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Advertisement Florence Faye Matheny DeShazer August 9, 1921 - July 5, 2017
by Report submitted · July 20th, 2017


Florence was a very loving and faithful wife, mother, sister and friend who was loved by all who knew her. Born near Toddville, Iowa, to Archie and Alice Ritze Matheny, she was the second of four children. She graduated from Toddville High School in 1938 where she especially enjoyed playing basketball and her team made it to the state tournament. Florence graduated from Lenox Junior College in Hopkinton, Iowa, and then taught for five years in Monroe Township first at Number Five, then at Loggerhead and last at Toddville in the primary room. Florence delighted in being able to buy gifts for the family that were unattainable until she started working. She read aloud good books to the kids and organized the household work to make it fun. She enjoyed sports and hunting mushrooms and eating them! Florence always remembered Iowa sweetcorn. Most of all, she lived to glorify God and serve Him when and where He sent her.

The Lord called Florence into missionary service, and to prepare herself, she left Iowa in 1945 to attend Seattle Pacific College. She traveled to the West Coast with her pastor, Rev. J.K. French, and his family. While at college, she met, and on August 29, 1946, married Jake DeShazer. Jake had participated in the 1942 Tokyo Doolittle Raid during World War II and survived 40 months as a POW. While in prison, Jake gave his life to Christ and was called to return to Japan to tell the Good News of Jesus and His power to change lives. So in 1948, after graduating, Jake and Florence with baby Paul went to Japan as Free Methodist missionaries, and for 30 years spread the message of Christ's salvation, love and forgiveness. They helped start 23 new churches throughout Japan.

In 1977 they retired to Salem, Oregon. Jake died in 2008, and in 2012 Florence moved to Christa Assisted Living in Shoreline, Washington, to be near her two daughters. Her children Paul, John, Mark, Carol Aiko and Ruth and their families all live on the Pacific coast. She has 10 grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren and another one due in October. They liked to play Skipbo with their grandma. Even at 95 years old, Florence enjoyed playing Scrabble with anyone who could make it challenging. She is survived by her brother Archie Junior of Cherokee Village, Arkansas, and her sister Phyllis of Stanwood, Washington, in addition to cousins, nephews and nieces. Florence was preceded in death by her sister Margaret.

On July 17 Florence will be laid to rest beside her husband at Restlawn Memory Gardens in Salem, Oregon.

Please share a thought, memory or condolence with Florence's family at www.restlawnfh.com under obituaries.

Memorials may be sent either to a charity of your choice or to Free Methodist World Missions at Toddville Free Methodist Church, Toddville, IA 92341.
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