Anne M. Mann
Oct 02,1932---Jul 17,2020

Anne M. Mann - 87 

Anne Margaret Kessler was born in Birmingham, Alabama on Oct. 2, 1932 to John P. Kessler and the former Evelyn B. Brown. She said that she was born at home. This may be true, but she was a fairly poor historian of her own experience. This was not out of an inability to recall or a desire to hide anything. It was simply that stories in which she was the focus did not seem to interest her too very much. To the contrary, she remained keenly interested in the lives of others and the world around her.

Prior to her marriage, she attended Belleville Junior College for two years, completing an associate degree. During that time, she worked in retail sales at Kline's in St. Louis. She then went to work at Laclede Steel in St. Louis. In 1955, she took a position at the Aeronautical Chart Plant in St. Louis, where she remained at the time of her marriage. She continued to work there until she went on maternity leave. When asked recently about her work as a cartographer, she seemed unclear on its purpose but she never forgot (and never forgot to remind Dad) that her security clearance was higher than his ever was - even after his lifetime in government work. Though she was never in the military, it seems quite probable that she was an accidental participant in the Cold War. 

She met Russ Mann at a young adults event at St. Paul's in Belleville. She recalled an early conversation in which she was offering her negative review of the Studebaker. Despite the fact that Dad arrived to pick her up for a date in his 1953 yellow Studebaker, they were married on March 10, 1956 at St. Paul's in Belleville. In their 37 years of marriage, she liked to say that she went from "Yes Dear" to "Buzz Off Bud". While Mom was making that transition, Dad also blossomed in the kitchen where he went from 'Chipped Beef on Toast' to 'Osso Buco'. Their marriage was a master class in abiding love, patience, resilience, and growth. The only man that she ever loved was taken on April 17, 1993. Anne joined Russ and an infant daughter Peggy on July 17, 2020. 

She left the world a better and more beautiful place through her work at home, as a sales associate at Woolf Brothers and Dillard's, and later in her garden. 
At home - The era in which she began home-making set ridiculously high expectations. The Better Homes and Gardens magazines that kept coming might have appeared to offer suggestions, but were really subtle demands, and she was up for the challenge. Spotless children and a spotless house greeted Dad when he came home from work. She could probably fold a fitted sheet with one hand while talking on the phone. She ironed everything, and perpetually needed to "Catch up on her pressing". Her standards were high in all things, and she was excellent at the work of the house, but it was never her passion. 
As a sales associate - She said that when she went back to work in retail, she was no longer just "Russ's wife" or "Shelley, Rusty, and Jane's mom". She reintroduced Anne Mann to herself and to the world. She excelled at Woolf Brothers where she developed a clientele list and became a personal shopper to many. She knew her customers and they knew her. She also knew their husbands, mainly on their last minute, Christmas Eve shopping sprees. At Dillard's, she represented a line of sportswear called J. H. Collectibles. Their clothing was shipped free to her home and she would wear it to work. She was never a runway model, but she was quite actually a floor model for years. After Dad's death, she found a new passion in the garden. 
In the garden - She was not a certified Master Gardener. The difference is that Master Gardeners have workers to do the maintenance for them. Mom did it all herself, even mowing her own lawn up until just a few years ago. She tirelessly picked up millions of sweet gum balls and raked mountains of leaves. More than once, her Japanese maple was hit with an early frost and the leaves froze to the tree and would not fall. When a season let her down, she became that season. Mom proceeded to pick each and every withered leaf off of that tree, and enjoyed doing it. She waged a continual war with the squirrels and chipmunks, and over the years purchased as a repellent, the urine of innumerable exotic animals, but nothing really ever worked. The deer were her largest pests. On one occasion, she came upon a large deer standing on her side yard. She squared those large shoulders, put her big hands to her side and stared that deer down. When asked later to describe the animal, she said it had big horns. A family friend who was an experienced hunter told mom that this was unsafe and not to do it again. That said, my money would be on Mom. She dearly loved the birds and attended to them faithfully until the very end. 

She is survived by three children and their spouses: Shelley and Tom Neumann of Manhattan, Kansas; Rusty and Kim Mann of Prairie Village, Kansas; and Jane and Geoff Ackley of Kansas City, Missouri. She was grandmother to two: Beckie Warren of Brooklyn, New York; and “Cuckoo” to one - Sophie Mann of Denver, Colorado. In addition to her immediate family, she leaves a brother, two sisters, extended family and many friends. 

Services were private.

Celebrations of this life will be held daily. 

In lieu of flowers, contributions could be made in her memory to the Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens.


Joel Crown Jul 26 ,2020

friend ,SHAWNEE MISSION ,Kansas

A life lived well. Sinatra's My Way is not just for lounge singers and Bon Vivant's. Her way to the end. Congratulations Cuckoo!