LAURENS - Florence H. Pohlman, age 95, of Laurens, passed away Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2013, at the Pleasant View Home in Albert City, Iowa.
Funeral services are 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013, at the United Methodist Church in Laurens, Iowa, with the Rev. Jim Turner officiating. Burial will be in the Laurens Cemetery near Laurens, Iowa. Visitation is 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 1, at the Smith-Loterbour-Powers Funeral Home in Laurens, Iowa.
She was born on Christmas Eve, December 24, 1917, in Laurens, Iowa, the fourth of eight children born to Seymour George Hawley and Florence Ethel Sargent Hawley. Her early childhood was spent on a farm just west of Ware, and in 1925 the family moved to the farm on the Ware road where members of her family lived until 1998. Florence attended Ware Consolidated School for 12 years, graduating as valedictorian in 1935.
Florence attended Buena Vista College where she was active in the choir and campus organizations. She received her teaching certificate in 1937 and taught 4th grade in Albert City during the 1937-38 school year. In September, 1938, she married Robert Donald Clark of Laurens. Bob died in Rochester, MN, in March, 1939. That fall Florence accepted a position teaching 6th grade in Marathon, where she taught until spring of 1942. After her children were older, Florence renewed her teaching certificate at Buena Vista College and returned in 1962 to Albert City, where she spent five years teaching 5th grade and middle school students.
Florence met her future husband, Harold M. "Jack" Pohlman, on a blind date arranged by friends, and they were married at her parents' farm home south of Laurens on June 14, 1942. Jack taught and coached in the Laurens school system and served as superintendent until 1950, when he and Florence rented a farm south of Laurens and began farming. Two years later they purchased and moved to the family farm on the Ware road. Her beloved Jack died on March 6, 2001. Florence continued to live on the farm until November of 2009 when she moved to Pleasant View Home.
Florence's gift to her church, friends, family and community was her music. For over 75 years she brought inspiration, comfort, fellowship, and great enjoyment to untold numbers of people with her piano and organ playing. She played for hundreds of weddings, funerals, anniversaries, class reunions, and church events. She played for Laurens-Marathon's high school graduation for more than 40 years, ending in 2007. She played every year from 1956 to 1983 for the annual Lions Club variety show, and she played for Kiwanis shows for many years, the last one as recently as 2007. Florence provided music for dozens of senior citizens' parties, sing-alongs at the Laurens Country Club, Eastern Star events, and at the Good Samaritan Home for music hour each week, until her 90th birthday. She also played occasionally for sing-alongs at Pleasant View Home. She was a member of the American Heritage Singers for the 10 years they presented 279 polka masses at churches and events throughout the Midwest. Florence was also a member of the combo, "The Educators," composed of teachers and former teachers, who played for dances throughout the area. She played for REC annual parties and at their national conventions in Dallas, New Orleans, Houston, San Francisco, and Des Moines. A woman of great faith and commitment to her church, Florence for years played the organ and piano for church services, the choir, and other programs at the United Methodist Church, where she was a member for over 70 years. She cherished the many friendships she enjoyed through her music and as a long-time member of Stitchers, Eastern Star, United Methodist Women and Esther Circle at the United Methodist Church. For her gift of music and time given to others, Florence was awarded the 1995 Pocahontas County Volunteer of the Year award.
Florence Pohlman was preceded in death by her husband Jack, her first husband Bob Clark, her parents, and her brothers Orville Hawley, Jim Hawley, and Bob Hawley and infant twin sister and brother Alice and Alfred Hawley. She is survived by her children, Linda (Bill) Lyman of Elmhurst, IL, John (Marilyn) Pohlman of Laurens, Tom (Tricia) Pohlman of Ames, and Joe (Cathy) Pohlman of Laurens; grandchildren Sarah (Brian) Hager, Matt (Mary) Pohlman, Mandi (Scott) Ronnei, Meg (Allen) Lyman, Will (Emilie) Pohlman, Lindsay (Nathan) Pritchard, Leah (Chris) Lyman Waldron, and Brandon (Lisa) Pohlman; step-granddaughters Jill (Mike) Grund and Jenni Elbert; great-grandchildren Madyson Main, Ellen Main, Jack Pohlman, Macieo Pritchard, Owen Ronnei, Aiden Pritchard, Kyla Pritchard, Henry Ronnei, and Oliver Grund; sister Marilyn Dubbert, brother Ken (Dolores) Hawley, sister-in-law Grace Pohlman, and many nieces and nephews, along with a life-long legacy of service to others.
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