Florence A. Picariello, 61, clown with a mission

Florence A. Picariello
Florence A. Picariello
Posted: July 08, 2011

Florence "Flossie" A. Picariello, 61, known for her work as a volunteer clown, died of brain cancer Tuesday, July 5, at her Bensalem home.

Mrs. Picariello donned a blue wig and costume and, using the name Blue, did clown ministry at churches and charity fund-raisers in the Philadelphia area. She was president of the Mid-Atlantic Clown Association for three years, until 2008.

In 2009, Mrs. Picariello won the association's Clowntarian Award for organizing the annual conventions of the roughly 300-member group, according to Sandi Smith, the treasurer and a longtime friend. The award was in recognition of her dedication and the help she offered to other clowns.

"She was very outgoing," said Samuel O. Picariello Jr., her husband of 43 years. "You would be hard-pressed to find anyone who didn't like her."

The couple met at a local pizzeria where he had worked as a delivery man. "She was the best thing that ever happened to me," he said.

Mrs. Picariello was a retired office manager for several trucking companies in the area, including Baylor's Trucking, Atkinson Freight, and TransCon, her husband said.

She performed as a Christian clown with the King's Clown troupe, was a member of Clowns R Us in Warminster, and served on the board of Kapo's Gang of South Jersey. Her husband said she performed as a clown to comfort people in hospitals and nursing homes. She would paint her face white, with a tear coming down from an eye and a heart at the end of it, he said.

She was known for doing mimes of prayers. Her mime of the Lord's Prayer was so special, Smith said, that "we plan to carry on that tradition."

Besides her husband, Mrs. Picariello is survived by her son, Emilio, two brothers, and three grandchildren.

A funeral will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 9, at Cornwells United Methodist Church, 2284 Bristol Pike, in Bensalem, to be followed by interment at Resurrection Cemetery, 5201 Hulmeville Rd., Bensalem. Tomlinson Funeral Home in Bensalem is handling the arrangements.

Donations may be made to Mid-Atlantic Clown Association c/o S. Smith 108 Heather Drive, Mount Laurel, N.J. 08054.


Contact staff writer Jan Hefler at 856-779-3224 or jhefler@phillynews.com.

|
|
|
|
|