Florence Compton of Groesbeck, passed away at Hillcrest Scott and White in Waco on Tuesday, April 9, 2019, at age 72.
Funeral services were held on Friday, April 12, 2019 in the Groesbeck Funeral Home Chapel, with Rev. Ben David Watson of the Victory Baptist Church officiating. Burial followed in Fort Parker Cemetery.
Pallbearers were David Compton, David Watson, Clifford Watson, J.R. Peace, John Liscano, Justin Bane, and Dylan McGuffie. Honorary pallbearers were Warren Miller and Buddy Allison.
Florence Eva Compton, Nana Flo to many, was born on December 14, 1946 in Prescott, Arizona to Samuel and Dorothy Reese. She was the second born of four children: Marjorie, Arlene, and Lloyd. From the time Florence was a little girl, she was a caretaker. She would help her mother around the house, making lunches for her father and looking after her younger siblings. This continued throughout her life with her own family and many others that she adopted as her own.
Florence was a force to be reckoned with. She had a love for adventure from a young age. She wouldn’t take no for answer and would rather ask for forgiveness than permission. Her sister Marjorie said that she was constantly scaring the life out of their mother with her antics. Their mother had told the children not to go to the rock pit down from their house in Prairie Point because swimming there was too dangerous, seeing as none of them knew how to swim. Florence, being Florence, took this as a challenge.
She built a raft and all four siblings went down to the rock pit. From this outing and many more like it, everyone of them learned to swim. Her adventurous spirit didn’t stop there. She loved traveling and seeing different places. One of her favorite trips to talk about was going to Hawaii. She was able to spend countless hours on the beach and participate in her favorite activity of swimming. Even during the last days of her life, she was still talking about taking a cruise with her family and having her grandchildren enjoy the ocean and maybe even scuba diving.
Florence had a love of family. She was a proud mother of two sons, Michael and Brad. Florence didn’t think that she was able to bear a child and was blessed through the adoption of Michael while living in Oklahoma. About a year later, Florence was shocked to find out that she was blessed once again. This time with a biological son, Brad.
Florence not only raised her own children, but others that she took in as her own. Florence loved her grandchildren more than life itself, and was so excited to find out she was going to be a great-grandmother this past November. She said it had been too long since she was able to rock a baby, as her youngest grandson was five years old.
She enjoyed having get-togethers at her house and grilling in the backyard. She wanted everyone to have a good time, no matter the occasion. Florence was famous on her block for being the house to go trick-or-treating at. She prepared for the holiday weeks in advance. Seeing all the children enjoy the decorations and pass out candy ‘til all hours was one of the highlights of her life. Florence loved all holidays, preparing meals for everyone to enjoy was a precious to her. Her dressing at Thanksgiving was famous.
It was a long and hard job, but she never complained and would even make extra to give to take home. Christmas was a very special time at her house. She took great pride in setting up the Christmas tree, but especially setting out the manger. It was a great responsibility to set up the nativity scene at Nana’s house. She would tell the story of the birth of Jesus, as if she was sitting next to the manger. If you were the one she picked to set baby Jesus as the last piece, you knew you were special.
Florence had a strong work ethic that never stopped. She helped her family on the farm in Prairie Point as a child and in her teens. She started working at a young age at various jobs in Groesbeck to help make ends meet. After marrying,, she helped to run a very successful business in Oklahoma City and on the beach in Surfside. Florence was not one to run away from a challenge. This was evident when she went back to school to obtain her nursing degree from Navarro College as a single mother with two young sons. Florence could not have picked a more perfect profession. Her nurturing nature was felt to all of her patients in the nursing homes in Groesbeck and at Mexia State
School. Everyone who know her knew that she would have made her namesake, Florence Nightingale, proud. Florence felt that people needed to be treated with respect, especially at times when they could not speak for themselves. Families of her patients have commented that not all of the nurse’s aides liked her, but the families loved her because they knew she would treat their loved ones as her own.
As much as Florence loves nursing, she found her passion when she starting babysitting as something to keep her busy after a leg injury kept her from working long shifts. Marla was her first baby, with Kenli joining the fun at Nana’s house shortly after. This is where the name Nana Flo became a staple for anyone who met her in the future.
From this point on, Nana Flo welcomed Kadon, Gunner, Graden, Kannon, and Nick to the fun and excitement. Even though Florence didn’t travel as much in her later years, there was always adventure at Nana’s house. From her installing a pool big enough to take up the backyard to making babies out of overgrown squash from the garden, there was never a dull moment. She introduced all of her “babies” to music meant for the soul. It was not unusual to find Nana playing Dwight Yoakam (her favorite singer), Johnny Cash, or the Beach Boys on her back porch while the kiddos danced around and sang right along with her.
In Florence’s later years, she found happiness working in her garden, planting flowers, and feeding the hummingbirds. She loved baseball and going to watch her babies play.
People always knew when Nana was there and no one was ever real sure what she would say. She was nothing if not entertaining.
This all changed 4 years ago when Florence’s past came sweeping back into her life. Jimmy Compton was Florence’s long, lost love. In January of 2014, she was reintroduced to Jimmy. They met at Chuy’s (one of her favorite restaurants) and as they say, the rest is history. As much as she said she didn’t need anyone else to take care of, Jimmy stuck around. They married on June 25, 2014. They were by each other’s side ever since. Jimmy even made it through Kenli’s approval, which is a hard feat in itself.
Florence Eva Compton was a vivacious woman, who brought life to any room she entered. Majorie hit the nail on the head when she said she was always full of fun!
Florence could spin a story like no one we ever knew. She wasn’t perfect. She would let those closest to her know of her heartaches and frustrations, especially with the “dolts” of the world. But to the many who knew her, there wasn’t a better person with a bigger heart or a larger life personality. Florence accepted Christ at an early age, but became much closer to the Lord in the last five years. She was not afraid to leave this earth, maybe sad to not be by Jimmy’s side or to see her babies grow up, but excited to be in a place of unconditional love and rejoicing.
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