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Florace Arnold: A joyful life of family, teaching and adventures

“Florace” was carefully written on the blackboard, as her first grade teacher had instructed each child to write his or her name on the board.

The teacher tried to correct the pronunciation and spelling, saying, “No, you mean Florence.” “No, this is my name,” the young girl stated emphatically. The teacher, not to be deterred by this uppity first grader, called Florace’s mother that evening and told her she wanted Mom to correct her daughter and have her say and spell the name correctly. Her mom soon set that teacher straight.

Florace Lockwood Arnold has had connections with Mathews and Gloucester counties from her earliest years. Ancestors from England are buried in Abingdon Parish. Her husband’s parents lived on Gwynn’s Island at their home at North Bay Haven Drive. In between tours of duty, Florace, husband Tom, and their four children lived with them. They were there as often as possible. Growing up, daughter Susan said she was probably at the Islander daily with her girlfri...

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