Cherished wife of Bram (2018), the love of her life for more than 60 years; precious mom to daughter Jane (Dean) Miskokomon, son Neil (Kristi Nicholl) and endearing Granann to Jarrett and Rocco.
Ann, born in Ceylon (Sri Lanka) 1940, the daughter of Salvation Army missionaries Hilda and Bill Santus, naturally developed perseverance and strength, two of her greatest qualities, after losing her father at age 2 and watching her mother valiantly raise her and brother Brian alone for the next 14 years. Eternally cheerful, optimistic, courageous and brave, she faced any adversity in life, even her many health challenges over the years, with a determined stoicism. Ann never complained, but having always been independent, these last years of dependence coupled with enduring much discomfort and pain, certainly took their toll at least on her body. But even in her last days, with a stiff upper lip, her unwavering motto remained, "I've just got to get on with it, haven't I".
At the age of 16, Ann could not have been more thrilled to gain a new stepfather, Arthur Hughes, such an influential man in her life. He stuck up for her and taught her to do the same. Ann was friendly, yet feisty and determined too. Though she internalized a lot and would typically not rock the boat, Ann could give it as good as she got. She also had this subtle way of making others see how their unwelcome attitude may be affecting others negatively. If someone was gruff, she'd simply say, "Are you having a bad day?", which more often than not, would create a shift in tone.
Living and travelling in many countries over her lifetime, Ann's vast experiences in other cultures filled her with many fascinating stories. Folks were often rendered speechless as she described her startling close encounters with wildlife in the tropics! Fascinated by all aspects of nature, Ann loved plants and flowers which certainly influenced her career choices. A trained florist in England, she took great pride in being a part of a team creating dozens of arrangements showcased at functions for the Queen of England. After emigrating to Canada with Bram in 1964, Ann delighted in designing and selling her own creations; bridal bouquets, wedding decor, and stunning Christmas decor throughout the years. In the 70's, she and a treasured friend, founded Fancy Plants, hosting plant sales, and caring for greenery in corporations and office buildings. She was conscientious and always went the extra mile in everything she did. Ann cherished any animal big or small. Others would swat or kill any household intruder, but not Ann; she'd gently grasp or capture the creature and carefully place it outside. She especially loved dogs and birds; and as of late, was highly amused by the constant flurry of activity of birds and squirrels at her 'bird convention centre'.
Having moved often, one of Ann's greatest joys in life came from meeting, knowing and befriending others. She firmly believed that each person, no matter their origin, colour of skin or 'place' in life, should be seen, heard and valued for their uniqueness. Ann could talk to anyone, any time and never run out of things to discuss, making each person feel special. She loved to laugh and encourage others to smile too. Answering the standard inquiry, "How are you Ann?", her inevitable response, earning a chuckle every time, was "I'm trying to be good, but that's not much fun is it!"
Caring deeply for others, especially her family, Annie, as Bram used to call her, was selfless, immeasurably supportive and helpful, caring and kind; the first to volunteer and assist others where possible. She never stood in someone's way nor criticized, only encouraged and searched for the positives in life. These fine qualities lead Ann to both volunteer and work in the Salvation Army Victim Witness program, and provide support to women in need through Women's Community House.
Though always underestimating her limitless creativity and immense talents for making something out of nothing, bringing joy to others was most important, even in the smallest of ways. Inventive and fun, Granann would turn everyday objects into indoor olympics; obstacles courses, forts and host toilet paper roll wars galore. Whether wrapping gifts, decorating the family home or church, sewing clothes or coordinating her stylish outfits, Ann coloured the world with beauty.
Our precious Grannie Annie has forever filled our hearts with love and gratitude for the immeasurable ways she positively impacted and brightened our lives. Though her incessant warmth and sparkle will forever be missed and never forgotten, we have certainly gained one fine guardian angel and cheerleader continuing to guide, strengthen, protect and encourage us always.
Ann's wishes were to have her ashes joined with Bram's on the shores of Lake Huron in a small intimate gathering, a tree planted beside his at the cottage, along with a bird bath and feeders to forever entertain her fine feathered friends. In keeping with her legacy of giving, please consider donating to Women's Community House (Anova) in lieu of flowers.
Logan Funeral Home, (519) 433-6181 entrusted with arrangements.