Florence P. ‘Chic’ Maclise

Florence P. ‘Chic’ MacliseFlorence P. “Chic” Maclise was born Dec. 11, 1915, to Louis and Laura Carrington Gehrum in Detroit, Mich. She died at age 102 on Jan. 1, 2018, in Ridgecrest.

She lived in Ridgecrest from the early 1940s until the ’70s and again from 2009 until her death. She was involved with the local chapter of the VFW, DAV and the Pink Ladies in the early days.

In 1952 she went to work in the photo lab on base, eventually moving over to the Supply Department in 1958 and finally transferring to the Planning Division in 1966, where she worked as a computer system analyst until her retirement. When she retired, her boss wrote that it took a GS-13, a GS-9 and a GS-5 to do the same job she had been doing. In 1958 she won the title “Our Fair Lady” of the Desert Empire Fair.

In 1970 she married Deming Maclise, and upon retirement they moved from Ridgecrest to Fallbrook where she joined the Fallbrook Hospital Auxiliary, volunteering almost 20,000 hours from 1976 until 2008 when she was honored for her work and dedication. She hand crocheted and donated hundreds of blankets for newborns. She loved working on the auxiliary newspaper, doing amateur photograph, and serving in whatever office or capacity that was needed in the many organizations she joined over the years, no matter where she lived. In 1997 she was awarded the Certificate of Honor by Soroptimist International for “Women Helping Women.”

During her early years in Ridgecrest, she often took us kids exploring at Fossil Falls, Coso Hot Springs, Wild Horse Mesa, Lake Isabella, Kern River, Trona Pinnacles, Red Rock Canyon and every desert road she thought our car could handle without getting stuck! She was always very adventurous, roller skating for her 75th birthday, going hot-air ballooning for her 80th and 85th birthdays and taking a glider ride with son-in-law Corky for her 90th birthday in Hawaii, which she claimed was not exciting enough, so she went skydiving (pictured)! She went on a 40-mile Harley ride with a neighbor for her 92nd birthday and went zip-lining at the Wild Animal Park with grandson Jason and his wife Vicky for her 93rd birthday. She was a very spry 4-foot, 11-inch dynamo until her mid 90s!

Mom was preceded in death by her parents, two sisters, husbands Keith Walker (1959) and Deming Maclise (2000), daughter Ann Harris and two grandsons. She is survived by daughters Kay Furnish (Corky) of Ridgecrest and Janet Jones (Joe) of Thousand Oaks, son Jeff Walker of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., six grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren.

Per her wishes, cremation will be private with no service. The family would like to thank High Desert Haven for loving care over the years, both in the assisted living facility, and for the past year and a half in the new dementia wing. The whole staff provided compassionate care and understanding not only to Mom, but to the entire family.

— Submitted by the loved ones of Florence Maclise

Story First Published: 2018-01-12