Memorial for Florence Caroline McMullin will be May 20 at Des Moines City Hall


Longtime Des Moines resident and activist Florence Caroline McMullin recently passed away, and a memorial for her will be held from 1 – 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 20 at Des Moines City Hall.

Here’s her obituary:

Florence Caroline McMullin was born in Chicago, Illinois, on September 3, 1931. She met her husband, Richard Arthur McMullin in Beloit, Wisconsin, where they were married in 1951. Florence and Richard moved to the Seattle area in 1955 with their two young daughters, made a home in Burien, Washington, and added one more daughter to their family. Richard preceded Florence in death in 1978 and Florence never remarried. Florence resettled in Des Moines, Washington, where she spent many happy years.

Florence was a long-time advocate for libraries, criminal defendants, the Democratic Party, and the Des Moines, Washington Community.

She got involved with libraries in the 1970’s, fighting those who would censor what the shelves contained. A strong and successful advocate for establishing the Des Moines library on S. 216th Street, Florence had served on the Board of Trustees for the King County Library System, including a stint as President of the Board, and as Chair of the Washington Library Association’s Intellectual Freedom Committee. She was elected as a trustee of the national Freedom to Read Foundation, and was the only non-librarian member of the American Library Association’s Intellectual Freedom Committee.

Florence’s passion for fairness and equitable treatment under the law led her to serve as a volunteer for the King County Public Defender’s office, fighting to ensure that indigent criminal defendants had the best defense possible. Florence worked hard to bolster the under-funded, and under-staffed efforts of public defenders to give their clients a fair shot in court.

A passionate member of the Democratic party, Florence worked hard to elect candidates from the late 1960’s through 2015. She was an active member of the 33rd District Democrats (and the 34th District Democrats before that.) Her activism led her to legislative session work in Olympia for a short time.

The Des Moines, Washington community was the beneficiary of her many hours of community activism and volunteerism. Florence participated in the Mayor’s leadership summit that laid the foundation for enhanced public safety, the establishment of a farmers market, and the reestablishment of an arts commission. She co-chaired the successful campaign to fund additional police positions, and served on the reestablished Des Moines Arts Commission, the Senior Services Advisory Committee, and the Human Services Advisory Committee. Florence also lent her support to numerous City Council candidates who successfully were elected to serve our community.

Florence is survived by her three daughters, Debbie, Sandy, and Dana, her three grandchildren, Darcy, Jennie, and Bret, and her faithful and loving dog Charlie. She was laid to rest at Lake View Cemetery in Seattle, next to her husband Richard, on April 21st.

A gathering to remember Florence will be held on May 20, 2017, at Des Moines City Hall in the Council Chambers, from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm. All friends and extended family are invited to attend this gathering and share time together remembering Florence.


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