THE LIFE OF
FLORENCIA MAYLEE JONES MACK
Florencia Maylee Jones Mack, affectionately known as “Florence” was born on July 3, 1928 to the late Alfred and Mable Evelyn Jones. Florence was always proud of her West Indian and Spanish roots. Her two sisters Lorelle and Violet, niece Joyce and husband William Kenneth Mack all preceded her in death.
Florencia was born and raised at 16th & Reed in South Philadelphia. She was educated in the Philadelphia Public School System attending Childs Elementary School, Barratt Junior High School and South Philadelphia High School for Girls. Florencia also studied at the former Combs College of Music. Florencia began taking piano and organ lessons at an early age. She wrote in her yearbook from Junior High School in 1943 that her ambition was to become a Music Directress. Not only did she fulfill her childhood dream, she excelled in the profession.
Florencia grew up in a religious environment. Her father followed the Catholic faith and her mother Evelyn raised her three girls in the Christian Faith. Florence accepted the Lord at an early age, and
the three girls were all baptized at the Mount Hebron Baptist Church in South Philadelphia. Evelyn
and the girls later became members of the Tasker Street Missionary Baptist Church under the late
Rev. Dr. Henry T. McCrary.
Florencia’s fulfilling and rewarding musical career expanded over a 70 year period. Florencia gave private piano, organ and vocal lessons at her home. One of her most proudest moments as a teacher was watching two former students Rosemarie Coleman and Alfred Burton excel in their music careers. Through music she comforted many grieving families at the Harper, Powell, Baker, Reynolds, Nimmons, Wescott and Fountain Funeral Homes. Florencia was employed at the Ray Funeral Home for over 25 years as the Organist. What brought Florencia the greatest joy was leading and directing the church’s Male, Gospel and Sanctuary Choirs.
Her signature performances were Cantatas written by one of her favorite song writers, John W. Peterson. She played and directed these cantatas during the Easter and Christmas seasons (No Greater Love,
The Last Week, It Took A Miracle, Carol of Christmas, The Story of Christmas, The Wonder of Christmas). She served in the capacity of Organist and Musical Directress for the True Vine Baptist Church, Transfiguration Baptist Church, Tasker Street Missionary Baptist Church, Simpson Fletcher United Methodist Church and Berry Long United Methodist Church. Florencia was fluent in playing
all genres of music, however, Hymns, Traditional Gospel, Anthems and Negro Spirituals brought
her the most gratification.
Florencia was known for her dominant, feisty and humorous personality. She was a stern and firm teacher. She was serious about music and required the same expectations of her students and choir members. Florencia loved to read and when she wasn’t playing music, she was reading the newspapers.
Florencia sponsored annual concerts for her piano students and choirs in various venues across the City of Philadelphia. Florencia was on the teaching staff at the Mitchell’s Music School. Florencia received many awards and recognitions throughout her career.
On October 24, 2010, Florencia was confirmed as Musician Emeritus at the Simpson Fletcher
United Methodist Church. Florencia’s fraternal affiliations included: Musician for Caroline E. Boardley #49 Order of Eastern Star; Past Royal Perfect Matron Prince Eleazar #3; Grand Organist and Past Most Ancient Matron for Heroines of Jericho #13; Grand Organist and Past Royal Commandress of Magdalene #4 Order of Cyrenes. Florencia served as president of the 2400 Cumberland Street
Block Club for 20 years. She was a member of the Lehigh Senior Center where she enjoyed bible
study every Monday.
On October 8, 2011, Eugene George, Florencia’s life partner and soul mate for more than 35 years preceded her in death. Eugene was the joy of Florencia and Kenesta’s life. Eugene and Florencia traveled and shared many special moments. Eugene’s children and family became Florencia and Kenesta’s family and the years that followed were filled with inspiration, hope and love.
Florence’s final eight days of life were spent at the Methodist/Vitas Hospice in South Philadelphia. The staff there ensured that those moments of transition were peaceful, comforting and meaningful. Florencia passed away of Thursday August 16, 2012. Florencia is laid to rest at the National Historic Laurel Hill Cemetery in Philadelphia, PA.
HER FAVORITE MUSIC