Edith Florence (Flo) Sheppard
wife of
Victor Colin Johnson

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(1927 - 2010)

Eulogy by Flo's granddaughter, Lorraine Patience

at the Service of Thanksgiving & Celebration of Life

St. Ann's Church of Scotland, Trinidad - January 2010

Edith Florence Johnson née Sheppard, fondly known as Florence, Flo or Floco, grew up in a large, close knit, musical family and was the “spoilt fish” from the get go; being the baby - twelfth child of Charles & Elsie Sheppard.  

 

Granny Flo grew up as a big sister to her sister Ida’s three daughters – Joan, Betty and Helen.  She treasured these memories about the wonderful days spent with them in Caura -

river-bathing, tram rides around The Savannah in a different and safe Trinidad & Tobago.

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4th May, 1946 - Trinidad

Granny Flo was blessed in many ways.  She met her soulmate Colin Johnson, a very handsome Bajan gentleman working in Trinidad at the time.  She had a great marriage (just shy of sixty years) resulting in four children, eight grands and six great-grands.  Simply put, her hubby, family and home were her top priorities.

 

Granny never quite got over her beloved Colin’s earlier passing and always referred to him in the present tense.   Granny called his name often especially when stressed with computer challenges, looking for something, remembering past times or just frustrated.  She loved, admired, supported him in all business ventures, communicated well and was his number one cheerleader – he could almost do no wrong in her eyes.

 

Flo loved music especially the old-fashioned piano pieces and let's not forget “The Sugar Blues”.  Of course her favorite piano players  were sisters Jessie, Ida and sister-in-law Betty.  Gran-Gran played her CDs from early in the morning - often loudly - and at night went to sleep with her Discman and earphones.

 

About four years ago, her sister Sybil encouraged her to learn to use the computer – after a lot of "grand-charge" she agreed to take about eight lessons (probably did not want Auntie Sybil to have the upper hand in this arena).  We cannot thank Janine Crooks enough for transforming Granny’s life.  We all know Granny was a social butterfly and chatting was one of her favourite pastimes.  Granny was not into surfing the net, but those social networking tools (email, MSN, Skype and Facebook) gave her another lease on life.  She crossed boundaries, time zones, kept in touch, shared pictures with family and friends of all ages.   Needless to say, Granny took to the computer like a fish to water.  We also thank Jeffrey, William, Shane, Lorraine, her computer techs and the crew at TSTT etc. for their tremendous patience and support.  When Granny's computer was down, she went into withdrawal mode and never rested until she was back online.  We were so proud of her achievements. I personally do not know too many 80+ year-olds who use the computer – except for our Auntie Sybil, of course!

 

We kept her updated when in hospital with all the well wishes from her Facebook family and she was happy to hear from you all.

Some  other memories of Granny Flo shared by her grand- and great- grandchildren:

 

Granny Flo loved to . . .

 

Louanna:

  • Have her early morning cup of coffee

  • Place her early morning call to Joan and Sybil

  • Have several chats a day with Elsa and Rosemary

  • Be in her garden,

  • Tend to her rose beds and bougainvillea.

  • Water her plants

 

Hugo:

  • Go on her computer

  • Talk to Grandpa Jeffrey on Skype

 

Mathew

  • Bathe in the rain

 

Nicola

  • Talk and reminisce about Grandpa Colin (always in the present tense)

  • Keep the Bible open to stop the rains especially for weddings or any important functions

  • Go to Barbados and visit with Auntie Betty and family

  • Stay at Marasol – Dover beach was her favorite Barbados beach

  • Be in her own home, in her own bed

  • Have her hair, nails and feet done

 

Lorraine

  • Have her children and grands close

  • Go out on Fridays for a drink and 'Accra' at the Byte (Grandpa's favourite)

  • Visit family & friends and take drives

  • Watch 'Young and Restless'

  • Take pictures with 'dickie bird' (digital camera) and have me put them on Facebook right away

  • Print her favourite pictures and show them off

 

 Shane

  • Tell everyone about her children and grandchildren’s achievements

  • Go on beach limes to Mayaro,Toco & Down de Islands

  • Cook her favorite Steam Pudding

  • Indulge sometimes on the sweet stuff – ice cream and ice-box cake

 

 Trisha

  • Look for shells or drift wood on the beach

  • Create pieces of 'art' that we must see NOW

  • Receive presents and show everybody what she got

  • Be called 'Florence Nightingale'

  • Hear the "Morning Miss Johnson” as people passed by on the street

  • Two Rum 'n Cokes after the sun went down

  • Talk some more with Sybil, Joan & Elsa

 

Amelia

  • Visit her friends in the 'Lodge'

  • Talk on Facebook and MSN

 

Colin

  • Drink milk

 

William

  • Have her lawn cut with a mower and not a wakker

  • Have her grand- and great-grands come over and run in the grass and pick oranges or mangoes

  • Walk barefoot wherever she could get away with it (Barefoot Contessa)

  • Keep us up to date on 'who died', new arrivals, weddings and any family trivia

 

Emily

  • Go for lunch with Mary

  • Chat with Lorel

  • Go to any concerts or shows her family was in (Love Movement, Wendy etc.)

  • Go to family gatherings and weddings

  • Pull my feet - said I would get tall

  • Tell us the same thing over and over

  • Tease Grampa when driving to the beach that our sea was far better than Barbados

  • Sing the 'Blues' - The Sugar Blues

 

When all is said and done, Granny, Mummy, Floco was quite a character and we will miss her dearly – keep on singing the blues, dancing, chatting, loving us and be united again with your loving Colin. 

Rest Peacefully.

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"Barefoot Contessa"

July 2008 - on a steamy, hot day at her home in Diego Martin, Trinidad.

A family gathering was taking place 

The rains came, and Flo just couldn't resist!

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On one of her many visits to Barbados while staying at my home there 

l/r Flo, my mother Betty, me, Flo's sister Sybil (Sheppard) Gibbon