In Tuesday’s (8/4) Los Angeles Times , Valerie J. Nelson writes, “Florence ‘Floss’ Schumacher, a doyenne of Orange County’s social and arts scene for nearly three decades who was instrumental in establishing the Orange County Performing Arts Center and several performing arts organizations, has died. She was 86. Schumacher died July 17 of a stroke at a rehabilitation center in Morro Bay, said her niece, Mary Foster, who had been caring for her. … She played a key role in the beginnings of resident companies at the performing arts center—the Pacific Symphony, the Pacific Chorale, the Philharmonic Society of Orange County and the now-defunct Opera Pacific, which folded last year after 22 seasons. … Not only were she and her husband early and major donors to the performing arts center, she had worked since 1976 to raise more than $70 million in private funds to build the Costa Mesa structure. When it opened in 1986, she oversaw the requisite gala. … She developed a reputation for throwing soirees with style. Reporters called her a ‘social lioness’ and a ‘social/arts cyclone.’ ”

Posted August 4, 2009