The Flora Family
The Flora Family
Pictured Left to Right
Peggy, Nibbles the Dog, Jack, Nancy, Bill, Skip
I first met Nancy Flora in the fall of 1970. When I was elected Associated Student Body President at Burbank High School, one of my first responsibilities was to appoint commissioners to student government. Our ASB Director, Mr. Hamilton Lloyd, suggested I select Nancy Flora as, the "Showcase Commissioner.” Mr. Lloyd was a classmate of Nancy's parents at the University of Redlands. Mr. Lloyd was a war hero in WWII, and a beloved teacher and coach at BHS for over twenty years. As Showcase Commissioner, Nancy was responsible for publicity in the large glass showcase in the main hallway outside of the auditorium.
In the spring of my senior year, Nancy and I were cast as dance partners in the school's musical, “Carnival.” My best friend, Mark Hall, had lead role in our production of the 1961 Broadway Musical based on the book by Michael Stewart with music and lyrics by Bob Merrill. Mark's father, Regnal Hall, was our choir director. The most memorable song in the show is, “Love Makes The World Go ‘Round.”
In May of 1971 I was between girlfriends and did not have a date for the prom. I was elected to be on the prom court, so I had to attend. Once again, I went to my mentor, Mr. Lloyd and asked him who he thought I should take to the prom and he suggested Nancy Flora. The 1971 Burbank High School Prom was our first date. Over the summer we fell in love.
We attended the University of Redlands together and were married on December 18, 1976 at the First Presbyterian Church in Burbank. Sadly, Nancy was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in September 1981, 5 months after the birth of our daughter. Nancy continued to work as a photography teacher at Sierra Vista Junior High School (1976 – 1984) and at William S. Hart High School (1984 – 1996). After 20 years of being a very talented and beloved teacher, Nancy had to leave her profession in December of 1996 due to the progression of her Multiple Sclerosis.
After 34 years of marriage, ours ended in 2010. Nancy moved into assisted living in Santa Clarita on January 13, 2011.
The Flora family has a rich history and I am grateful to have been part of it for 40 years. In 2007, after Bill Flora's passing, I sat with Skip and scanned their family pictures, taking care to document each photograph. I have preserved three albums to pass on to the descendants of Bill & Skip; The Flora Family Album for Bill, The Gartner Family Album, and The Watson Family Album for Skip. Skip's maiden name was Marilyn Mae Gartner, and her mother's maiden name was Watson.
September 20, 2020
Excelsior High School 1945 Yearbook
Marilyn (Skip) Gartner with boyfriend, Bill Flora at
The University of Redlands
Bill and Skip Flora Family Photo Albums