Florence Bambrick Yarney
Gifted teacher, parent, friend.
Florence Yarney died June 4 at her home in Grafton surrounded by her family. She was born July 30, 1940 in Jersey City, New Jersey, daughter of Lillian O'Hara (nee) and Richard Bambrick.
At age 12 her father died, leaving her mother and their four children. Grandparents helped out and Florence graduated from College of Notre Dame of Maryland in 1962. Musical theater at school and later in the Washington D.C. area balanced her "day job" at U.S. News and World Report.
In 1966 she joined a college friend in Milwaukee where she obtained a teacher's license. She received a Master of Science and Curriculum and Instruction - English from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 1974. She taught English in the Lincoln and Riverside Milwaukee Public Schools until she retired in 1999. A section on "Wacky Teachers" in the February 1998 edition of the Riverside U. High School student newspaper comments: "Ms. Yarney is notorious for her theatrical teaching style. Ever read the Scarlet Letter? How about The Crucible? If not, never fear. In Ms. Yarney's class, you'll more than likely get a full Broadway-quality performance dealing with the book in question. When answering a question in class, a good answer will more than likely produce 'Oh! Yes!' while a bad answer will sometimes produce an 'Oh! Oh no!' All in all, these outbursts and performances only help to keep students focused and it shows that Ms. Yarney has a concern for her students' future. She states, 'I love all of my students whether they know it or not...' When asked about why she does what she does, the outbursts and performances, Ms. Yarney simply replied, 'The eleventh commandment of teaching is: thou shalt not bore'!"
Married to Ato Yarney in 1967 they gave birth to three daughters, Ekua, Somah and Eresi who were raised in Milwaukee and later in Mequon. For 18 years their home was a gathering place for family, friends and new arrivals from the Accra area in Ghana. After their divorce, Florence moved to Grafton and Ato returned to Ghana. From her daughter's birth, Florence sought the best learning opportunities for Eresi who has Downs Syndrome. In Special Olympics, Eresi regularly won medals and attended the World Games in 1995, Nationals in 2006 and 2010 and Championships in 2011. Both remained strong supporters of the organization.
Florence was a "star" in the way she lived her life for and with others. One cannot think of her without a smile and a story. These stories can be shared at the Memorial Service which will take place on July 22, 2022, at 4pm at St. Joseph Parish Catholic Church located at 1619 Washington St., Grafton, WI 53024 or by e-mailing them to the family at email@example.com. For those who can't attend in person, the service will be televised on the St. Joseph's Parish youtube page at: https://youtu.be/EkDWNl_gk5w
She is survived by daughters: Ekua, (granddaughters, Lillian and Abena), Somah and Eresi Yarney, and by siblings Jim (Janet) Bambrick; Lorraine ( Joe ) Kopczynski; Jane (Glen) Bencivengo; and a many relatives, friends, colleagues and students. When they were with Florence, they were never bored!