(Delmeth) LT Col Army Nurse Corps
August 7, 1913 - July 31, 2012
Floramund, a dynamic woman completed a long and eventful journey of almost 99 years on July 31, 2012.
She was born on August 7, 1913 in Chicago, IL to Henry and Gertrude Fellmeth, the youngest of 13 children, and was destined to do great things in her life.
Her road began when she graduated from St. Elizabeth School of Nursing, Loyola University, Chicago, IL with post graduate studies in surgical nursing from Belleview Hospital in New York.
While there she assisted on the 3rd operation ever performed on a lung.
She entered the Army Nurse Corps on August 1936 and served until November 1946.
Her first assignment was at Ft. Warren, Cheyenne, WY where she met her future husband Wallace E. Difford Jr. May 1940 saw her heading to the Philippines (Corregidor and Manila) where she was 1 of 104 nurses stationed there.
Just after the start of WWII she was selected to stay behind as Chief Nurse in Manila with 200 critically wounded soldiers.
On December 31, 1941 it was decided to try and evacuate on the Red Cross Ship “Mactan” and after a month at sea in hostile territory they arrived in Australia.
Upon arriving in Australia she was promoted to 1LT and given responsibility for Army nursing, to include headquarters, hospital and supply, where she designed a summer uniform for the nurses in New Guinea.
At the end of 1944 found Floramund heading home and on February 2, 1945 she married Wallace E. Difford Jr.
While back in Chicago, IL she recruited with Helen Hayes and was the Chief Nurse at Gardner General Hospital (2,000 beds), Chicago, IL.
Floramund was the recipient of the Legion of Merit and Bronze Star.
Floramund and Wallace had four children and helped countless others during their lifetime.
She continued her nursing career as a recovery room nurse at Sacred Heart Medical Center, Spokane, WA until her retirement in 1975.
She was an active Life Member, American Defenders Bataan and Corregidor; Life Member VFW, Tumwater, WA; member retired Army Nurse Corps; American Legion, Dupont, WA; and St. Margaret’s Guild, Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Lacey, WA.
She and Wallace were also active members in the German-American Club, Spokane, WA; Spokane Yacht Club, Spokane, WA; Lilac Festival, Spokane, WA; Olympia Rose Society, Olympia, WA, and helped build St. Peters Catholic Church in Spokane, WA.
She is preceded in death by her husband of 65 years Lt. Col. Wallace E. Difford Jr. and son Gary Henry Difford.
She is survived by daughter and son-in-law COL (ret) Paula and LTC (ret) Jim Renshaw; daughter Lt. Col. (ret) Dana Difford; son Maj, (ret) Mark Difford, brother-in-law and wife David and Diane Difford; sister-in-law Genavie “Geb” Nichols; adopted daughters Taeko Kato, Ruth Aktepy and Hilary Webster and countless nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ (sisters retirement), PO Box 1, Donaldson, IN 46513-0001; Smile Train or the USO.
Funeral arrangements by MILLS AND MILLS FUNERAL HOME, TUMWATER, WA.
Burial will be at Tahoma National Cemetery, Kent, WA on Monday August 13, 2012 at 1:30 PM., with reception to follow.
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