went on the Mission of Peace to South Africa), and a congregation who dearly love her and will miss her deeply.
A memorial service will be Saturday, July 28th at 10 a.m. at East Longmeadow UMC. Years ago, she and her family endowed a scholarship program, the Carrington Scholarship Fund, which continues to support students and their education with annual awards. Donations may be made in her memory to that fund. ELUMC, Carrington Fund, 215 Somers Road, East Longmeadow MA 01028.
A memory book is also being established by the family; send remembrances/stories to firstname.lastname@example.org