Lauderhill declares the month of April 2015 ‘Luereen Flournoy Month’
Flournoy receives a birthday gift from the City of Lauderhill in honor of her 100th birthday
Pictured (l-r): Commissioner Ken Thurston, Luereen Flournoy, Mayor Richard Kaplan, and Commissioner M. Margaret Bates.
By Charles Moseley
During a ceremony on April 13, before the Lauderhill City Commission, centurion Luereen Flournoy was all smiles, as city officials designated the month of April, 2015, as “Luereen Flournoy Month.” Flournoy recently celebrated her 100th birthday on April 11, 2015.
The following proclamation bestowing the honor upon Luereen Flournoy, requested by Commissioner Kenneth Thurston reads as follows;
“I, Richard J. Kaplan, Mayor of the City of Lauderhill, along with Vice Mayor Hayward J. Benson Jr., Commissioners: M. Margaret Bates, Ken Thurston, and Howard Berger, do hereby proclaim the month of April, 2015 as: “Luereen Flournoy Month.”
“This community has been so nice and good to me. Anything I’ve needed they seem to give to me. And I try to help people. I treat people like I want to be treated. I would like to thank everybody who came out tonight. I appreciate you from the bottom of my heart,” said Flournoy.
Mrs. Flournoy is a resident of the City of Lauderhill. She has had a distinguished history of service to her church, to her community, and to her family. So we thought that it would be fitting that we would honor her on her 100th birthday,” said Commissioner Thurston.
Two of Flournoy’s biggest fans, her daughter Louise J. Evins and son Robert Flournoy joined in the celebration and reflected on how they felt about their mother.
“My mom was kind of strict but the kind of person who would always be there when I needed. She would always say, ‘Whatever goes around comes around’,” said Louise.
“What made my mom so special was the way she feels about everybody else. She cared more about everybody else than she did herself,” added her son Robert.
Flournoy was born on April 11, 1915 in Coolidge, Ga. She truly is one of Broward County’s living legends. She, along with her husband the late Clarence Flournoy, joined thousands of African Americans who migrated from parts of northern Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas, beginning during the early 20th century. They arrived in Miami in 1939 before moving to Broward County 10 years later. These Black pioneers came to South Florida in search of employment opportunities and a better life for their families.
Who could imagine that she would live to see a nation’s transformation from a segregated society where “Colored People,” were systematically forced to lived as second class citizens; denied the right to vote, Flournoy joined tens of millions of African Americans who participated in the election of this nation’s first person of color, when Barack Hussein Obama, was elected President of the United States, first in 2008 and again in 2012.
Two people who came out to share in this special moment included Lillian Small, a long time neighbor and Samuel Meredith Moseley III, a part of Flournoy’s extended family. They summed up what many who knew Flournoy, just how special she was throughout her community and among church members at the New Mount Olive Baptist Church in Fort Lauderdale.
“Mrs. Flournoy was our neighbor for over 50 years. She and my mother were very good friends for many, many years. I would go over to her house as a little girl of 13, every Saturday to eat her coconut cake that she loved so much and play with her two children Juanita and Robert. She was just a very lovable person,” said Small.
“Mrs. Flournoy was only my second mother. I mean the best cook I knew, just a respite. When I would go over to their house it was like I was on vacation. She treated me like her son. So she was more than a neighbor,” added Moseley.
Mrs. Flournoy’s love of family, friends, and church were duly noted in the following excerpts taken from the City’s Proclamation.
Whereas, Although Mrs. Flournoy worked for a company for 10 years, most of her life she has worked as a seamstress. Until today, she does alterations for friends and family; and
Whereas, Mrs. Flournoy joined Mt. Olive Baptist Church on Mother’s Day 1944. For over 25 years, she sang in the church choir, and taught Sunday school to five and six year old kids. She still attends Mt. Olive services every Sunday as well as Women’s Missionary Society Bible Study every Wednesday night before attending the regular Wednesday night Bible Study; and
Whereas, Mrs. Flournoy visits nursing homes every Thursday spreading good cheer to residents by playing games and teaching seniors art and crafts; and
Whereas, Since moving to Broward in 1949, Mrs. Flournoy has lived in Castle Gardens for the last seven years. She lives alone and is totally independent. She only stopped driving last year; and
Whereas, Mrs. Flournoy is
adored by not only her children, who states that everyone who knows Mrs. Flournoy loves her, but also by her many “church children”. In addition, everyone who knows Mrs. Flournoy can attest to the fact she is always wearing a contagious smile.