Florence Goepel was teacher, riveter

DOWNEY - Florence Burke Goepel passed away peacefully on Feb. 11 at age 99.Born Dec. 9, 1912 in Waucoma, Iowa, she was the first of Tom and Bessie Burke's seven children. She grew up on a small Iowa farming community, graduating from Waucoma High School in 1931. After earning her teaching certificate from Upper Iowa College in Fayette, Iowa, she taught in a one-room rural schoolhouse. She married Herbert Goepel in 1943 in Wichita, Kansas, where Florence worked for Beech Aircraft as a riveter on various military aircraft during World War II. They then moved to Miami Beach, where he was stationed while serving in the Army Air Corps for the duration of the war. They settled in Los Angeles in 1946 before buying a home in Maywood, where their first son, Thomas, was born in 1952. They then moved to Santa Fe Springs, which became their home for 60 years. Their second son, James, was born in 1957. Florence was active with Catholic Daughters of America and the Mother's Guild at St. Piux X Catholic Church. She was preceded in death by her parents; brothers, James and John; and sister, Frances. She is survived by her husband of 69 years, Herbert; sons, Thomas (Anne) and James (Gilien); granddaughter, Elayna; step-grandson, Jonathan Hrabko; goddaughters, Ann Haiden and Mary Skill (Cameron); sisters, Mary Amrose and Patsy Lynn; brother, Bill Burke; and many nieces, nephews and other relatives across the United States and in Ireland.

********** Published: February 23, 2012 - Volume 10 - Issue 45