The Orange Leader
Florence B. Wingate, 91, of Beaumont, died Saturday, November 9, 2013, at Harbor Hospice in Beaumont.
Florence Josephine Brandt was born August 25, 1922 in Beaumont, Texas, the child of Ottomar Carl Brandt and Annie Marie Solleder Brandt. She graduated from Beaumont High School in 1940, attended Lamar Junior College (now Lamar University) for a year on a D.A.R. scholarship, and moved to Orange in May 1941 to work at The Orange Leader. In late 1942, she went to work for the U.S. Navy under Civil Service. During this time, she also served as a junior U.S.O. hostess.
She was accepted for service in the WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Services) of the U. S. Navy, in June 1944. After training in New York City and Cedar Falls, Iowa, she served at the U.S. Naval Air Station near Grand Prairie, Texas, until her honorable discharge in October 1945 with a rating of Third Class Petty Officer. She was entitled to wear the ribbons for service in the American Theatre and the Victory Medal.
Married to Orange native Lance John Wingate on December 12, 1944, she moved to Orange after the war and was a homemaker until her three daughters had entered grade school. She was an executive secretary at the Orange National Bank from 1959 until 1971, and at Levingston Shipbuilding Co. from 1971 until 1982. She retired at age 60 because of a heart condition.
In Orange, she was active in The Women of St. Paul's Episcopal Church, the Friends of the Orange Library, the Texas Native Plant Society, the Master Gardeners of Orange County, the Leaf and Petal Garden Club, the local chapter of Keep Texas Beautiful, and the Red Hat Club. She served on the boards of the United Way, Girls' Haven, the Red Cross, and the Salvation Army, served three years on the Vestry of St. Paul's, and was a member of the Woman's Club of Orange. She also served as a docent at Pinehurst Gardens and volunteered in the greenhouses of Shangri La. She completed the Master Gardener's course in 1995.
She moved back to Beaumont in 2006, where she joined St. Mark's Episcopal Church. In Beaumont, she was a volunteer at the Beaumont Botanical Garden and the American Red Cross and a member of the Jefferson County Master Gardeners and the Beaumont High School Class of 1940.
She was predeceased by her husband; her siblings William T. Brandt, II, Margaret B. Fischer, Anne B. Quigley, and George O. Brandt, as well as her daughter Marie Lindsey of Houston, widow of Thomas West Lindsey, Jr. She is survived by her daughter Patricia Wynne Wingate of Beaumont and former son-in-law John R. Doucet, Jr. of Groves; her daughter Nancy Wingate and her husband, Dr. Cruce Stark, of Wilmington, Del.; her granddaughter Litza Stark and her husband, Aryeh Gershon, and their sons Eli and Ezra Gershon, of Queens, NY; her granddaughter Kate Stark of Wilmington, Delaware; her grandson Jonathan King and his wife Mary Beth, and their children Nathan and Nicolas of Eva, Ala; as well as her beloved nieces and nephews and their children.
Her interests included birding, gardening, reading, and environmental preservation. An Anglophile, she made three trips to the British Isles. From her youth on, she participated in local, state, and national politics. A lifelong Republican, she took pride in having helped to "bring a two-party system to Texas." Brought up as a Roman Catholic, she became a communicant of the Episcopal Church in 1978. She was always well informed on politics and current events, and tracked the weather faithfully. Most of all, she liked to share — her interests, her books, her flowers, her seeds, her recipes, and her good cheer. She had a talent and a disposition for friendship, and her ready sympathy, sense of humor, and sensible advice brought her a multitude of friends over the years.
Funeral services will be 1:00 p.m. Saturday, November 16, 2013, at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Orange. Burial will follow at Orange Forest Lawn Cemetery in West Orange.
Visitation will be from 3:00-6:00 p.m., Friday at Claybar Funeral Home in Orange.
Serving as pallbearers will be Cruce Stark, Michael Lawrence, Carl Brandt, Al Wingate, Dan Newton, and Marc Wernig.