Lurline Fletcher - October 4, 1943 – March 24, 2018

Winter Park Has Lost a Treasure

Lurline Fletcher – October 4, 1943 – March 24, 2018

Winter Park lost one of its own when Lurline Daniels Fletcher passed away the night of Saturday, March 24, 2018. Ms. Fletcher, who died of natural causes, was surrounded by her family. She was 74.

Born October 4, 1943, to Hurley Daniels and Hattie Magee Daniels in Foxworth, Mississippi, Lurline moved with her family to Winter Park at the age of five. She was married to Robert Lloyd Fletcher, who died in 1978. She is survived by two sisters, Arzolia MacDonald and Hurley Mae Donaldson and a brother-in-law, James Donaldson. A step brother, Arthur Hall, predeceased her.

Lurline is also survived by three children, Kem Fletcher Jones, Nanette Walthour and Vanallen Berry. She also had nine grandchildren, 26 great grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren.

Lurline worked for many years at the Welbourne Avenue Nursery and Kindergarten as a teacher’s aide. She then attended nursing school, which she completed in the late 1970s, and subsequently went to work the Central Florida Kidney Center as a transporter.

Lurline was an active member of Mt. Moriah Missionary Baptist Church for more than 50 years. She loved to travel and particularly enjoyed cruises. She traveled to Hawaii and the Caribbean, among many other places. Lurline’s daughter Nanette said, “After her children were grown, her life consisted of helping others and traveling.”

Her children describe her as a wicked, exacting card player. “She loved to play cards,” said daughter Kem. “She always knew every card that had been played, and she never let us get away with anything.”

Most Winter Parkers will remember Lurline as a strong voice at City Hall, speaking out for the preservation of the character of Winter Park’s West Side. “Commission meetings will never be the same,” said Sally Flynn. “There never will be another Lurline Fletcher.”

Charley Williams observed that when Lurline was asked to quiet down, she just spoke louder. “I hope Winter Parkers will honor Lurline’s memory by always showing up, like she did,” said Williams, “wearing shades and their very best hat.”

Services will be held Monday, April 2, at 11:00 a.m. at Mt. Moriah Missionary Baptist Church at the corner of Pennsylvania and Lyman. The service will be conducted by Pastor Weaver Blondin. There will be a viewing at the church from 9:00 until 10:30 a.m. Lurline will be laid to rest at Washington Park Cemetery on Brewton Blvd. in Orlando. Tillman Funeral Home, 620 E. York St., Monticello FL 32344, is handling arrangements.

When asked for a word that described Lurline’s life, her children responded.
Kem: “Tenacity”
Nanette: “Family”
Vanallen: “Loving and caring”

Lurline’s legacy of civic engagement is as much a hallmark of Winter Park as are the live oaks that shelter the city she loved.

  • author's avatar

    By: Anne Mooney

    Anne Mooney has assumed the editorship of the Winter Park Voice from founding editor Tom Childers.

    Mooney got her start in New York as a freelance line editor for book publishers, among them Simon & Schuster and the Clarkson Potter division of Crown Books. From New York, she and her husband and their year-old toddler moved to Washington, D.C., where the two ran a newswire service for Harper’s magazine. “We called it Network News,” said Mooney, “because it was a network of the Harper’s writers, whose work we edited into newspaper style and format and sold to papers in the top U.S. and Canadian markets. We were sort of like a tiny UPI.”

    The newswire ceased operation with the death of Mooney’s first husband, but Mooney continued to write and edit, doing freelance work for Williams Sonoma cookbooks and for local publications in D.C.

    In 2005, Mooney moved to Winter Park, where she worked as a personal chef and wrote a regular food column for a south Florida magazine. She took an active interest in Winter Park politics and was there when the Winter Park Voice was founded. She wrote occasional pieces for the Voice, including the Childers bio that this piece replaces.

    The Winter Park Voice is one of a large number of “hyper-local” publications that have sprung up across the U.S. in response to the decline of the major daily newspapers and the resulting deficit of local news coverage. The Voice’sbeat is Winter Park City Hall, and its purpose is to help the residents of our city better understand the political forces that shape our daily lives.

  • author's avatar

14 replies
  1. Thaddeus Seymour says:

    Polly and I first knew Lurline when we were working on her daughter Kem’s Habitat house back in 1997. It was very much a family affair —Lurline’s mother, daughter and granddaughter pitched in — four generations! She continued to be a friend of Habitat from then on, as a volunteer and as a cheerleader. I saw her at our current construction site on Lyman just a few weeks ago. What a loss to our community, both as a friend and as a powerful example of standing up for what she (and so many of us) care about and believe. It’s hard to imagine a Commission meeting without her. She will be missed as a devoted citizen and dear friend.

    Reply
  2. Margie Bridges says:

    Lurline Fletcher was a “pillar” of our community.

    Now, she never held public office, she never rubbed elbows at cocktail parties with the wealthy “names” of Winter Park’s country club set, but she was a pillar of the community, none the less.

    She did this by speaking truth to power on a regular basis by participating in our constitutionally granted right to self government.

    For years she was a constant attendee at city commission meetings, frequently speaking up for all residents of Winter Park, expressing her concerns over increased density issues, loss of tree canopy and concern for traffic congestion and cut thru traffic in neighborhoods.

    Although she lived on the West Side of Winter Park, she spoke regularly on behalf of all Winter Park residents.
    She was like a “canary in the mine”, warning every Commission when she felt that their actions were destroying the community that she loved.

    And unlike today’s generation, who yell and curse and insult others who disagree with them; she spoke quietly, and respectfully…… tirelessly reminding the Commission that not only was her West Side of Winter Park being destroyed, but all of Winter Park residents were losing the unique charm of our city.

    Her immediate family and friends will certainly miss her, but we will ALL miss her because she was truly one of our community’s pillars. She was fierce and passionate and strong, and she loved her family and her community. We will miss you Lurline.

    Reply
    • Mary R Randall says:

      Lurline’s family can surely be proud of all the beautiful tributes voiced about her here and throughout our city. Lurline
      was a force to be reckoned with and was loved and
      respected by all who had the good fortune to know her.

      We will go on & our city will go on but it will never be the
      same without Lurline.

      Reply
  3. Beth Hall says:

    What an example she set for all. A tireless advocate for the voiceless. She was and shall remain an inspiration. No commission meeting will ever be the same. Nor will Winter Park. Well done, Lurline, well done.

    Reply
  4. Maggie DeVane says:

    I was proud to know Ms. Fletcher. We took the Citizens’ Fire Academy together. She rapelled off the fire house, dressed in fire gear, and crawled into the burning building. I will miss her smiles. Love to her family.

    Reply
  5. WP Political Analyst says:

    Winter Park’s West Side has lost its secret weapon.

    Massive campaign war chests and the most influential people in Winter Park politics were no match for the plain spoken lady from Foxworth, Mississippi who called Winter Park “home.”

    If Rollins College ever awards post humus doctorate degrees in Applied Political Science, Lurline Fletcher should be on the top of their list.

    While many bemoan the many architectural and quality of life changes to the West Side in recent years, few realize how much worse it would have been were it not for Ms. Fletcher, a lady who brought much joy to the hearts of those with a kindred sprit, and who sent political foes searching for Alka-Seltzer simply by entering a City Commission meeting.

    All the “studies,” “plans,” “reports,” “staff recommendations,” “Chamber endorsements,””renderings,” “economic impacts,” and other arguments for re-development seemed to collapse the moment Ms. Fletcher stepped to the public comment microphone at City Hall, and in her characteristic unpretentious and unrehearsed manner would say something like, “It’s gonna block my breeze.”

    Someone should go through all the City Commission minutes, find which meetings Ms. Fletcher attended, pull the audio files from each meeting, and make a YouTube video compiling her very best comments, as a course in the fine art of Public Comment, for West Side residents both now and in the future, and for those similarly public spirited across the country to hear and learn from the master.

    In today’s world of big campaign finances and computerized voting that makes the will of the people an uncertainty at the polls, the “low-tech” example of Lurline Fletcher proves that winning without electing is possible, and even probable, when just the right pressure is applied. And that lost art form is what Winter Park residents seeking change desperately need in these turbulent political times.

    A warlord has passed. Her legacy lives on. She will be missed. Never forgotten.

    Reply
  6. A Video Tribute says:

    On November 1, 2017, Ms. Fletcher spoke at the City Commission meeting that unveiled the plans for the complex expected to be built with the bond funds in MLK Park.

    She spoke for 3 minutes that evening in what is classic Lurline Fletcher style that has won the affection and admiration of her fellow Winter Park residents for years. Her comments begin at 1:24 on the video link:

    Forward to 1:24:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SfTD5wFyLrY

    Reply
  7. Alice Scruggs says:

    Wow! Words cannot express my sympathy to the Fletcher family whom I grew up with her children (Kem and Nanette). We all live across the street from each other. Ms. Lurline and I attended the same church (Mt. Moriah MB Church) even Kem and Nanette; we all sang together in the choir. Growing up as a child I will always remember Ms. Lurline being a hard worker, raising her children, taking care of her mother and grandmother. As I become grown and left Winter Park to start college, when I would return home to visit my mother and go to church she would always keep me informed of Kem’s whereabouts. It is hard to believe that she has gone home but she is now in heaven with her Creator! Rest on Ms. Lurline until we meet again. The Scruggs family.

    Reply
    • Shelia Reid says:

      She was a loving and kind person. Although I attended school with her daughters, our friendship grew when both of us were caregivers for our mothers. She encouraged me to hang on in there during my weak moments. She also talked me into coming to City Hall meetings as well. I was amazed how she showed true courage as she spoke exactly what was on her mind. To her children, I know you will continue her legacy and you are blessed that her love is in each of you. Love y’all!

      Reply

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