IRON MOUNTAIN – Florence Frances Rodriguez, 95, of Iron Mountain, died Friday, January 28, 2022 at Maryhill Manor in Niagara, Wisconsin.
She was born to Florian and Margaret (Baer) Gretz, on August 27, 1926, in Cook County, Illinois. When she was 7, her family moved to Sacramento, California, where Florence eventually finished ninth grade before taking a job. as a nanny in a home in an apple orchard in Washington State.
At 18, she married Frank Geren and was blessed with two sons, Tom and Ray. During this time, she worked as a storekeeper for the Signal Depot, Department of the Army, in Sacramento. After 14 years of marriage, the couple divorced. She then married Elmer Frederick (Fritz) Fox in 1960 in Santa Ana, California and was blessed with two daughters, Carrie and Peggy.
In 1968, she divorced “Fritz”, married Isaac Rodriguez and worked as a mail carrier for the USPS until his retirement in 1985. After traveling much of the country, the couple moved to Michigan to be near their adult children, then divorced in 1995.
Florence then came to live in Oshkosh, Wisconsin at the cabin of her daughter Peg and her husband Jim. She is known to their children as “Grandmother’s cottage” a nickname that always made her smile. In 1998, she moved to Iron Mountain, to be closer to these grandchildren, living in a small house on the street behind Peg and Jim, where she had a very special relationship with them and their three boys.
In 2006, Florence moved into an assisted living facility after falling. She could still spend a lot of time with her family, flying west for extended visits to her daughter Carrie’s home in Washington, her son Tom’s home in Washington, and her son Ray’s home in Washington. Oregon. She was able to share all of our birthday and holiday celebrations until the pandemic, and then in 2021 the family was finally able to travel to Maryhill Manor to spend those special days there with her. She communicated daily with her family via FaceTime and Duo on her iPad, because she had been really computer savvy for 30 years! A beloved grandmother, mother, sister, aunt and friend, she had a great sense of humor, and her huge laughs and beautiful smiles will be missed by all of us.
Above all, Florence loved being with her family. She also enjoyed making stained glass, drawing and coloring, doing puzzles and all kinds of brain teasers. She loved all kinds of crafts; knitting, crocheting, even a brief moment of weaving on a loom. Florence is responsible for our love of cooking because she was a wonderful cook. She loved her cat, Katie Kitty and her Schnauzer, Indigo.
Surviving are three children; sons, Tom (Lori) Geren of Idaho, daughters, Carrie Dyer of California and Peg (Jim) Merrill of Michigan; seven grandchildren, Sean (Janette) Geren of Utah, Lani (Sean) Madison of Washington, Gene (Renee) Geren of Alaska, Richie Geren of Utah, Jack Merrill, Joe Merrill, Eliot Merrill of Michigan ; 10 great-grandchildren, Ashley, Ryan, Evan, Claudia, Anthony, Kaylee, Kirsten, Kylie, Ronnie and Cody; three great-great-grandchildren, Lincoln, Allyana and Amir; and many nieces and nephews.
Preceding her in death are her parents; her husbands; son, Ray Geren; son-in-law, Charles Dyer; sisters, Helen Freer, Pearl Kjer, Evelyn Berlin, Margaret Barnes, Mabel Mullen, Ethel Dasso; brother, Earl Gretz, and grandson, Frankie Geren.
She was an avid reader. The Dickinson County Library sent him five novels every week for nearly 20 years! Many thanks to Julia and the staff for keeping her in the stories. Florence also had her Family Ties and cherished her time with them. Donations may be sent in Florence’s memory to either the Dickinson County Library, Book By Mail Program, 401 Iron Mountain St., Iron Mountain, MI 49801, or the Family Ties Adult Center, 1238 Carpenter Ave, Iron Mountain, MI 49801.
A funeral mass will be held for her on Friday, February 11 at 3:30 p.m. at St Mary St Joseph Church with Fr. Janusz Romanek officiating. A reception to celebrate his life will follow from 5-7 p.m. at PepperJam Yoga Studio, 821 Cedar Ave, Iron Mountain.
Friends can sign his guestbook or send their condolences to www.jacobsonfuneralhome.com.