Monday, January 25, 2016
1:00 PM to 2:00 PM EST
Life Story Funeral Homes - Rupert, Durham, Marshall & Gren
409 South Main Street
Vicksburg, MI 49097
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.
St. Joseph County Area Marine Corps League #1401
26260 South Shore Drive
Mendon, MI 49072
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Anna Gary was a devoted wife, loving mother, caring grandmother and the heart of family life. With her strong will and determination, she made things happen for the good of those around her. She was conscientious of the needs of others at the same time that she attended to her own interests. Energetic and stylish, Anna kept life interesting and fun.
Anna’s story began as the United States was recovering from the First World War and experiencing growth in industry and employment. Women had won the right to vote and Harlem, New York was a-buzz with jazz, literature and art. She was born to Clark and Margaret (Lemke) Brown on April 20, 1923 in Wakelee, Michigan and was baptized on April 27, 1924.
Anna’s father was employed at the local paper mill and her mother worked as a housekeeper and waitress at a Three Rivers Restaurant in addition to their six children: Clark, Arthur, Herbert, Anna and her twin Claude “Bunk”, and Catherine. Never lacking for playmates, Anna liked the game of hide-and-seek, and in later years she played kickball and croquet. In her teens, she was listening to big band music and going to dances. Already as a young girl, Anna liked bright, shiny colors and a style that included “bling.”
With the family’s move to Three Rivers, Anna graduated from Three Rivers High School in 1942 and joined the Nurse’s Aide Corp for two years. While serving in the Corp, she caught the eye of Russell Gary, who was being treated for a work-related injury. He thought Anna was very cute and kept looking for ailments for her to treat. In the end, he only had a sliver in his thumb that needed attention. Nonetheless, Russell was smitten and soon proposed to her in July of 1942. They married at his family’s farmhouse just three months later on September 27, 1942.
Blessed with three children—Gloria, Steven and Penny—Anna became the chief organizer and homemaker for the family, though Russell did most of the cooking. The times she went apple picking in the fall with her sister-in-law Grace and sister Catherine only served to reinforce Anna’s preference for home style living. Anna was perfectly happy at home and never really liked to travel. She used her Boston Bull Terriers as her reason for staying home. Given the fact that she had dogs for at least 50 years, Anna had nearly a lifetime of excuses to keep her right where she wanted to be.
When Anna became a grandmother, it was natural for her to offer daycare for the grandchildren while their parents were at work. She could continue to tinker away at her hobbies, which ranged from teddy bears to dolls and included a dollhouse that Russell helped her create. During the 70's when a popular television show, "All in the Family" was playing it was often that Anna was mistaken as Jean Stapleton, that played the role of Edith Bunker. Not only was she mistaken for in her appearance, but also her mannerisms.
Later in life, she enjoyed going with Gloria to Second Impressions every Thursday, grocery shopping with Steven and getting her hair done on Fridays, spending the third Sunday of the month with her family and celebrating family birthdays with a "Birthday Breakfast".
As matriarch of the family, Anna brought everyone together in the bond of love, and she will be missed by them all.
Anna M. Gary of Vicksburg, Michigan passed away on Tuesday, January 19, 2016 at the age of 92.
Anna is survived by her three children: Gloria Gary-Smith, of Vicksburg; Steven (Helga) Gary, of Mendon; Penny Stafford, of CA; five grandchildren: Troy Smith, of Schoolcraft; Travis Smith, of Kalamazoo, Autumn Stafford-Piotrowski, of CA; Sonja Hunter, of TN; and Nathan Gary, of AZ and five great grandchildren. She is preceded in death by her husband, Russell in 2002; and four brothers and one sister.
The family will receive friends on Monday from 1-2 pm at Life Story Funeral Home, 409 S. Main, Vicksburg (269-649-1697). A funeral service will be held on Monday at 2pm at the funeral home. Burial at Vicksburg Cemetery.
Please visit Anna’s webpage at www.lifestorynet.com where you can read her life story, sign the guestbook, share a memory and/or photo. Those who wish may make contributions to the West Michigan Cancer Center and/or St. Joe County Marine Corp League.