Mrs. Florence Radcliffe turned 103 on June 1. She is a former Executive Council member, a life member, and a member of the Bethel Dukes Branch in DC.
Born Florence Jackson, June 1, 1916 in Richmond, Va. She was sent to DC via train with her 12 year old sister after her mom died when she was 6 months old. She attended DC public schools through high school, graduating in 1934 from Dunbar High School. She then attended and graduated from Minor Teacher’s Collge which is the origin of Federal City College. She studied elementary education. Post graduation and after a few years of teaching, Mrs. Radcliffe continued her education receiving a master’s degree from New York University in educational administration. Her career took her from classroom teacher to supervising teacher of student teachers to principal and then as a regional supervisor. She retired from DCPS after 26 years of dedicated service. Entering retirement, she was chosen by the US Department of Education to be a Site Visitor whereby she was given the responsibility to evaluate schools around the country who had competed for recognition as a model school. She was also selected by then mayor Marion Barry to serve on the optometry and epilepsy boards in Washington, DC. In betwix all of these experiences, she maintained stellar service to the Phyllis Wheatley YWCA serving as their president and was pivotal in the struggle to have the Phyllis Wheatly maintain its independence as chronicled in her Historical book entitled A Simple Matter of Justice. It chronicles the struggle between the, all white National Capital Y and the all black Phyllis Wheatly Y. Mrs. Radcliffe’s life has been dedicated to the service of others. Her other greatest love has been for ASALH. From her younger years, she dove into serving the organization not only as a member but as an executive officer at the national and local levels. As a member of the Bethal Dukes Branch she served as president and advisor. And because of her dedication, the branch has held her in high esteem. So, from her beginning at 2nd Baptist Church through her declining years at The Shrine of the Sacred Heart, not a moment was spent trying to promote herself. Mrs. Radcliffe is now 103 years young. As often as possible those who have matured under her guidance send cards and call to check on her and to also thank her for the important role she played in their lives.