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Florence Beach Nickum, 83

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Florence Nickum died Wednesday, June 23, 2010, at the age of 83.

She was born Feb. 19, 1927, in Rochester, Minn., the daughter of Gerald and Katherine (Beach) Nickum.

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Florence married Zane Chaffee on June 2, 1944. Four children were born to this union. The couple later divorced.

Florence described herself as "an awestruck citizen of the universe." Her active and curious mind led her to explore many different ideas, to obtain her bachelor's degree at the age of 55, and to take university courses as recently as this spring. She especially treasured her travels to England, Spain and Israel.

Closer to home, Flo could most often be found at the Dish & Spoon coffee shop either knitting or reading. She was also a big supporter of the River Falls Public Library.

She was a familiar sight to many who saw her walking her daily circuit along Main Street and the White Pathway - a practice she continued even when forced to make use of a walker, which of course had to be a shiny cherry red one with all the 'bells and whistles.'

Florence is survived by her brothers, Robert (Nadine) Nickum, Stewartville, Minn., and John (Mary) Nickum, Fountain Hills, Ariz.; sons, Kirk (Katie) Chaffee, River Falls, and Michael (Jan Wrzos), Grantsburg; daughter, Mary Kateada; and grandchildren, Rachel Swan, Manette Swan, Cassie White, Reggie White, Josephine Chaffee, Anna Chaffee Zalusky, Luke Chaffee, Sara Chaffee Braveheart, Matthew Chaffee, and Yoshie Fujimoto-Kateada.

Her parents, her former husband, and her oldest daughter, Anne (Swan) White, preceded her in death.

An informal memorial gathering will be held from 5-8 p.m. Wednesday, July 7, at the Dish & Spoon Café, 208 N. Main St.

There will be no other service.

Arrangements are with Bakken-Young Funeral Cremation Service of River Falls.

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