FHS Educator Florence Chace

November 27, 2013

FAIRHAVEN Florence E. (Chase) Coles, 91, of Fairhaven, MA, died Wednesday, November 27, 2013 at St. Luke's Hospital after a brief illness. She was the beloved wife of Rudolph Coles and widow of Gordon B. Chase. Born in New Bedford, MA, December 10, 1921, she was the daughter of the late Clarence and Anna Brehaut. She was the sister of the late Walter Brehaut. Florence graduated from Fairhaven High School and married Gordon Chase during WWII. She enjoyed telling stories about her many adventures during the war and had a variety of jobs before she fell in love with teaching. She earned a bachelors degree from Southeastern Mass University while working and raising a family, then continued to get a masters degree in education from Bridgewater State. Florence was the head of the English department at Fairhaven High School when she retired from teaching, her most favorite job. After retirement she and Gordon enjoyed traveling. They were married for fifty two years. A spirited and bright woman, she was a member of St. Paul's UMC, where she was a Sunday School teacher and past Superintendent, a member of the UMW, and spearheaded a thrift shop. Florence volunteered at the reception desk at St. Luke's Hospital, was a former president of the Red Hat group in Fairhaven, and served on the DORCAS committee at the Inter Church Council. One of Florence's proudest accomplishments was the Florence Chase Library in Zimbabwe. She enjoyed walking and water aerobics in her later years and writing monthly articles for the Council on Aging in Fairhaven. She met Rudolph Coles and they have been married for fifteen years. She is survived by three children, Carolyn Schreeder and her husband James of Lookout Mountain, TN and Dartmouth, Michael Chase and his wife Debbie of St. Catherines, Ontario and Penelope Bailey and her husband George of Dartmouth; nine grandchildren, Heidi Martin, John Goodfellow, Christopher Goodfellow, Brandon Chase, Shannon Chase, Addam Chase, Joshua Chase, Alyssa Bailey, Sarah Bailey; and several great grandchildren. A service will be held at St. Paul's United Methodist Church, 884 Kempton St., New Bedford, MA, at the corner of Kempton and Rockdale at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 30th. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Paul's UMC to help the UMW support a sponsored child in Rwanda.

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