Ann Linton

February 14, 1911 - February 24, 2018
Vicksburg, MI

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Visitation

Saturday, May 19, 2018
10:00 AM to 11:00 AM EDT
Lakeland Reformed Church
10442 South Sprinkle Road
Vicksburg, MI 49097

Service

Saturday, May 19, 2018
11:00 AM EDT
Lakeland Reformed Church
10442 South Sprinkle Road
Vicksburg, MI 49097

Contributions


At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

Vicksburg Community Schools Foundation
Attn: Amy 301 South Kalamazoo Avenue
Vicksburg, MI 49097
(269) 321-1000
Driving Directions
Web Site

Lakeland Reformed Church
10442 South Sprinkle Road
Vicksburg, MI 49097

Charity of Choice

Flowers


Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.

Heirloom Rose
407 S. Grand St.
Schoolcraft, MI 49087
(269) 679-3010
Driving Directions
Web Site

Polderman's Florist & Garden Center
8710 Portage Road
Portage, MI 49002
(269) 327-3656
Driving Directions

Life Story / Obituary


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Anna Marie (Matz) Linton

There’s a certain spirit that most immigrants must have possessed. It was probably comprised of a sense of adventure, a willingness to work hard, & a determined attitude. These are qualities Anna “Ann” Linton inherited from her ancestors, along with a loving heart & a bit of feistiness, too. These characteristics defined her life.

Anna was born February 14, 1911, to Pietro Mazza “Pete Matz” & Marietta “Mary Caterina,” who were children when they travelled to the United States from southern Italy. She was the first girl, and the only baby to survive past the first year. Four years later her brother Joseph Jerome was born.

Anna grew up in Chicago Heights, Illinois, in an immigrant neighborhood south of Chicago known as “Hungry Hill.” Her paternal grandparents lived just down the street, & she used to love going down there to play with the goats, pigs, chickens, & geese. She also enjoyed watching her grandmother make sausage, bread, & other Italian dishes.

It wasn’t easy for Anna’s grandparents & parents to leave family & friends in Italy & immigrate to a new country. It also wasn’t easy for the family to leave Chicago Heights in 1923 & move to Vicksburg, Michigan, where Pete & Mary established a new business called Matz’s Confectionery. The store’s popularity soon soared as residents devoured Pete’s homemade candies, ice cream creations, & yummy sandwiches. As she grew up, Anna always helped her parents in the store.

School was always very important to the Matz family, though neither Pete nor Mary graduated high school. Anna & Joe were always required to speak English instead of Italian at home, as their parents wanted them to get a good education and “Be American!” Following the move to Vicksburg, Anna attended and graduated from high school and later from Western State Teachers College, becoming the first in her family to complete both high school and college.

God’s plan continued. Ann’s first job was teaching fourth grade in Vicksburg. It was also here that Clayton Linton, a star athlete with James Dean looks, joined the Vicksburg staff as a teacher & coach. He discovered Matz’s store & soon began courting the pretty girl behind the counter. On June 15, 1940, they were married.

A baby girl arrived December 20, 1942, & was named MaryAnn. Shortly thereafter, Clayton joined the Navy & was stationed in the Aleutian Islands for the rest of WWII. Before her husband sailed, Ann took her baby daughter & travelled by train across the country to Seattle to say goodbye.

After the war, Clayton became a principal at the high school in town. Policy dictated that a husband & wife couldn’t teach in the same school system. Ann remained home with MaryAnn. Later on, Ann returned to teaching & taught first grade at Milham School in Portage, Michigan. She also joined the teachers’ bowling & golf leagues, earning a few trophies in each sport. Ann and Clayton loved dining and dancing at the Elks Club and dining at the Beacon Club.

Clayton passed away July 23, 1972. This was a difficult time for Ann, but she joined several community groups, such as Ladies Library & Eastern Star. She also volunteered at church, Borgess Hospital, & was an aide teaching reading at Sunset Elementary, where she was honored to receive the Star Award. Two special friends were Don Warren & John VanderWheele.

Ann joined her daughter MaryAnn & son-in-law Bob on trips in their motorhome, & she spent winters with them in Florida. They also took her to Italy & Sicily when she was 96. She enjoyed the tour & visited the towns where her parents & grandparents were born & the churches where they were married.

Ann golfed until she was 93, and bowled until she was 100. She always liked to keep busy. Her mottos were “Use it, or lose it.” “Start every week by going to church.” “It’s not the age; it’s the attitude.”

At the age of 100, she left her home & spent the next seven years at Bickford Cottage of Portage, where she was loved & well-cared for by Janna and a multitude of wonderful staff.

Ann was preceded in death by her parents Pete & Mary Matz, her husband Clayton Linton, & her brother Joseph Matz & his wife Veronica. She is survived by her daughter MaryAnn (Robert) Hayward; grandchildren Darcy (Stephen) Staley & Trent (Cindy) Hayward; & great-grandchildren Darby (Andy) Disselkoen, Emma Walhout, Alex Walhout, Megan Hayward, Macy Hayward, Samuel Staley, & Isaac Staley.

A Celebration of Life service will be held at Lakeland Reformed Church Saturday May 19. Visitation is from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM with a service following at 11:00 AM .

In lieu of flowers, the family requests those wishing to honor Ann’s memory donate to the following: Lakeland Reformed Church, the Vicksburg Community Schools Foundation (please designate student scholarships or teacher grants), or charity of your choice.