October 12, 2011

Florence Wakefield

Florence Wakefield passed away recently at the age of 96. Florence was the second child born to Helen (Meier) and Frank Ulrich, Oct. 2, 1915, in Endres, N.D., outside of Max. There were six children, Josephine, Florence, Mildred, Robert, Viola and Dennis. She exhibited the independence that was to mark her whole life as she left home at age 17 and made her way working as a nanny, cook, pastry cook, soda fountain clerk and waitress in Bismarck, Minot and Washburn. She met her husband, Roderick Wakefield, a widower with two children, in Washburn, and they were married Dec. 30, 1943. They settled in Watford City, where Rod’s daughter, Violet Bell (Dahl) and son, Frederick (Fritz) joined them shortly. There, Florence and Rod had two children, Donald and Maxine. After Rod’s untimely death in 1963, Florence continued on in Watford City, working first as a legal secretary and then for many years as a clerk at the local variety store, while keeping a home and raising her children.
Several years after retirement, she moved to Underwood, N.D., to share a home with her sister, Josephine and brother, Dennis. She avoided the bitter northern weather by spending winters in California with Maxine. In her eighties, she moved to California to live with Maxine. She moved to Kansas at age 91 to spend her last days with her son, Don.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Roderick, and all of her Ulrich siblings and her two step-children, and is survived by her children and their spouses: Donald and Janet Wakefield and Maxine Wakefield and William Reichert II. Her grandchildren: Thomas Stewart Jr., Tracy (Wakefield) and Andy Bebb, Susan (Stewart) Baker, Christopher and Emily Wakefield and Roderick and Elizabeth Wakefield, and her step- grandchildren, David (Kay) Dahl, Kathleen (Bob) Moberg, Laurel (David) Williams, and Barbara (Marvin) Cooper: her great-grandsons, Alexander Stewart, Cameron Baker, Colin Wakefield, James Bebb, Mara Wakefield and Sean Bebb. and many step grandchildren and nieces and nephews who have been a very important part of her life.
Florence was always an independent lady who was an inspiration to her family for her strength. She loved to travel and made trips to Germany, Washington, D.C., Alaska and Hawaii, to name a few of her favorites. She was funny and loving and will be missed greatly.