My dad used to say, "When God made your mom, He broke the mold." It was hard to me as a young kid to imagine God, literally, up in heaven breaking her mold. I just couldn't conceptualize itSomehow, it seemed like a negative thing to break that mold. It wasn't until I was in high school that it dawned on me what my dad meant by that statement. He meant that my mom was unique and special and there would be no one else like her.
This is my opportunity to share with you about the unique and special person that God made, my mom, Florence Wardrop.
My mom was born on January 14, 1927 in Chicago, Illinois to my grandparents, Axel and Anna Walter, both immigrants from Sweden. They both immigrated as single people and found each other in the Swedish community there. They were married in 1926, and my mom was born shortly after that, followed by my aunt Annie, who died earlier this year, and her sister, Eleanor, who is with us here today. What you may not know about my mom is that her first language was Swedish, and she did not learn English until she went to Kindergarten. She would often tell stories about trying to communicate with the teacher and not understanding why the teacher wouldn't respond. It was because she was speaking Swedish.
In spite of having to learn a new language, my mom excelled at school. She was always a good student and was the first person in her family to receive a college education. She went to the University of Illinois, Urbana where she studied to become a medical technologist. Shortly after this, she won the Miss Chicago Tall contest and competed in Southern California for the national title. She did not win, but she did decide that she wanted to move to Sunny Southern California after this.
Wedding June 23, 1956
|June 23, 1956|
|Mom and Dad on their honeymoon - June 1956|
|Mom and Bill - July 1956|
|Christopher Walter Wardrop (6/6/57)|