In Memoriam: Florence E. Sogaard
Florence Sogaard, a longtime member of the Lewis County Chapter, passed away Nov. 3, 2004, at 82 years of age. Florence, the daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Joel Toothaker, was born in Algoma, Wisconsin, in 1922. She moved with her family to Centralia, Washington, in 1925 where her father practiced medicine. Florence graduated from Centralia High School, also Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri. In 1942, during WWII, she enlisted in the Marine Corps Women's Reserve, receiving her recruit training at Camp Lajeune, North Carolina. She was later assigned to the Marine Headquarters in Washington, D.C. where she met her future husband Folmer Sogaard, a Major in the U.S. Army Air Force. They married in January 1945 in Lincoln, Nebraska. She accompanied Folmer throughout the United States and Europe as he pursued his Air Force career, while raising a family of three daughters.
In 1960 Florence, Folmer and family returned to live in Centralia. Florence helped Folmer with various Chamber of Commerce events and was also active in the Federated Women's Club, where she was honored as a President Emeritus. She was a lifetime member of the First United Methodist Church of Centralia. Florence was an active member of the Lewis County Rhododendron Chapter, serving as chapter secretary and willingly helping with chapter projects. Florence and Folmer were awarded their chapter's highest award, the Bronze Medal, in 1981.
Florence is survived by Folmer, her husband of fifty-nine years, three daughters and their families, including five grandchildren and two great grandsons. Florence was a dear friend to many and will truly be missed by her fellow rhododendron enthusiasts.