"It was with great sadness that I learned yesterday of Ann's passing. I was a colleague of Ann's in the math department at HRA from 1994-1998, but that's simply a title and a statistic; in truth, I was her student, and the time I spent learning the craft of teaching - or, perhaps more fully, of what it truly means to be a teacher - from Ann during those years was the most important and meaningful experience of my educational career. From the perimeter it is easy to cite Ann's intellect, her pragmatism, her exactitude, her unfailing professionalism; these were glaringly apparent and well-documented. But they were hardly who she was. Everything Ann did in her school life (and, I suspect, in her life outside of school as well) was born of a thoughtfulness, of a concern, of a compassion that is so rare that it may easily go undetected. Intelligence, curiosity, and wit derive from the head, and Ann, of course, had these in spades. Truth, however, comes from the heart, and I have known but few people whose sense of it was so grounded in an egoless desire to expand the lives of others as was Ann's. She certainly expanded mine. It is an enormous regret that I did not stay in better communication with Ann after leaving Hampton Roads in 1999. Yet I am comforted to know that not a day goes by where her students - and, I hope by extension, mine - are not still influenced by her wry humor, her genuine sense of wonder, her keen understanding of the human condition, and her soulful wisdom. Ann gave so many of us our wings, and then taught us to fly.
With enduring love and affection,
– Peter Ellis,
Feb 16, 2013
"Max and I feel very fortunate to have worked alongside Ann at HRA for so many years. She was the epitome of the kind of dedicated professional that makes a school great, and she always led by example. Both of our daughters (one who loved math and one not so much) attribute their later success in that subject to the strong foundations they gained from her. We are so sorry that we will miss the memorial service, as we will be out of town. One of HRA's finest- Ann, you will be missed! Karen and Max Gillespie"
– Karen Gillespie, colleague,
VA, Feb 06, 2013
"I have so many happy childhood memories of the Fichters, Rapers, Shaws and Millers. Ann was a good friend to my mother, Billie and she will miss her very much. God bless all of Ann's family and friends during this time of loss."
– Amanda Miller Coffman,
Panama City, FL, Feb 04, 2013
"Dearest Lee Ann and Bryan: Your mom was the best. She lit up the halls at HRA, was always a pleasure to be around. I don't know how you felt about roaming the halls with your mother hanging around, but the rest of us sure loved it. She will be sorely missed. Much love - Angela"
– Angela Wilson Gyetvan , student,
Los Angeles, CA, Feb 04, 2013
"Dear Buck & Family,
Bert & I want to extend our very deepest condolences to you all.
Ann was one of the loveliest women I have had the pleasure to meet since living in Kingsmill. She was a treasure and I always enjoyed her wisdom and company when we got together for lunch. I knew when I called last week that the end was near and I just didn't know what to say to you. Please know that her memory
will not be forgotten.
My very best to all of you,
– Gladys Aaron, Friend,
Williamsburg, VA, Feb 02, 2013
"Ann was wise, witty, & welcoming. She always greeted me with a warm hug and a big smile. I admired her tremendously and adored her from the first moment I met her. You all have my deepest sympathies."
– Jane W. Rhodes, Friend,
Chesapeake, VA, Feb 02, 2013