Florence Cupps Stickney
August 3, 1921 – January 9, 2021
Florence Cupps Stickney, 99, of Williamsburg, Virginia died Saturday, January 9 at Sentara Hospital Williamsburg. Born in Butler, Pennsylvania, she was the second of seven children of the late Harry E. and Rose McLaughlin Cupps.
Florence’s fondest memories from her youth were of growing up in Butler with her four brothers and two sisters. Life with them was full of silly pranks, laughter and love. Florence was always a good student. She graduated at the top of her class, but following high school, there were few good jobs for women in Butler. So, in February 1942 at the age of 20, as the United States was going to war, Florence left home for Washington, D.C. to join the cadre of other young women from around the country moving to the nation’s capital to serve the federal government.
Florence worked as a secretary at the Department of Agriculture, first with the Rural Electrification Administration and later the Office of Information. One of her responsibilities was to track how every Congressman and Senator voted on any bill related to the work of the Department of Agriculture. She learned the names and states of all the members of Congress, and this fueled her life-long interest in politics.
At the Department of Agriculture in 1949, Florence met and became friends with Ben Stickney. Six years later, they were married. Florence and Ben had one daughter, Pamela, and though she continued to work at several different jobs, she devoted most of her time to raising her daughter.
The young family moved to Maryland and later Virginia. When Ben retired in 1969, they moved to Venice, Florida, where they lived for four years before finally settling in Williamsburg in 1973. Florence was a 45-year resident of Barclay Square. She worked for several years in the Placement Office of the College of William and Mary. Ben died in 1984, and Florence was a widow for 37 years. In August, she celebrated her 99th birthday at Brookdale Chambrel, where she resided during the last year.
Florence was a strong-willed, independent woman. A life-long Democrat, she was an avid follower and reader of politics and government. She loved animals and was a supporter of numerous charities. But the center of her life was always her daughter, her six siblings and their children.
Florence leaves behind her daughter and son-in-law, Pamela and James Pettengell of Williamsburg; four step-grandchildren, Guy Pettengell and his wife Tamara of Orlando, Florida; Miles Pettengell and his wife Amy of Williamsburg; Paul Stickney of New York City; and Stephanie Stickney of Austin, Texas; four step-great grandchildren, Madison and Lacie Pettengell of Williamsburg; and Niall and Ian Pettengell of Orlando; and 12 loving nieces and nephews and their families.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 29 years, Benjamin R. Stickney and six brothers and sisters, Mary Marjorie Cratty, Helen McGuirk, Regis Cupps, Alfred Cupps, Francis Cupps and Eugene Cupps.
Florence will be buried alongside Ben in Port Henry, New York, and a celebration of her life will be planned at a later date. Remembrances may take the form of donations to the Heritage Humane Society, 430 Waller Mill Road, Williamsburg, VA 23185.
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Florence Cupps Stickney
January 15, 2021
Pam and Jim, Sympathy on the loss of your mother. I know how devoted you were to her. Please take care of yourselves and each other! You’re in my thoughts. Lou Powers
January 13, 2021
From your next door neighbor at Barclay Square, Florence, you will be missed. Will miss waving to you through the window when I come home. You were always so friendly & nice to me.
January 11, 2021
Although I never met Mrs. Stickney, I knew her daughter, Pam. It is obvious there was excellent parenting in place. May God bless the family as they all grieve this loss. The sadness takes awhile to abate, but it will. Good thoughts and smiles about the good times truly help. My best to you all.
January 9, 2021
I knew Florence as “Mrs. Stickney,” mother of Pam, my best childhood friend and next door neighbor. I loved being at their house, and always felt that Florence was a wise, loving woman with a quiet laugh and sharp mind. She had class and grace and genuine kindness. Sending love to Pam and the whole family at this time of loss and sweet remembrance.
January 9, 2021
I was only in 2nd grade but remember her and the dress she wore to my grandparents 50th anniversary dinner. I can see her, I will say floating, around in it. I thought she was lovely. I came to realize what one can see from the photograph, she was a true beauty and very smart.
I also remember her telling stories of her and her brothers and sisters growing up and the laughter they brought to those stories. Many focused on the dinner table and told to us at that same table. They were the sons and daughters of a proudly Irish woman. And as such, resilient.
I think we all inherited a bit of our interest in politics from Aunt Florence as well as Dad. I know he loved her very much and loved seeing your family on visits home.
There is comfort in knowing, as Christine said, she is at that table again.