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September 17, 1930 May 17, 2012
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The Life and Times of

Florence Smith Williams

A.K.A. Sheefrah

       Her life started from the humble beginnings of poverty and welfare, in Harlem  U.S.A. during  the 1930’s.

       On September 17, 1930 Florence Beatrice Smith was born to Oscar and Mae Smith, with two older brothers Louis and Lenny Smith. They called her “Sis” even her mom and dad. Her parents were very hard working immigrants from Jamaica West Indies.

       Although impoverished due to the Great American Depression, her family was never short on character, pride, dignity, values, and aspirations, with high hopes and dreams of a better life for themselves. The foundation and spring board of those dreams was education.

       Along with her brothers, Sheefrah was fixed and determined to raise herself out of those tumultuous, trying conditions.

       Florence began her journey to accomplish this, by attending and graduating from a trade high school in N.Y.C. 

       Her studies targeted two career fields, business education and fashion industry.

       During those times, women’s opportunities were severely limited, unlike today's society at large. Women basically aspired to become executive secretaries, teachers, nurses, models and fashion designers. These were a few of the most promising careers that the average women of her time could look forward to accomplishing.

       Sheefrah did well in business, fashion and modeling.

       Florence honed and mastered the skills of an accomplished and seasoned fashion designer-dressmaker. She created fine works of art that were found in many of N.Y.C.’s finest dress shops, she also modeled many of them at fashion shows.

       Later in her life she would use her business education to become and excel as a phone operator for one of N.Y.C.’s top phone company, “MA BELL”.

She did this after settling down and starting a family. Ultimately she produced seven children through two marriages.

       After a time she found it necessary to continue the pursuit of her dream to become a nurse.

       While working two and three jobs as a nurses aide, she attended nursing school at Bellevue City Hospital.

       Florence graduated there at the top of her class, valedictorian with honors.

       It was Bellevue's last nursing class, and she never looked back again. Maybe only to reflect on where she came from.

       Sheefrah continued her studies and became a nurse practitioner, the highest office of the nursing profession.

       Eventually Sheefrah landed a position in the executive offices of the largest health maintenance organization in the state of NY, NJ and CT. There she was assigned to watchdog and oversee hundreds of satellite medical offices with patients, and staff, to insure company policies and execution of duties.

Upon reaching this pinnacle in her career, and accomplishing these feats, her time had finally come and she realized her dream.

       Florence leaves behind to both mourn and celebrate her life, four sons and four daughters, Michael Vanterpool, Kirk Williams, Melodie Vanterpool, Steven Vanterpool, Dakkhano Kevii, Zaina Kevii-Brewster, Selika Kevii, Asaiah Kevii-Brandon; one brother, Louis Smith; two nieces and one nephew; sixteen grandchildren and six great grandchildren. She will join her husband John C. Williams.

Viewing:  Friday, March  25, 2012 ~ 9:00 A.M.  to 11:00 A.M. ~ Cason Funeral Chapel ~ 830 School Street ~ Brooksville, FL

Services:  Friday, March 25, 2012 ~ 11:00 A.M. ~ Cason Funeral Chapel ~ 830 School Street ~ Brooksville, FL
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