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Florence Katz and Ruth Orne
Longboat Key Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2010 7 years ago

Katz looks back on 95 years

by: Dora Walters Senior Editor

The “95 Years in 60 Minutes” presentation celebrated the life of Sarasota Bay Club resident Florence Katz Nov. 18.

Hostess Jennifer Walker asked Katz questions throughout the program. And Katz, a former Longboat Key resident, recalled landmark incidents in her life. These incidents were part of her life recollections compiled in the residence’s memoir writing class. Mimi Edlin, Ursula Pearson and Katz’s daughter, Judy Vigder, read excerpts from the memoir.

“Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way” is the story of Katz, who, at 14, while living in the tiny town of Coshocton, Ohio, was determined to play the viola and got a job in dry goods for $10 a day to buy the instrument.

She attended Oberlin University, went on to get her master’s degree and taught music for several years. Her love of music took a backseat for several years after she became an assistant in her husband’s medical practice.

“I loved being with the patients and doing the lab work,” Katz said. “If I had my life to live over, I think I would have become a doctor.”

Her childhood philosophy of “where there’s a will, there’s a way” continued throughout her lifetime.

She and her husband retired to Sarasota and joined Temple Beth Israel, where Katz was unimpressed by the choir.

“They were awful,” she said.

Typical of Katz, she did something about it.

“I got my pitch pipe, talked five people to join me and we started a choir,” she says.

It grew to nearly 30 people, and Katz directed it for 22 years. She also actively resumed her music career.
“Most of all, I am so proud to have a family that loves and respects each other,” she says.

Contact Dora Walters at [email protected].


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