Florence Mae Gilder, formerly of Blaine, WA, beloved wife of the late Charles F. Gilder, peacefully passed away at Rosewood on Broadway in Fargo, ND, on Tuesday, March 19, 2019. A resident at Rosewood for over two years, her kind and loving nature earned the respect of residents and staff who called her “Grandma”.
Florence was born on March 26, 1923, in Bromhead, Saskatchewan. Before school, she would milk their 4 cows, “The Blue Cow”, “Handlebars”, “Little Red”, and “Big Red”. Athletic as a youngster, she won “Athlete of the Year” at her school, for High Jump, Broad Jump, and Softball. She would also vividly describe riding her horse Darkie with her brother, Bud, on his horse Tarzan. Upon completing 8th grade, at age 14, she went to work to help support the family by housekeeping and taking care of two children at a neighboring household.
In 1945 she moved to Vancouver, BC to marry, on May 8, 1945, Charles (Chuck) Gilder who was in naval service in China. They began their family in Vancouver, then moved to Blaine, WA in 1957. As a homemaker, Florence was known for her hospitality and cooking, especially fruit pies of which wild (small) blackberries were a hit with the neighbors (yes, she picked the berries). She always had the teapot ready, along with a plate of homemade cookies, to welcome any visitors to her home.
Florence and Chuck enjoyed many years with other families employed by the Great Northern and Burlington Northern Railroad, travelling together and attending and hosting Railroad Retirement events throughout the Pacific Northwest.
Florence was predeceased by her parents Merlin and Malanda Pleckham, husband Chuck, her older sister Mildred Thiry, brother Bud Pleckham, youngest brother Wilbur Pleckham, and son Allan Dale Gilder.
She is survived by siblings Ruth Bradley, Floyd Pleckham, Myrtle (Clarence) McDonnall; son Gary W Gilder (Barbara), daughter Barbara McElroy, and their families.