Florence Shaffer Swanson, 94, member of St. Mark’s Roman Catholic Church
WILMINGTON – Florence Shaffer Swanson, 94, was surrounded by the love of her family when she passed away peacefully on Tuesday, March 23, 2021 at Davis Health Care, Wilmington.
Florence, nicknamed “Smiley” or “Floss” by her parents and childhood friends, was born on May 25, 1926 in Boston, Massachusetts. During her high school years, her family moved to New Jersey, where she grew up with her two sisters, Barbara and Gertrude.
At 17, she met the love of her life and her husband of over 60 years, Johnny, when he was a young congressman from Georgia stationed on Governors Island, New York. They married in 1945 and started a new life together, raising five children.
In 1985, they moved to Wilmington, calling it their retirement home near the beach. Florence has been amazed at the growth of homes and businesses and the loss of trees since 1985. She has been a volunteer at Cape Fear Hospital for many years and a member of St. Mark’s Roman Catholic Church. She was very proud of her contribution to the new church and their donation brick. Each visiting family member from out of state was shown the Swanson Brick.
Florence always had a smile for everyone, and she had friendships that were dear to her. She was very proud to have friends from high school. She has said many times that she always finds something good in everyone and that she lives by her mother’s rule: if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.
In her later years, she loved to tell her cherished childhood stories. Florence was truly blessed to come from a close and loving family. Florence was the daughter of the late Percy Charles and the late Gertrude A. (Flynn) Shaffer. She was also predeceased by her husband, John C. Swanson; two sons, Stephen and David Swanson; and two sisters, Barbara Austin and Gertrude Gilson.
She is survived by her daughters, Barbara Mullican, and her husband, Roscoe, of Winnabow and Joanne Layton, and her husband, Bruce, of Gallatin, Tennessee; as well as his son, Matthew Swanson, and his wife, Gina, of Leland. Florence is also survived by eight grandchildren and six great grandchildren; and four nieces, five great-nieces and grand-nephews. She will be sadly missed by her family and friends.
A funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. on Monday March 29 at Oleander Memorial Gardens, 306 Bradley Creek Drive, Wilmington.
Share your condolences online with the family at Andrews Mortuary and Crematorium.