Florence Ellis Highsmith died on December 23, 2020. She was 96 years old. At the time of her death, Mrs. Highsmith resided in Thomasville, NC.
Florence was born in High Point, NC on February 26, 1924 to Anne Royall and William Fletcher Ellis. Florence attended public schools in High Point. She then attended the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and the Medical College of Virginia (MCV) School of Nursing where she earned a BS in Nursing. While at MCV, Florence became a member of the Cadet Nurses Corps. The Cadet Nurses Corps was established by Congress in 1943 to help alleviate the nursing shortage during WWII.
Professionally, Florence was the nursing supervisor of the Out-Patient Clinic at the North Carolina Baptist Hospital, Bowman Gray School of Medicine in Winston -Salem. Florence met George Perry Highsmith while at Bowman Gray. They were married in 1952 and moved to Thomasville where Florence assisted George in establishing his medical practice.
Music was a vital part of Florence’s life and her escape from raising three children on a full-time basis. She was a longtime member of Memorial United Methodist Church and sang in the choir. In her teens and adult life, Florence took piano lessons at Salem College in Winston-Salem. She was a longtime member of the Phi Beta Book Club. She and George were avid fans of ACC basketball, particularly the Duke Blue Devils. Florence loved traveling and had the great fortune to travel all over the world with George. However, her favorite place was sitting on the back porch talking and reading or in the kitchen preparing meals for the family.
Florence and George were perfectly matched - Mom provided a calming influence over the family and maintained an even keel through the most difficult situations. Her resolve was on display when she beat breast cancer and never complained even though the effects of that battle stayed with her throughout her life.
Florence is preceded in death by her husband George Perry, parents William and Anne Ellis, and brother Robert Ellis. She is survived by sons Bill Highsmith (Antoinette) and Tom Highsmith; daughter Nancy Highsmith Zirkle (Andy); six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, we ask that remembrances be made in her name to the charities of your choice.
Visitation will be at Cumby Funeral Home in High Point on Sunday, January 3, 2021 from 1:00 pm -2:00 pm. A private graveside service will be held following the visitation.
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