Florence Bernadette Padron spent her youth traveling around the world and going to school in far flung locales. But it was when she and her family moved to Petaluma eight years ago that she found home.
"She didn't mind moving around and it was kind of interesting. But when it was all done, she wanted to stay put so when we moved to Petaluma, that was her home," said Padron's husband, Scott Baker of Petaluma. "That was special to her, that she could stay put and she had found home."
Padron died at home of thyroid cancer on Nov. 20. She was 52.
Born Oct. 10, 1960, in Bordeaux, France, to Maria and Pete Padron, Florence Padron was raised in Hawaii, Denmark and Germany, where she attended high school while her father served in the military.
Padron then enrolled at the University of California at Davis and earned a degree in physical anthropology. While at Davis, she met Baker.
"She was very much a lady and very quiet, dependable, very sincere. But in action, she was — she just had a lot of power," he said. "She was almost fearless in a sense."
Padron eventually got her teaching credential and taught school for awhile but eventually took a job at Planned Parenthood. That job inspired her to get a degree in nursing.
Padron worked for a decade in the labor and delivery department at Marin General Hospital. During that time, the family bought a plot of land in Petaluma and began building a house and establishing a farm.
"We built our own house, the two of us," Baker said. "She was up on the roof, helping put plywood down."
Padron studied the science of farming and became an expert, her husband said.