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F. R. McKenney, garden club leader


Florence R. McKenney, who headed the Federated Garden Clubs of Maryland and won an award for leadership as a Red Cross volunteer, died May 1 at Church Home of complications of Alzheimer's disease.

The 81-year-old Woodbrook resident held a number of other garden club posts and was president of the Woodbrook-Murray Hill Garden Club in 1979 when it decided to celebrate its 25th anniversary by replanting the median strip of Charles Street above Bellona Avenue.

She had served as regional director of the National Council of State Garden Clubs and was active at the Cylburn Wildflower Preserve and Garden Center.

The Red Cross gave her its John T. Menzies Citation for 35 years of volunteer work.

She also had served as chairman of the trustees of the Hampton National Historic Site Committee, vice president of the Baltimore Civic Opera Guild, president of the Board of Managers of the Margaret J. Bennett Home for young working women and as a member of the boards of the YWCA and Meals on Wheels.

She was also a member of the Woman's Club of Roland Park, the Baltimore Country Club and Grace United Methodist Church.

The former Florence Rea was born in Canton, N.C., and reared in Washington, where she graduated from the McKinley High School.

She earned a bachelor's degree in home economics at the University of Maryland.

After her graduation in 1936, she taught in public schools in Baltimore for three years and then returned to Washington, where she taught until 1946.

Fond of travel, she saw much of Europe in the late 1940s, making trips with her brother William Rea, a TWA pilot who was on loan to Lufthansa while the German airline was resuming operations after World War II.

A memorial service will be conducted at 3 p.m. tomorrow at Grace United Methodist Church, 5407 N. Charles St., Balti- more.

She is survived by her husband, W. Gibbs McKenney; her brother, William Rea of Vero Beach, Fla.; and a nephew, David L. Rea of Baltimore.

The family suggested memorial contributions could be made to the Alzheimer's Association of Central Maryland.

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