November 19, 1938 ~ December 24, 2021
Born in: Weymouth, MA
Resided in: Hamden, CT
Florence B. Cruz, 83, formerly of Round Lake, NY passed peacefully in Hamden on December 24, 2021 surrounded by family. Florence was born on November 19, 1938 in Weymouth, MA. She was the daughter of the late Dimitri J. Burke and Elsie (Taylor) Burke. She was predeceased by her daughter Danilia and her sister Irene Burke Jones. She is survived by her son Dimitri (Carla) CruZoni, her grandson Spenser, niece Riesa (Scott) Harrison, nephew Anthony (Lynn) Jones, and their children Tony, Nina, and Elena.
A “Round Laker” since the age of nine, Florence was a graduate of Shenendehowa High School. She furthered her education with a B.A. in Music Therapy and Performance from New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. She also earned an M.A. in Educational Psychology at the College of Saint Rose in Albany.
Florence raised her children in the Village of Round Lake while she worked for the NYS Department of Education’s Office of Special Programs. Always active in the Village, Florence was a sought-after church organist as well as a Trustee of the Village Board and Treasurer for the Malta Ambulance Corps. She also maintained the financials for the Round Lake Auditorium, home of the rare and historic Ferris-Tracker Piper Organ, which she often played. Florence was also a good friend to the Round Lake Library, where she volunteered regularly and helped launch a therapy dog reading program for children with her own two dogs; Angus and Elsie. Florence truly loved residing in the Village. Her daily walks-always including a stop at the Post Office to catch up on the news of the day with friends and neighbors-was always a source of great joy.
Her live after civil service was active; she earned an associate culinary degree and worked as a baker in several local shops. In her “spare” time she became a Certified Peace Officer for the New York Racing Association, working in crowd control and keeping a watchful eye on the racehorses during Saratoga Race Track’s summer meets. At 47 she decided to take up skiing, and so began another chapter of snow, slopes, and smiles. She eventually became an instructor at Gore Mountain and West Mountain, specializing in teaching young children. Incredibly, at 61, she added snowboarding to the list of items she had mastered.
Florence’s philosophy was to always learn new and exciting things, choose happiness, and be kind to everyone. She left a trail of people who were glad to know her and a family that will miss her tremendously. Donations in her memory may be made to the Malta-Stillwater EMS, P.O. Box 2470, Malta, NY 12020. Arrangements in care of Beecher & Bennett Funeral Home, Hamden.