For most of her adult life, Florence Littauer traversed the globe—including Lubbock—sharing her message of hope, encouragement and understanding. But this author of more than 40 books—including Dare to Dream—never dreamed that she’d leave Southern California and find herself living in Lubbock. For the past two years, this has been her home—with her daughter Marita.
Florence has had an amazing life. But, like living in Lubbock, it wasn’t what she’d originally planned for herself.
She grew up during the Great Depression and longed for a better life. A college scholarship was seen as her ticket to success. Her hard work paid off and Florence was rewarded with an English degree. Because her father died while she was attending the University of Massachusetts, she returned home to teach English, speech, and drama at Haverhill High School. There, she also helped her mother with a little neighborhood store the family owned.
During the summer, many teachers served as camp counselors—which is how she met her husband, Fred. He was from New York but was visiting his younger brother in Maine. They dated long distance and married in 1953. Florence’s drama students were so excited about the wedding, they planned it like a giant senior class play and, as a result, her wedding was featured in Life Magazine, May 18, 1953.
Fred was in the restaurant business and his early jobs took them to several locales until he started his own business and the family moved to Connecticut where most of their children were born. Lauren was born in Michigan. Marita, Fred, Jr. and Larry in Connecticut. Unfortunately, the boys, though perfect at birth, both had an unnamed genetic regressive disorder and died young. The family later adopted a baby boy who they named Frederick Jeffrey. Today, he is a vice president at Enterprise Rent-A-Car.
Until the death of her two sons, Florence’s life had gone as she planned. A deep depression followed. A search for answers brought the family to God.
It is that faith that changed the course of their lives. Fred and Florence moved the family to San Bernardino, California, to serve as staff at the, then, headquarters for Campus Crusade for Christ. Fred ran the food service. Florence began teaching Bible studies. Together, the couple taught Sunday school.
Groups began to invite Florence to tell her life story and to share how she overcame depression. Then, more groups and more groups. Her first published book was her life story—which has since been revised and retitled four times.
Her best-selling book is Personality Plus. It has sold millions of copies and is translated into more than 25 languages. Florence was known for her humor and for making the four personality types (The Personalities)—a tool for understanding yourself and getting along with others—fun for, and accessible to everyone. (Listen to her classic presentation: “The Best of Personality Plus” in the Free Resources page at ThePersonalities.com)
Many people remember Florence Littauer for her powerful presentation on Silver Boxes: The Gift of Encouragement and her popular book by the same name. Her masterful application of the Bible verse Ephesians 4:29 brought home the reality of the power our words have upon others and the effect we allow others’ words to have over our own lives. This important message has changed people’s lives by turning them intoencouragers, and it has even been known to bring tears to the eyes of corporate CEOs. (Listen to this signature speech in the Free Resources page at ThePersonalities.com)
In addition to her own speaking and writing ministry, Florence spent more than 30 years teaching men and women communication skills—specifically with the goal of helping them tell their story effectively through the spoken and written word.
Thousands have been trained through the CLASSeminar (Christian Leaders, Authors & Speakers Seminar). Hundreds of books have been, and are still being, published because of her talents.
Fred, who ultimately joined Florence in the full-time ministry work, died of a heart attack in 2002 while Florence was speaking at a writer’s conference. A bout of shingles forced Florence into retirement at 82. She has five grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
A series of health issues in early 2018 made it evident that Florence could no longer live on her own. In June, she arrived in Lubbock with two suitcases of summer clothes. In October, Marita and Florence went back to Palm Springs to gather up her treasures (and winter clothes) and bring them to her suite in Chuck and Marita’s home.
Florence Littauer’s life work has had a positive influence on an infinite number of people. She died knowing that she has made the world a better place. Though she is no longer with us in person, her influence, with your help,will continue on.
Florence enjoyed her life in Lubbock where her health improved. Marita kept her engaged with a variety of activities and parties, until May 17, 2020. Florence suffered a stroke—from which, after 8 weeks of hospitalization and one week of hospice care at home, she ultimately passed away on July 11, 2020 in her own bed. A private family remembrance/send-off party will be held. She will be buried, in her trademark “Silver Box” dress, at Locust Grove Cemetery in Merrimac, MA—where her husband Fred and her Mother and Father are buried.
The Lord welcomed her home with these words: “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”