Florence Evelyn Franks
Florence Evelyn Franks (Florence Rostein)

September 28, 1908September 15, 2006 (97 years old)
Hometown: Vancouver, BC
September 28, 1908September 15, 2006
(97 years old) | Vancouver, BC

Life Story


Florence was born on September 28, 1908 in Seattle Wa. Her parents were Joseph Rostein and Frances (Frankie) Goldberg who were married in 1902 in Montreal Canada. Florence had an older brother, Eugene who passed away at the age of 18 (1903 – 1922) whose passing devastated the family.  Eugene was handsome, brilliant and talented and was very protective of his little sister.  He would caution his mother to not dress Florence too attractively as it would attract attention to his beautiful little sister.   

Joseph Rostein (passed in 1951 at 77) was one of seven children and part of a travelling family of entertainers was born in Keokuk, Iowa.  He had moved to Victoria, B.C. but visited Montreal, met Frankie Goldberg, (passed in 1960 at 76) fell in love and married her at age 29 in 1902 when Frankie was 19.  Frankie’s parents were Flora Jacobs and David Goldberg of Vancouver, Canada.  Frankie had two brothers, Hyam and Bert.  Joseph and Frankie moved from Victoria via Philadelphia to Seattle.

Florence’s early years were extremely sad and stressful after her brother passed away.  Joseph and Frankie spent two years trying to save Eugene by travelling to Mayo Clinic and other medical providers in an attempt to save their son.  All to no avail but all the family resources, financial and emotional were exhausted after his passing.  Her parents were devastated and life never returned to normal for Florence.  Her parents seemed to forget they had a child who needed a normal family life and that never returned.

Florence was exceptionally bright and a straight “A” student and should have gone on to university, having won scholarships but the family had used all of financial resources and Florence had to go to work to help support the family.  The family had moved from Seattle to Vancouver and then to Los Angeles, CA where Florence went to school and graduated from the Los Angeles High School in 1927.

Florence met Myer on a visit to Vancouver and they were married in 1934. They had two sons, Gordon (1937) and Norman (1939).  Myer died in 1948 at the age of 53 leaving Florence, at age 39, with two young children eight and ten, a car she couldn’t drive and a business she did not know how to run. 

Florence demonstrated innate business ability. She hired live-in house keepers, took four street cars each day to the steel drum reconditioning plant which Myer had started and began liquidating the inventory and then leased out the property to others to secure an income.  She also carried on a coffee bag wholesaling business that Myer had started. She moved the family from a large home to a smaller duplex, one side the family lived in and the other side was rented out.  She sold the Buick and later learned to drive.  She knew the value of owning land and later in life purchased land and built small warehouses as investments. Her bank manager once pulled her aside to compliment her on the financial management she was displaying and said most widows he had encountered had lost most their money eventually.

Later in life, at age 47, Florence married Alfred J. Horie.  He was in the construction business and soon after their marriage, Florence spotted a vacant lot in Shaughnessy which they purchased and Alfred built a new home for the family.  The new marriage allowed Florence to travel and see parts of the world that never could she have thought of visiting.

Florence was very generous to her boys.  At every stage of her life, once she had accumulated investments and assets, she made a point of sharing those with them. The boys were the beneficiaries of a wrap-around annuity and companion life insurance policy.  When the arrangements had been made she asked: what damn-fool insurance company would insure a 79 year old biddie?

Florence was of a sterling character.  She was gracious, poised, proper and refined; a very private person, terrific baker and cook.  Her world revolved around her boys.  When Myer passed away, her natural instincts would have been to return to Los Angeles where her mother and father still lived.  She rejected that option as it would have meant her boys would be subject to the US draft. The Korean War started a few years later.  The summer after Myer passed away, Florence ensured the boys had a camping experience but did not want to be separated from them, so she volunteered to be the camp nurse (a mother must have some nursing skills!).

Florence idolized her brother, loved her husband and sons and respected her parents.  She was a wonderful cook and baker and entertained beautifully. Florence passed away September 15, 2006.  She was loved and respected by all who knew her.