Welcome to the official Florida Military School Alumni Association website. Whether you are a former cadet, military school aficionado, or history buff extraordinaire, we thank you for your interest and hope you find this website useful. Contained within the website you will find information regarding the history of Florida Military School, access to current and past newsletters, as well as, details regarding our next reunion and contact information for our current Board of Directors. If you are a former cadet and not currently active in our Alumni Association, we encourage your participation. Our Alumni Association is an excellent professional and social networking tool and we welcome your involvement.
Should you have any questions regarding the website, its’ content, or questions in general about our Alumni Association, please feel to contact Sue Elliott at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gwendolyn Alda Earp passed away at home on Saturday morning, January 30, 2021, attended by family and caregiver, Vivian Scott Edwards. Vivian had watched over Miss Alda for years and in the final weeks, had not left her side.
Born on March 12, 1924 in Oxford, Florida, she was the daughter of Ione Fore Bailey and Thomas Lloyd Bailey. She was a graduate of Mainland Senior High School in Daytona Beach and then taught school in Oxford during World War II in 1942 to 1943, she then went to Stetson University. Also, she attended University of Minnesota and did graduate studies at Duke University and University of North Carolina. She was a lifelong Baptist and a member of First Baptist Church of Ocala. Her professional associations included American Sociological Association, Southern Historical Association, Florida Historical Society, Stetson University Century Club, and Ocala Civic Music Association.
Alda and her mother, Ione, devoted much of their lives to each other. They shared travels, friends, and activities while living together in Deland and Ocala. She was the loving caregiver for her mother in her final years.
Alda was a thoughtful and attentive friend and will be remembered by those many close friends and neighbors as a charming and lovely lady.
For her family, Alda leaves fond memories of a dear, sweet, and witty relation – an independent soul – determined to manage her life and affairs in her own precise manner, which she did until the very end.
Perhaps her happiest years were spent as a teacher and librarian at Florida Military Academy where she helped establish and build their library: The Alda Earp Library in 1961. She formed affectionate friendships with a number of students which lasted for her entire life. The Cadettes remained in close contact over the years and always treated her as a valued family member. Several of The Cadettes will be in attendance at her service and will serve as pallbearers.
A graveside service, conducted by Dr. Ed Johnson, former pastor of the First Baptist Church, will be held at 11:00am on Saturday, February 6th, at the Pine Level Cemetery in Oxford, Florida. Arrangements are being handled by the Countryside Funeral Home of Anthony. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Hospice of Marion County. Mandatory masks, please.
Plant a tree in memory of Gwendolyn by clicking here.
Florida Military School Museum
Located at the
Deland Hospital and Military Museum on Stone Street
The Florida Military School Association established a museum room on the second floor of this building. This exhibit is now maintained by the West Volusia Historical Society and includes, representative uniforms, photos, annuals and DVDs of life at FMS. This is a visit well worthy of your time should you visit DeLand, Florida. For those living too far away and unable to visit, a hardbound book mentioned elsewhere on this site provides a photo tour of the room.