When a child, her father called her “Shorty.” However, as this little girl grew into a lovely lady, there were no shortages of her love of God and her thirst for life.
At Ball State University she was a piano and vocal major. In her junior year, a student she did not know called to ask her out. “I kept stalling until my roommates found his picture in the yearbook.”
She married him in a cold Midwest December in 1954. They drove to Tucson because her spouse was in USAF flight school. She thought, “What have I done and who is this man I married?”
Later taking turns driving and reading each other Gone With the Wind, they maneuvered a 1952 Chevy to Panama City, Florida, where in eight weeks he would become a USAF combat radar controller.
Living in the sunshine and white sand on the Gulf of Mexico beach was good. School completed, her lieutenant left for two years in the cold, arctic weather of Hokkaido in northern Japan. She joined him after six months. In 1957, the two with their eight month daughter flew home – Air Force behind them, it was Ball State again where he would earn a MA degree in Guidance and Counseling. He then taught school and she taught piano students. Two more daughters were also added.
Retiring to SunBird in 1999, she found contentment and friends. Trish Russell was her duet piano partner. She adored her prayer group, the Bible studies, and relished visits to and from her Indiana family.
In spring 2011 Ann and Bob Neuman heard the terrible word cancer which immediately and forever altered their lives.
For two years, Ann endured surgery, over 50 chemo treatments, constant blood draws and every test and scan known. The chemo side effects became intolerable so in February of 2013, Ann said, “That’s enough.”
The cancer had achieved its horrible objective.
On Easter Sunday, she was moved into a hospice facility for her remaining five days. The care was excellent. Ann left us on April 5, 2013, joining the Lord she had faithfully served.
Ann outlined her Celebration of Life memorial. Trish would play the piano, Jan Libby would sing, the minister would speak of salvation, and Great is Thy Faithfulness, a hymn dear to her, would be sung. The SunBird Ballroom was filled with friends and acquaintances. We felt her presence among us.
Ann had a capacity for compassion and empathy. She saw good in the worst individual and led by Christian example. We will never know the many lives she changed. She loved people, family, music, and most of all, God.
Ann, you fought the good fight and are now at rest in a place where no pain or sorrow exists. Your days are spent in the joy of eternal sunshine. See you soon.
I hope the readers will forgive my own personal writing, but I felt Ann had a story to tell. The article is dedicated to all who have lost a spouse.