Floral 29
Official Obituary of

Florence (Gessner) Howard

April 4, 1930 ~ February 18, 2024 (age 93) 93 Years Old
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Florence Howard Obituary

Florence "Flo" (Gessner) Howard aged 93, of Leetonia, Ohio (Formerly, La Mirada, California) died peacefully the morning of Sunday, February 18th, 2024, at Christian House in East Palestine, Ohio.

She was born on April 4th, 1930, in Donora, Pennsylvania to Joseph Lawrence and Margaret Francis (Shark) Gessner. Florence grew up in Donora, Pennsylvania, with her two brothers Edward and William. She met and fell in love with her first husband, Arthur Holt, while at Donora Junior High School. The two were married when she was twenty-four. While newly-weds, she and her husband visited Southern California for a vacation and after their trip, they decided to start their married life out West. They packed up their beloved "Volkswagen Karmann Ghia", to begin anew in California, settling in La Mirada. Florence found employment opportunities as a switchboard operator for AT&T and Whittier Union High School. However, none compared to Flo's favorite job which if you asked her, was "being a wife, mother and grandmother".

Florence became a mother in 1958 when her daughter Susan (Hastings) was born, and her second daughter Sherrie (Maroscher) followed three years later in 1961. Tragically, her husband Arthur passed away shortly after. When her children were young, she found love again and Florence remarried William "Bill" Howard on June 15th, 1968, whom she shared her life and many happy memories with until his passing in 2001.

After many wonderful years in Southern California, she retired to Salem, Ohio as a "full-time grandma" to her grandchildren Meggie (Boyle), Mitchell, and Gracie (Auteuil). While in Salem, she assisted her daughter, Sherrie (Maroscher), with her career endeavors as an Interior Decorator (at Cassie's Custom Interiors in downtown Salem). 

Florence was known for being a thoughtful and loyal friend to many and was beloved by all. She never forgot to send a birthday or holiday greeting card to her family and friends, even up until her final days. Flo was renowned for her get-togethers, most notably her Halloween parties.


While relaxing at home, she was known to spend her mornings with a cup of coffee while calling her loved ones, and enjoyed watching the birds outside as she completed the "Jumbles" in the newspaper. Her afternoons and evenings were spent with her family, enjoying a good meal with dessert or watching the sunset from the patio with a "Happy Hour" refreshment.

Florence was a faithful Christian, attending Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Salem, OH and the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, CA.

She is survived by her daughter: Susan Margaret (Charles) Hastings of Temecula, California, and Sherrie Anne (Victor) Maroscher of Leetonia, Ohio; three grandchildren: Anne Margaret "Meggie" (Andrew) Boyle, Mitchell Howard Maroscher and Grace Kathleen (Florent) Auteuil, one great-grandchild: Emerson Mae Maroscher, and many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husbands; Arthur Cecil Holt in 1966 and William Daniel "Bill" Howard in 2001, granddaughter Hope Victoria Maroscher, and two brothers; William and Edward Gessner.

Services to honor Flo's life will be on Friday, February 23rd, 2024, 2:30 in the afternoon, at Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Salem with Pastor William Wilkens officiating; a time of visitation with the family will be from 2:00-2:30pm at the church. Her burial will follow in Grandview Cemetery. 


To celebrate her life, Flo had desired for her friends and family to join together for a Remembrance “Happy Hour” from 4:00- 6:00pm, held Friday following the service at the Salem Golf Club.

Arrangements were entrusted to the care of Arbaugh-Pearce-Greenisen & Sons Funeral and Cremation Services, Salem.


Obituary lovingly written by her family.


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February 23, 2024

2:00 PM to 2:30 PM
Emmanuel Lutheran Church (Salem)

Funeral Service
February 23, 2024

2:30 PM
Emmanuel Lutheran Church (Salem)

Remembrance "Happy Hour"
February 23, 2024

4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Salem Golf Club
1967 South Lincoln Avenue
Salem, OH 44460


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