Florence May “Flossie” Mullis McRae Lang
Jan. 12, 1925 — June 22, 2012
Flossie was born Jan. 12, 1925 in the Perry house on Spring Street, Friday Harbor, Wash. She died peacefully on the same block June 22, 2012.
She was the daughter of Belle Wallace and Frank Herbert Mullis, and granddaughter of island pioneers George and Emma Mullis. She grew up in the Mullis house built by her grandfather in 1905. Flossie graduated from Friday Harbor High School in 1943, where she lettered in basketball. While in high school, she drove a truck for her father’s lumber company and worked in the pea cannery where she acquired a lifelong dislike of peas.
During WWII, Flossie was part of the aircraft warning service at Cattle Point on San Juan Island. She attended the University of Washington for two years, living in the men’s dorm since all the men had left for the war. She transferred to Western College in Bellingham, where she played on the bowling team and earned a War Emergency Certification in Education. After college Flossie taught school in Auburn and Mercer Island. On June 4, 1948, she married James Cameron McRae, whose family farmed what is now American Camp. They settled in the Maple Leaf neighborhood in Seattle and raised their five daughters. Flossie taught special education in the Seattle public schools and then, in 1972, she graduated from Seattle University with a Bachelor of Arts in education.
Flossie spent summers on the island at the Mullis beach cabin while her daughters were growing up. While there, she was instrumental in extending city water to the Pear Point area on San Juan Island. Jim McRae and Flossie designed their retirement home for Barnacle Point, but sadly, Jim McRae died in 1975. Flossie went ahead and built the home and became a full time resident on the island at that time. She taught bridge to seniors at the Grey Top Inn, was an art docent at the schools, a member of the Sunshine Gallery artist co-op and a member of the Friday Harbor Presbyterian Church. Flossie loved to watercolor and was known for large florals and local island landscapes. She called her big flowers “Move over Georgia”.
In 1977 Flossie married James Gordon Lang. Jim and Flossie traveled, played golf and spent time enjoying life on the island. After Jim Lang died in 1996, Flossie spent eight years living in Gig Harbor. There her life revolved around her children and grandchildren. In 2008, she returned to the island and became a resident of the Village at the Harbour, where she enjoyed being back in the island community. Flossie is survived by her five daughters: Sally McRae, Peggy Sue McRae, Patty Protzeller, Betty McRae Brennan and Judy Lynn McRae; six grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
A memorial service for Flossie will be held at 1:30 p.m., Saturday, July 7, 2012 at Friday Harbor Presbyterian Church. A reception will follow. Memorial gifts may be given in her name to the Mullis Senior Center, PO Box 951, Friday Harbor, WA 98250.
– Family of Florence “Flossie” McRae