Florence C. Dewey

Florence C. Dewey, 94, of Clear Lake, passed away peacefully Thursday, Aug. 24, 2023, at Good Shepherd Health Care Center in Mason City. 

A Mass of Christian Burial was held at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 8, at Epiphany Parish - Holy Family Catholic Church, Mason City. She will be laid to rest at Memorial Park Cemetery, Mason City. Visitation was held from 5-7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 7, at Ward-Van Slyke Colonial Chapel, Clear Lake,  a rosary was said at 5 p.m. 

Florence Cecelia Dewey was born July 14, 1929, the youngest of six children, to Domenic and Spinalba Nardicchio, in Mason City. She grew up on what was known as Lehigh Row and went to Mason City Schools. During school years she was regularly active in sports like softball, basketball, skating, etc. After her school years, Florence enrolled in cosmetology school. Upon graduating, she went to work as a professional beautician at the Hollywood Beauty Salon in Mason City. Eventually, Florence established her own salon called Glamour Salon. The slogan on the sign out front was, “While You Rest, Get the Best!” Her profession would last nearly 53 years. As she used to say, “that’s a heck of a lot of pin curls.” 

Florence married Kenneth Miller, and together had a daughter named Linda. The couple later divorced. Years later, Florence married cattleman and farmer, William (Bill) Dewey. Together they had a son, William (the second). They made their home in rural Clear Lake, raising Hereford cattle and farming corn, soybeans, and hay. Florence used to run an Allis-Chalmers 200 tractor, field cultivating for Bill while he planted corn behind. She also helped stack hay at baling time, helped feed the cows, and hilariously joined in chasing them when they got out. When not doing those things, she was usually canning things out of the garden, cooking and baking, keeping the farmhouse in order, taking lunch out to her husband in the field, and of course, doing hair. 

It’s well-known Florence had a passion for cooking and was very good at it. Many large meals were served for holidays and sometimes just for fun with family and friends in the farmhouse dining room. She loved baking too and was famous for her butter-sugar cookies and fudge, which she distributed to people all over the area all the time, but especially at Christmas and other holidays. She also made the best chicken salad sandwiches in the world. The list goes on and on. Florence was also exceptionally good at crocheting. She made many afghans and other items over the years, an incredible volume of work with her hands. 

She loved music and dancing. Bill and Florence were good at polka dancing and won several contests. When they got going, everyone cleared the dance floor on several occasions. They used to go to the polka fests in Minnesota quite often. She was proud of her son who went into show business and attended his performances. 

Florence was a member of Holy Family Epiphany Parish Church in Mason City. 

Florence had a kind and generous heart, loved to laugh, and be your friend. If you stopped by, you would be invited to sit down, have something to eat, have a cup of coffee, or a Miller Lite, (or two). Of course, this is just a synopsis of a long life full of activity and memories, too full to include it all here. Naturally, pangs of sorrow will come when we must say goodbye for now. But we are reminded that Florence was greeted in Heaven by so many family members and friends who have been missed for so long who have gone ahead. Her husband, her mom and dad, her siblings, her daughter, and friends going back years and years. All while in the presence of Jesus. 

When thinking of that, we rejoice. She is survived by her son William II; four grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; six great-great-grandchildren; and nieces and nephews. 

Florence was preceded in death by her parents, Domenic and Spinalba; siblings, Joeseph, Lena, Mary, Paulina, and Josephine; her husband Bill; and daughter, Linda Faught.

Ward-Van Slyke Colonial Chapel, Clear Lake, was in charge of arrangements.


Clear Lake Mirror Reporter

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Clear Lake, IA 50428
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