OBITUARY: Florence "Florrie" Louise Donovan-Gunderson
Florence “Florrie” Louise Donovan-Gunderson passed away on September 6, 2011. She was born on July 16, 1944 in Boston, Massachusetts. She was raised in Newton, Massachusetts, and graduated from Newton High School in 1962. She shared many fond memories of childhood summers spent with her extended family on “Old Cape Cod”.
Married in 1963 to Richard Donovan, they had a beautiful daughter, Sandy, whom they traveled cross country with and lived in several states until finally settling down in West Covina, California. It was here that they added another beautiful daughter, Cindy. Florrie was a stay at home mother who was active in the PTA. Upon their separation in 1979, she relocated to South Lake Tahoe, California, with her daughter, Cindy. Yet strong family values would insure that she and Richard would maintain an amicable relationship as family holidays and birthdays were always spent together with their children, grandchildren, and significant others.
While in the Tahoe area, Florrie held numerous positions in the field of early childhood education and also volunteered as a Ski host at Heavenly Ski Resort. She was a member of the Tahoe Keys Board of Directors, and served in various executive roles for the American Association of University Women.
In addition, she spent 10 years working in the finance department at Harrah’s Casino where she would meet her future life partner and loving husband, Wally Gunderson. Having spent 18 years together, they were married on September 16th, 2004 at Fallen Leaf Lake.
One of her biggest dreams in life was to become a grandmother. And upon the birth of her first grandchild, she moved back to the Southern California area to be closer to her grandson and future grandchildren. During that time, she resided in Pasadena and worked for AAA as a Life Insurance Specialist.
In 2003, she and Wally relocated to the San Diego area where she worked as an Independent Insurance Agent and as a Financial Planner for Forester’s Insurance. From October through May, she, along with Wally and their beloved dog, Tara, spoiled themselves by taking residence at Campland on the Bay in Mission Bay. She was happy to spend many hours on the road these last few years travelling in their motor home to Alaska, Yellowstone Park, as well as a 3 month trip across the country visiting family and friends all along the way. And they would return to the Tahoe area each summer to the place they called home.
She was an incredibly outgoing person who made friends wherever she went. She touched countless lives throughout her journey in life. And she did nothing but give when it came to her family and friends.
Florrie always put family first. She was a loving and caring wife , a wonderful mother, mother-in-law, sister, aunt and cousin. But above all, she was the best grandmother a child could ever imagine. She enjoyed camping, skiing, sledding and baking with her grandkids. She spent a multitude of hours playing with them, sharing life stories, and enjoying sleepovers, all the while teaching and showing them her beautiful ways. She will be missed more than words can say.
Florrie is preceded in death by her father, Arthur H. Sharp and mother Cynthia G. Austin. She is survived by her husband Wally Gunderson, her children Sandy Moiseoff and Cindy Dopf, grandsons Ryan and Donovan, granddaughters Laura and Peyton, son-in-laws Ron Moiseoff and David Dopf, as well as two sisters, Grace Toler and Marie McCary.
A memorial service will be held Friday, September 16th at 6:00pm at the Hope Lutheran Church of the Sierra, 930 Julie Lane, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150, (530)541-1975.