DURHAM-Florence Taylor McDow died peacefully on March 4, 2012, surrounded by her parents and grandparents. She was six years old, the daughter of Will and Leslie McDow. Her sister Laura Mishler McDow was her best friend.
Florence was born in Durham, North Carolina, baptized at First Presbyterian Church, lived in Trinity Park, and attended Watts Elementary School. She loved the children, families, and pets in her neighborhood. Her short life was filled with much joy and love, and she demonstrated a capacity for loving others — and for receiving love — that far exceeded her age.
Florence spent some of her happiest moments at Pawley’s Island, South Carolina; Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia; and the mountains of Western North Carolina. Her favorite color was purple, and she took great delight in the adventures of Curious George and Madeline.
Florence developed an exceptionally close relationship with her four grandparents: Clarkson and Mary Ann McDow of Rock Hill, South Carolina and Jim and Diane Goff of Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia.
Florence’s four-year battle against a rare auto-immune disease was an inspiration to all who knew her. She underwent two bone marrow transplants and endured several extended hospital stays with an indomitable spirit. Her infectious smile won the hearts of her caretakers every time.
One of her last acts was to address Valentines with her mother and deliver them with her grandfather to the other children in the Pediatric Bone Marrow Clinic floor.
She and her family are indebted to the love, care, and support they received from their friends and family, the community of First Presbyterian Church, and the Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplant Unit at Duke University, among many others. A child of the internet-age, Florence’s network of well-wishers stretched around the globe.
Funeral services will be held today, March 7 at 4:00 pm from First Presbyterian Church, 305 E. Main St., Durham.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Duke Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplant Unit’s Family Support Program Checks should be made out to Duke University with “In Memory of Florence McDow” in the memo line. They should be mailed to: Family Support Program
Duke University Medical Center, 1400 Morreene Rd. Durham, NC 27705 The McDow family is under the care of Hall-Wynne Funeral Service, Durham. Online condolences: www.hallwynne.com, Select obituaries.