Florence R. “Miss Flossie” Vogel, 89, was born Aug. 17, 1928, in Lima, Pa., to Alan C. and Florence A. Read.
The eldest of three daughters, she and her sisters, Doris (Read) Pagesy and Janet Sue (Read) Speaker, were to become known locally as “The Read Sisters.”
Vogel graduated from Media (Pa.) High School and concentrated her attention on the dance career she’d begun at the age of 5. As a teenager, she performed at every opportunity, including entertaining with the USO, and sang and tapped on the radio with “Uncle Wip,” a Philadelphia personality.
After her marriage to Emil Jacob “Jake” Vogel Jr., she began her career as a teacher and mentor to thousands of students. She opened a studio in her home in Pennsylvania, but in 1966 came to Sussex County, Del., with her family. She immediately went to work. Miss Flossie’s School of Dance (later to become Flossie Vogel’s Dance Factory) had residences in Ocean View, Rehoboth, Lewes, Millsboro and Dagsboro.
Although she began her career teaching ballet, tap and jazz, it was her love of tap that gave her the opportunity to educate dancers across the state of Delaware. In addition to her home studios, she headed the tap department for Marion Tracy and later Dan Kaiser in Dover, Maubra Randolf in Seaford, Gayle Gardiner in Milford and, finally, Kate Downes Walker in Georgetown.
Vogel finished her career, after retiring three times, by teaching classes for Kate at Midway, and on her 85th birthday, she even taught a master class for the Ta Da studio in Milford. Vogel loved her work and every one of her students. Her talent and dedication were an inspiration to many who went on to become teachers themselves.
Vogel became involved with the Miss Delaware Scholarship Pageant in 1967 and, over the course of 35 years, held nearly every position on the board, as well as producing and choreographing many of their shows.
Vogel encouraged her own students and others to enter the pageant, firmly believing that the experience was worth their time and effort. Many of “her girls” went on to achieve phenomenal things with the help of the scholarship monies they won at a time when scholarships for women were severely limited. The experience of competing and the education they could afford after winning were life-changing.
In the 1970s, she became involved with the Possum Point Players, where she made many lifelong friendships while working as choreographer. With family and friends, she was the life of the party, the master of ceremonies and the entertainment director. There was rarely a dull moment when Vogel was around. And people loved her for that indomitable spirit, her fierce love of family and the true friend she was to so many.
Vogel is survived by her son, Alan Vogel; her daughter, Joy Vogel Cadden; and her housemate, Elsie Cadden, all of Millville, Del.; a granddaughter, Jessica, and her husband, Simun Matesic, of New York City; a grandson, Dylan Hamblin of Fenwick Island, Del.; a sister, Sue Speaker of West Chester, Pa.; siblings-in-law Charles Pagesy of Southampton, Pa. and Frances “Honey” Shadel of Millville, Del.; many cousins, nieces and nephews; and her “grand-doggies,” Butchie and Tank.
The family will host a celebration of Vogel’s life on Saturday, June 2, 2018, at Mariner’s Bethel United Methodist Church in Ocean View, Del. Visitation will begin at 12:30 p.m., with services at 2 p.m., followed by a luncheon on premises. The family asked, “Please bring your music and stories that tell her life, for we’re certain that if there is a party, she will be with us one more time.”
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations are suggested, to the Miss Delaware Scholarship Pageant, Possum Point Players or the ballet/dance company of the giver’s choosing. “Support the arts! She did.”
Condolences may be sent online at www.melsonfuneralservices.com.