2016-09-21 / Obituaries

Florence Prehn

Florence Marks (Tait) Prehn, 94, of Rifton passed away peacefully late Tuesday evening, September 6, 2016 at Golden Hill Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Kingston.

Florence was born at home on the Tait family farm in Belleayre, Town of Hardenburgh. She was the daughter of Walter Lavelle and Etta (Howland) Tait.

After Florence graduated from Margaretville Central High School, she attended the Kings- ton Hospital School of Nursing, where she graduated as an RN in 1942. During the same year, Florence married Charles Frederick Prehn of Rifton.

After joining the U.S. Army, Charlie was sent to San Francisco to be a Military Policeman, MP. Because there was no shortage of nurses in the San Francisco, and because Florence wanted to help with the war effort, she became a journeyman welder and helped build war ships. After Charlie was later deployed to the Philippines and New Guinea, Florence came back across the country by train to Kingston where she worked as an RN at Kingston Hospital.

After retiring from professional nursing in the Kingston Hospital, Florence was always helping family, friends, and neighbors in any way she could. Florence was widely known for her passion for genealogy and quilting. An active member of the Ulster County Genealogical Society during four decades, Florence served as president, librarian, and active volunteer for many years in the UCGS, always feeling the thrill of helping people find their families’ roots. Florence also was the Town of Esopus Historian. As an author, Florence wrote Lumber, Shingles and Chips, Early Ulster County Genealogies, published in 1978.

Florence was predeceased by her parents, her beloved Charlie, her brothers, Cullen Tait of Delhi and Verner Tait of Syracuse, as well as her sister, Lavinia Barriger of Delhi.

Florence is survived by her sister, Dot Borden of Pine Hill; a daughter, Shirley and husband Bert Darrow of Tillson; a son, Bill Prehn and his wife Judy of Chandler, AZ; three grandchildren and their spouses, Lori Prehn and Justin Cook of Ventura, CA, Butch and Julie Darrow of Rochester, MI, and Scot and Lynn Prehn of Saratoga Springs along with eight great grandchildren, Samantha Prehn, Mose Cook, Donnea Prehn, and Vincent Cook of Ventura, CA, Quint and Alexandra Darrow of Rochester, MI and Troy and Theresa Prehn of Saratoga Springs. Twenty-eight nieces and nephews also survive. Florence will be missed, but had a wonderful life and cherished the love of everyone around her.

A celebration of her life is being held with invited family and friends at The Chateau in Kingston.

Memorial gifts in remembrance of Florence may be made to Hurley Reformed Church Women’s Guild or the Rifton Volunteer Fire Department.

Cremation and memorial arrangements are under the guidance of the Joseph V. Leahy Funeral Home Inc., 27 Smith Ave., Kingston: www.jvleahyfh.com.

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