October 4, 1932 ~ January 10, 2022
Resided in: Arlington, TX
Dortha Jean Florence, 89, passed away on Monday, January 10, 2022 in Arlington, Tx.
Visitation with family and friends will be on Wednesday, January 19, 2022, 6:00 – 8:00 pm at Wade Family Funeral Home, 4140 W. Pioneer Parkway, Arlington, Tx 76013.
Graveside services will be on Friday, January 21st at 2:00 pm at Round Mountain Cemetery, Conway, Arkansas.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial donations be made to Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc. 1600 Corporate Landing Parkway, Virginia Beach, VA 23454-5617.
Dortha Florence was preceded in death by two husbands, her parents, and a sister, Arita Hamilton. She was a loving mother, grandmother and great -grandmother. She is survived by her loving husband, Robert Florence, son, Dale Hamilton, daughter, Lenese Marek and husband, Ron Marek, brother, Lonnie Miller and wife Donnie Miller, grandchildren, Travis Hamilton and wife Holly, Alisha Melens and husband, Steve, and great-grandchildren, Tiffany, Brittany, Joshua, Kennedy and Conner.
Dortha was born on October 4, 1932 in Cherokee, Oklahoma to Brady and Nellie Miller. She experienced the Great Depression move from Oklahoma to California. Many migrant agricultural working families moved westward around 1935-1938 in search of work. Many times she spoke of those memories. Along the trip they would pitch tent for the night and her mother would lay a rug down on the ground so they could sleep on it. Later her classmates in California would say to her, “you’re just an Okie!”
- She started cooking at the age of 8, standing on a chair at the stove cooking biscuits and gravy.
- She got her first job at a local café as waitress. She saved up enough to buy a beautiful sweater she had her eye on so the kids wouldn’t call her Okie anymore. Dortha had a generous heart. It took her a long time to save up to buy her little sister a bicycle.
- She received high marks in school and was valedictorian of the 8th grade.
- Married Archie Hamilton, worked as a tractor mechanic at the International Harvester store in Firebaugh, California and worked with his father-in-law, Brady Miller, in custom farming operations.
- Dortha got a job as a teller at the local bank.
- Later moved to Round Mountain near Conway, Arkansas. Archie was also a professional skilled welder and member of an iron welder’s union. He obtained jobs that required travel. He helped build the St. Louis Arch in Missouri. He and Dortha bought a farm/ranch, owned cattle, horses and provided custom farming for other people.
- Dortha got a job at Virco Manufacturing Company in Conway.
- Went to Round Mountain Community church and played piano there.
- In 1965 Archie, was tragically killed along with 53 other men while working as a welder at a Titan II Silo Missile site in Searcy, Arkansas. His children Dale and Lenese were age 15 and 11 at the time.
- In 1968 Dortha and Lenese moved to Irving, Texas. Her son, Dale got married.
- Got a job with Sparkman Hillcrest Funeral Home in Dallas, Texas
- Met Wilburn Carter of W. F. Carter Construction company and they got married in 1972.
- Became involved in a jail ministry through a local church.
- Got involved in a local Al-Anon (alcoholics anonymous for families) group in Irving, Texas.
- Moved to Fort Worth where they soon became members of Bethel Temple Baptist Church. They were happily married for 13 years until Wilburn died of cancer. Soon afterwards she volunteered work at the church as bookkeeper.
- Later met Robert Florence and married in1988. Robert worked in the oil fields as a geologist and later at NEC Corporation making computers.
- Moved to Arlington, Texas, joined the local Al-Anon group there.
- Became a sponsor with the Al-Anon Organization and helped many people.
- Dortha had a sensitive spirit, an aura about her. She would tell that strangers would just walk up to her and start talking. She had a way about her to be able to calm their soul and give them peace in the midst of trouble in their life.
- A strong lady, full of life. She always had a saying, “I can do this, yes I CAN!”
Graveside Service: Friday, January 21, 2022 2:00 pm
Round Mountain Cemetery
159 Mill Pond Rd.
Conway, Arkansas 72034