Rosetta Florence-Keaton, the daughter of the late Amos Florence Sr. and Viola Clark-Florence was born June 6, 1931 in Mitchell County, Ga. She received her formal education at Hutto School located in Bainbridge, GA. Rosetta was the youngest of 8 children between Amos and Viola Florence. Due to the unforeseen passing of her mother when she was 6 months old, the Florence-Clark village rallied around the family and Rosetta was raised by her Grandmother Ida Collier- Florence, Aunt Gladie Florence- Clark, her father Amos Florence and older siblings.
Rosetta embraced Christ early in life and accepted him as her personal Savior. She became a member, by birth of Jordan Grove Missionary Baptist Church. Which was built and founded by her father and other family members. She had a great love and respect for her church. Whenever there was a need, Rosetta was willing to lend her service and expertise. She served in numerous capacities, but at the time of her death she was “Mother of the Church”.
Rosetta was married to Mack Keaton for over 30 years until his passing on March 19, 1992. This union was blessed with four (4) children, Rufus Keaton, Rutha Keaton-Love, Viola Keaton- Dennison, and Joyce Keaton.
In 1964, Rosetta and her 4 children moved to Philadelphia, PA. Prior to Philco Ford: Rosetta was a dress sewing operator at Tribune Laundry. After leaving Tribune, she found her work home at Philco Ford on July 17, 1967. Rosetta was employed at Ford for 26 years, first starting as an assembler in the auto radio department. She was promoted many times reaching the top classification of “Specialist”, before retiring on June 30, 1993.
During her years in Philadelphia, Rosetta became a member of Berean Baptist Church where she served on the usher board for over 15 years. She was voted best dressed in November 1969 and won the title of “Mrs. Berean”.
Rosetta was and will always be known for her outstanding cooking and baking. Her home was the family gathering place for every holiday and special occasion. The love and humility that Rosetta possessed was contagious. Family, friends, and loved ones would flock to her house from all over the country just to be in her presence, to see her smile, listen to her laughter and eat her down home cooking.
After her retirement, Rosetta returned home to Bainbridge GA in 1994. Rosetta kept herself busy by working and supporting the Decatur County NAACP, chairperson and historian for the Florence-Clark Family Reunion, church Mother for Jordan Grove M.B Church and member of Bainbridge High School African American PTA.
The joys and pleasures of her life were family, friends, outdoor living, and working untiringly for her church and family reunion. Rosetta’s favorite pastime was fishing with her many cousins and gardening. She would spend hours just enjoying the sun on her face and breathing in the fresh Georgia air.
She became absent from the body to be present with the Lord on Friday, December 10th at 11:30pm at her home for over 25 years in Bainbridge GA.
Rosetta was preceded in death by her husband, six (6) siblings: Eartha Lee Coney, Inell Sertains, Willie James Florence, E.V. Florence, Amos Florence Jr, Sylvester Florence and Son-In-Law Fred Dennison.
Many will cherish the memories of this gracious and personable woman, but particularly left to embrace her legacy is her siblings: Agnes Parrish, and Bobby Florence; children: Rufus Keaton, Rutha Keaton-Love, Viola Keaton- Dennison, and Joyce Keaton; Grandchildren: Tawana Tonkins, Jamal Love, Latifa Dennison, Khary Dennison, Shantel Love and Brandon McLaren; Great Grandchildren: Malik Bolen, Sakinah Bolen Bryanah Tonkins, Jamir Love, Sierra Bolen, Nyles-Kamal Love, Zari Dennison, Zahan Dennison and a host of nieces, nephews and cousins.
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