West Newton Friends In Service -- Florence Emma Peery
Each month we’re going to feature the work of one of West Newton Friends making a difference in our community. We’re all involved in different ways and sometimes we don’t realize the ministries we're doing in locally and around the world.
This article features the volunteer work of Florence Emma Peery.
I have lived in Thorntown, Indiana, all but eleven years of my life. I was born and raised in Sugar Plain Meeting and attended there until they chose to leave Western Yearly Meeting; at that time I decided to join West Newton Meeting.
I taught school for nearly thirty-five years, both in Thorntown and in Martinsville, Ohio. My husband, Lawrence, and I farmed his family farm in Thorntown for twenty years until his health caused him to have to find another job. At that point, we moved to Wilmington, Ohio, where he was the Superintendent of Wilmington Yearly Meeting until his death in 1974.
We have four children, Lynn Mills, Alan Peery, Robin Haag, and Vivian Hurst.
I have been active in both Western and Wilmington Yearly Meetings. Much of my work in both was focused on children and youth and outreach; I served on the Outreach Board and the Christian Education Board in Western Yearly Meeting.
For parts of three years, I spent time in Belize, working with the Friends School there. During that time, there were female students there and I taught them home economics courses to help prepare them for work in the tourist industry. I also taught the male students math and social studies.
Back when Lawrence and I were farming and the children were young, I organized and operated a summer program for teens in Thorntown, called the Teen Canteen. Kids came to the town park where they could play basketball, tennis, pool, ping pong, dance, and just generally hang out in a safe environment.
More recently, for twenty years,
- I have volunteered at the Caring Center, which is a food pantry and resource center for needy people in Boone County
- participated in the Rails to Trails group which has been working to turn the railroad bed which runs through Thorntown into a hiking trail and park
- sung in the all-church choir for Christmas and Easter presentations for many years
- performed as Betty Bug at the elementary schools in Boone County to emphasize the importance of car safety
- served on the Sugar Plain Cemetery Board, keeping records of all the burials there
- participated in the Sugarettes Home Economics Club (I live in Sugar Creek Township.)
- volunteer at the Caring Center
I also am having fun having my grandson, Brent Haag, and his wife, Beth, and their daughters, Sydney, Hannah, and Bailey, living here in Thorntown; their oldest daughter, Alexis, is a freshman at the University of Evansville.
Sometime in the late spring or early summer, I will move to Quaker Haven with my daughter, Robin; the time has come for me not to live alone any longer