ATLANTA, Ga. - Florence Humphreys McDonnell, fondly known as "Flo-Flo" to one and all and well known for her tireless devotion to numerous philanthropic, numanitarian and community causes, died on April 11, 2002, from complications of heart disease. A native of Chicago, Mrs. McDonnell was a student of the piano from the age of five. She studied at the Chicago Conservatory as a young woman, but redirected her musical career when she married Chicago surgeon, Mark S. Oliver, M.D. Nine years later, Dr. Oliver died of a heart attack at the age of 54 leaving her a young widow with her only child, Gwyneth Oliver (now Mrs. Wesley Moran). In 1946, Florence Humphreys Oliver marrried George Everett Strupper, one of Georgia Techs Helms Hall of Fame. After Mr. Strupper died at a young age, Florence married and divorced a third husband, Ogden Geilfuss, before becoming Mrs. Everett N. McDonnell. Everett N. McDonnell was an engineer educated at Cornell University, and a prominent Chicago business man. The Everett N. McDonnell Foundation, incorporated in 1946,supports a variety of non-for-profit health, educational, cultural and other humanitarian institutions. One of Mrs. McDonnells major philanthropic interests was The Florence and Everett McDonnell Surgical Center at Piedmont Hospital, which was established in 1976 by a tift from Mrs. McDonnell and her late husband, who died before the Center was completed. With her continued financial support, the Center has expanded twice and more than doubled the number of operating rooms and space since it opened. As a charter memnber of the Piedmont Hospital Foundation Board, Mrs. McDonnell was instrumental in the acquisition of the yellow light laser used for the treatment of the portwine stain birthmark, especially effective in the treatment of children. A life member of the Womans Audiliary of Piedmont Hospital, Mrs. McDonnell supported the annual Piedmont Ball as Benefactor Extraordinaire for many years, benefiting numerous efforts at Piedmont Hospital. Until the Piedmont Hospital School of Nursing closed in 1983, she provided nursing scholarships for needy, scholastically qualified students. And when Piedmont internist, Ralph A. Murphy, M.D. wanted to start a summer camp for children with diabetes, Mrs. McDonnell helped fund the project, now known as Camp Liwidia (Living with Diabetes), located in north Georgia. "We were lucky to have someone who gave so selflessly to our community," said Thomas S. Harbin Jr., M.D., Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Piedmont Hospital. "Her grace, energy and generosity towards improving hospital services and facilities, preventing blindness, helping children receive medical care, reviving arts programs, and her countless other causes touched so many lives and made Atlanta a better place." In addition to her work at Piedmont Hospital, Florence McDonnell was deeply committed to saving sight. She was a major supporter of the Georgia Society to Prevent Blindness, and was honored by the organization for her outstanding contributions with a "People of Vision Award" in 1983. This particular philanthropy carried a strong personal interest for Mrs. McDonnell. Florence McDonnells generosity extended to numerous other health, cultural, educational and community causes throughout Atlanta, including the High Museum of Art, Fernbank Science Center, the Atlanta Humane Society, the Atlanta Chapter of the American Heart Association, former Egleston Childrens Hospital, the Atlanta Speech School, the Westminister Schools Episcopal Cathedral of St. Philip, Zoo Atlanta, Georgia Institute of Technology, The House Next Door, Visiting Nurses Association, The Salvation Army and the Boys and Girls Club. While she gave selflessly to so many worthwhile organizations, Flo-Flo is also fondly remembered as a beautiful, always fashionable lady who loved life, music, dancing, and parties topped the cake. Her favorite song was "Fascination" and she was truly a fascinating woman. Survivors include her daughter, Mrs. Wesley (Gwyneth) Moran of Atlanta; two granddaughters, Lee Moran of Atlanta, and Gwyneth Moran Dennard of Atlanta; husband Don; and three great grandchildren, Wesley, Gena, and Grace. Funeral service will be held 10 a.m. Monday, April 15, 2002, from the Cathedral of St. Philip. Family will receive guests at the Gould Reception Area at the Cathedral of St. Philip from 9:15 to 10 a.m., Monday morning. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be made to Humane Society of Atlanta, The Atlanta Speech School, Prevent Blindness Georgia, or Piedmont Hospital Foundation. Arrangements made by H.M. Patterson & Son, Spring Hill, 1020 Spring Street, Atlanta, Ga. 30309.
The Augusta Chronicle April 14, 2002