Florence Beatrice Nyberg
October 24, 1937 – April 17, 2018
Florence “Flo” Beatrice (Daniloff) Nyberg 1937-2018
Flo Nyberg, loving mother, loyal cousin and friend, passed away peacefully at Swedish Hospital Cherry Hill on Tuesday, April 17, 2018. Flo was 80 years old, and had been a resident of Providence Mount St. Vincent in West Seattle for the past five years. Flo loved her assisted living apartment at the Mount and leaves behind countless friends, both residents and staff, who loved her for her usually cheery disposition, her friendliness, and her warm heart.
Flo fiercely and fearlessly faced an array of debilitating health issues. She never complained, only longed for her next chance to break free from her regular short-term stays on fifth floor Rehab, usually from recurring issues brought about by her diabetes. Flo was a survivor, an optimist, and everybody’s favorite cheerleader. No matter how much suffering she endured, Flo constantly encouraged those around her who were struggling by befriending them, listening to their stories, empathizing with their situations, and showering them with compliments and kindness. Flo held a volunteer position for the past three years doing office work at the Mount, working with her friend, Pat, every Friday afternoon. She loved feeling needed, and her “job” was very important to her.
Flo was born in Seattle on October 24, 1937, to parents Florence Beatrice Lough and Karl Basil Daniloff. Her mother Florence, born in Seattle, was quite an accomplished sketch and drawing artist, and earned a degree in Art from Washington State University. Florence Lough was the daughter of the prominent family who owned Lough Motors, Inc., an auto dealership company on Rainier Avenue South. Florence’s brothers (Flo’s uncles) Curtiss and Charles sold Lough Motors to Frederick Pontiac-Buick in 1992. Her sister, Flo’s Aunt Edna Quale, who deeply loved and watched over niece Fluffy until her death in the 1980s, spent her career as the personal secretary to J.D. Ross and his newly established Seattle City Light Company. Flo’s father, Karl, born in Riga, Latvia in 1899, fled his childhood home in Russia during the Revolution when he was 21 years old, initially living with his sister Olga and family in Harbin, China, until the YMCA of China sponsored his passage to the U.S. in 1920. Karl worked odd jobs, while staying at the YMCA in Seattle before continuing his university education at Washington State University, where he met his future wife, Florence, and earned his degree in Agricultural Sciences. Karl went on to earn a Master’s Degree at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Karl and new wife Florence settled back in Seattle, where he was a career employed chemist at Monsanto Chemical, and was a major contributor to the development of Vanillin, an artificial vanilla flavoring. In later years, Karl worked for the University of Washington as a Russian translator in the Washington National Primate Research Center.
Sadly, Flo’s mother Florence passed away delivering her, and left a grieving new father temporarily unable to care for his newborn daughter, so little Flo or “Fluffy” as she became affectionately known, spent the first nine months of her life in the excellent care of the nurses at Seattle Children’s Home on Queen Anne Hill. Karl later married his wife’s best friend, Ragnhild (Rainy) Haagensen in 1938. It was she who raised Fluffy as her own child. Rainy and her family were recent Danish immigrants, and Rainy’s sister, Agnes Uhlman, had four daughters: Carol, Barbie, Peggy and Karen, who became more like Fluffy’s sisters than her cousins throughout their childhood years, growing up together. Fluff and her cousins still remain very close.
Flo grew up in West Seattle, and attended Jefferson Elementary, Madison Junior High, and graduated in 1955 from West Seattle High School, where she met her future husband, Dick Nyberg. To this day, Flo remained close to many of her High School friends, including childhood playmates Patsy (Kaald) and Gwen (Howard) Nesheim, Marion and Mike Anderson, Karen and Doug Miller, and Sandra Dahl. Flo went on to complete one year of study at what was then known as Seattle Pacific College, now SPU, before marrying Dick in November, 1956.
Flo gave birth to two daughters, Beverly Jean in 1960 and Julie Anne in 1962. When Flo and Dick divorced in 1968, Flo went to work for King County Medical in downtown Seattle. This experience would eventually lead Flo to UW Hospital, where she worked in the hospital billing department as a financial counselor for many years. Flo worked several other places between 1968 and 2010, including several years as an Activity Director at both Queen Anne Health Care and Moderncare Nursing Home, but she always said her UW job was the one she missed the most. Flo spent her final two years of employment working in the front office of the West Seattle Herald. A perfect job for her, as she was so outgoing and friendly, greeting customers and assisting the staff. And Flo was somewhat of a novice “news reporter” herself, since she thrived on keeping everyone up to date on the breaking news of the day.
Flo adored Alki Beach and spent many of her summer days there, enjoying the views, the sunshine, and the interesting people she would meet. Even when she was confined to a wheelchair in 2013, her daughters made sure she was still able to “cruise the beach” at least once a week, year-round. And a lunch stop at Spud’s always made her day!
Flo was very active in her church choir at West Side Presbyterian, and thoroughly loved singing under the direction of Careen Smith. Choir was a big part of her life. Flo was also a pianist who enjoyed playing Chopin, especially his Military Polonaise. Flo was a charter member and founder of West Side’s 40+ Club. She told many funny stories about their years of “field trip” adventures together. Mary Beck, along with Jay and Priscilla Mauer were an important part of her 40+ gang among many other 40+ West Siders.
Flo is survived by her daughters, Bev Nyberg (Kris Vasquez), Julie Nyberg (Don Delano) Seattle; her cousins Carol Folsom and family, Woodinville; Barbara Nelson (Dale), Winnipeg, Manitoba; Karen Seims (Jack) and family, Lynnwood; Vera Martynenko, Dalnegorsk, Primorsky Krai, Russia; Konstantin Martynenko, Osaka, Japan; Alyona Martynenko, Anaheim, California; step-granddaughters Marie Dalton (Travis), Brooke Vasquez (J.T.), great step-grandchildren Cole Trotignon, Bobby and Lily Dalton, Auburn; and all the members of the Dugan and Vasquez families.
A Celebration of Life for Flo Nyberg will be held on Thursday, May 3, 1 pm at West Side Presbyterian Church in West Seattle, 3601 California Avenue S.W. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to Flo’s favorite charity: Wheelchairs for Nigeria: www.wheelchairsfornigeria.org.
- Wheelchairs for Nigeria
- A Celebration of Life Thursday, May 3, 2018