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Florence F. Earnest
April 1, 1924 Nov. 17, 2013
Florence Earnest - photo by Contributed to the Courier

Florence F. Earnest

April 1, 1924 - Nov. 17, 2013

Florence F. Earnest, 89, of Ceres, died Sunday at Valley Comfort in Modesto.

Florence was born in Turton, South Dakota to Jesse and Leonie Fortin and was one of nine children. She attended grammar school in Leola, South Dakota, and graduated from Minneota High School in Minneota, Minn. in 1942. She moved to Los Angeles that same year and worked as a riveter during World War II.

It was there that she met her future husband, Vernon R. Earnest and they were married in 1944. The following day they moved to Modesto so that he could start his new management position with Olsen Brothers. They owned and operated Earnest Poultry Ranch from 1951 to 1966.

Florence worked for the Modesto Bee in the Circulation Department for many years, retiring in 1983. She was very active in several local organizations including president and vice president of Junior Women's Club of Modesto, president and vice president of Persephone Guild of Ceres and president of L.A.R.K. She was also very active in the Widow and Widowers Club and the Travelers Club of Modesto. Before her husband passed in 1995, they were very active in the Modesto Elks Lodge 1282 and Modesto Goodtimers RV Club. They traveled extensively throughout the United States.

Florence enjoyed many cruises during the past 15 years including cruises to Alaska, Hawaii, the Panama Canal, the Caribbean and Mexico. She also loved to work in her garden and especially loved her roses. She was very social and before the onset of Alzheimer's loved more than anything to visit with friends, travel, shop with her daughters and spend time with her family. She loved to go to the movies, attend plays and concerts. Florence also received great joy from volunteering her time managing the L.A.R.K. Thrift Shop, working in the Hospice Hope Chest and acting as a "bell ringer" for the Salvation Army at Christmas.

She is survived by her daughters, Linda Seivert (Jim) of Ripon, Barbara Earnest of Ceres and Sue Robertson of Ponca City, Okla.; her brother, John Fortin (Karen) of Davis; her sister, Ethel Johnson of Ariz.; six grandchildren, Leisa Maestretti (Tim) of Sacramento, Jennifer Zanardi of Elk Grove, Cheri Machado (Michael) of Salida, Wendi Burton of Copperopolis, Amy Robertson of Dubai, UAE and Alan Robertson of Missouri; 11 great-grandchildren and her loving friend Paul Stewart. She is also survived by many loving nieces and nephews and great-nieces and nephews.

Florence is preceded in death by her parents, husband Vernon, six siblings and grandson Andrew Head.

Florence spent the final two years of her life living at Valley Comfort in Modesto. Her daughters would like to thank the owners Glenda, Dale, Chris and Nick Gaither and all of the caregivers and med techs for the amazing and compassionate care she received while there. We will forever be grateful to you all.

A funeral service was held on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013 at Lakewood Funeral Home Chapel in Hughson. Remembrances may be made to: Alzheimer's Association , in her name, at or at 1-800-272-3900. Guest book available at

-Ceres (Calif.) Courier
Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013