Florence Margaret was born to Walter and Pansy Hicks on January 15, 1944. Eleven months later, her sister, Hilda arrived to complete the family. Florence’s childhood was spent in the Sounding Lake area. Many weekends, the house was busy with visits from relatives of the extended Hicks and Taylor families and neighbors.
Her education was an adventure in itself. Homeschooled for 8 years; then a 44 mile bus trip under the care of Mr. Reg Hawtin; then boarding in Provost for the high school years until graduation. While living in Provost, Florence would babysit and waitress. Walter and Pansy would bring the girls home for the weekend or holiday. Once home, Florence would be seen outdoors managing the many tasks and chores alongside her father. She learned to mow, rake, bale, operate and repair machinery; tend to sheep, cattle, chickens and garden. Florence handled any tasks placed before her. This determination and dedication remained with her all through her life.
Florence met Bennie at one of the dances held at Cadogan. A fun-loving fondness and love for one another developed. In June 1964, Florence and Bennie were wed at Cadogan Faith Lutheran Church. Three daughters, Karen, Wanda and Benita completed their family. Florence’s love for the outdoors and her farm/machinery skills made her the perfect farming partner, up to and after, Bennie’s passing in 2007. Florence was proud to welcome and love her 3 son-in-laws, Stephen Paulgaard, Wilfred Copeland and Ronald Rustad. It didn’t take long for the guys to figure out Florence could ‘rib’, prank, and laugh right along with them. Florence’s greatest joy came when she welcomed 8 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren.
Florence’s talents included sewing, cake decorating, gardening, and catering. She volunteered for various organizations including the Cadogan Ag Society, Seniors; discing club; bingo; West Cemetery, North Cemetery and the Provost Hospital Auxiliary. Florence recently received a lifetime membership from the hospital auxiliary. No matter what task was laid in front of her, she was compelled to serve and to do it well. Florence found joy in serving the community; her family, her neighbors and her friends.
Throughout the years, Florence enjoyed bingo, fall fairs, dances, discing, bowling, playing cards, and watching curling. It was a great way to stay in touch with community friends, grandchildren and to meet new people. Florence deeply valued and cherished her husband; family; relatives; neighbors and friends.
Florence moved from the farm to the Provost Lodge in October 2018. She found a nucleus of friends and set out to make a new home for herself. But like any country girl, Florence longed for her farm home. In May of 2022, Florence moved to the Provost Long Term Care until her passing. Florence enjoyed the visits and phone calls. It made her day a bit brighter staying in tune with things out on the farm and hearing about the families.
On November 3, 2023, Florence passed away at the Provost Long Term Care facility at the age of 79 years.
Florence will be forever missed and loved by her three daughters, Karen (Stephen) Paulgaard, Wanda (Wilfred) Copeland and Benita (Ronald) Rustad; eight grandchildren, Justin Paulgaard, Travis (Molly) Paulgaard, Levi (Joelle) Paulgaard, Sara Paulgaard, Jordan Copeland, Shayne (Bailee) Copeland, Chad Copeland and Anna-Mae Rustad; four great grandchildren, Wyatt Paulgaard, Wells Paulgaard, Ole Paulgaard and Paislee Copeland; sister, Hilda Wetzstein; niece, Janet Wetzstein and family; nephew, Jim (Deb) Wetzstein and family; sister-in-law, Carol Fossen; Special Family Friends, Carl (†Sharlene) Young and Keni; as well as many nieces and nephews of the Lakevold, Fossen, Lind and Mailer families.
Florence was predeceased by her husband of 43 years, Bennie; parents, Walter and Pansy Hicks/Fossen; Edward Wetzstein, Clifford Fossen, Clara & Osborne Lakevold, Arthur & Gladys Fossen, Enar Johnson, Irene & Berger Lind, Mary & Peter Mailer, James & Eva Fossen.
The family wish to extend their gratitude to Pastor Paul McCormick and to everyone, for all the kind words, gestures and visits to Florence and family. It’s very much appreciated.
A funeral service will be held on Saturday, November 11, 2023 at 2:00 p.m. at the Central Lutheran Church with Pastor Paul McCormick officiating. Interment will follow at the North Cadogan Cemetery.
Florence’s funeral service will be livestreamed for those who are unable to attend in person. It will be accessible through the GFH website under Florence’s obituary at the time of the service.