Obituary of Ann Lynn Lemieux
Written by Ann Lemieux
Ann Lemieux was getting freaking old, but considering the alternative, figured it was well worth the inconveniences. She disagreed with her (much older) sister and official pathfinder, Carol Wilkinson, who said life should amount to withdrawing a finger from a bucket of water, leaving no trace. Ann wanted all the splashing that was available, with the leftovers put in water balloons and used! She also needled her cherished brother, John Lemieux, to work less, play more. After all, he got stuck with two sisters whereas they each had both a sister and a brother. Weird family. Her dad, Octave Lemieux, was an adventuresome soul – motorcyclist, printing pressman, creative adventurer, hard worker, and even a talented crocheter who died in 1997. Her mom, Agnes Lemieux, provided her family and friends with care, focus, organization, routine, love and thoughtfulness. A spectacular communicator, Agnes also had great patience with those who kept dragging her “out of the box”. Mom travelled a long way to watch Ann graduate Marine Corps boot camp in 1972 and the two of them went to Europe together 34 years later. Our last forays were in Washington in 2018, just a year before she died.
Ann is OK with going off to her next adventure alone. Her two sons, Joshua and Zachariah Lemieux, were an adventure to raise, and an ongoing joy to Ann as compassionate and talented adults. She said it is an extraordinary legacy to have known such capable, talented and caring people and called them sons. Zac married Samantha Smith, giving Ann the great gift of a grown daughter, and later the next generation of boys – Taylor, Jack, and Oliver. Josh as of this writing is globetrotting solo.
Ann held a bunch of jobs by choice and by chance; some were explorations, some necessary drudgery, a few true exercises in self-discipline, and the best were where she could learn, create and be of real service. Far more important was that she gave her best to each of them, and appreciated the opportunities to grow, help, contribute or simply survive them. Learning was lifelong, joyous and in many forms. She genuflected to tradition by going back to college in her late 50’s to formally acquire an Associate’s Degree. With high honors. In 6 quarters. So, add here that pride was a bit of a downfall. She’d whisper to you that the week-long Jefflin farm school attended in the 1970’s was so much more meaningful by her standards
Retirement and parenthood however, were the greatest seasons ever.
The best bits of life according to Ann were her family, friends, passions and accumulating a boatload of great memories. She loved road trips, was addicted to reading, Scrabble, writing and gardening. She said, “I’ve dreamed dreams without end and realized a bunch of them. I’ve enjoyed the happenstance of things unplanned, even when the route to them was a tad torturous, or when the best part the experience was when it was over and chalked up to another lesson learned. Many times they resulted in wonder, joy, amazement, satisfaction and ever so much more. I have had the glory of loving and being loved, happy to trade the safety of a closed heart and mind in exchange to revel in the best of highs and risk the lows. Had my mind stretched and filled over a lifetime, even if a lot leaked out, evaporated, went into hiding, got temporarily lost, or went to old age heaven before me. I’ve played in my own personal dirt, laughed and snorted until my sides ached, and spewed coffee out of my nose. I’ve had a lifetime generously sprinkled with dear friends, soul-stirring music, art, nature, and books to dive into, and all kinds of precious moments leaving memories that feel as warm and resonant as holding a happy, purring cat to my chest. I’m happy where I’ve been, and excited about where I’m going next.”
If you’re one of those folks who feel uncomfortable reading an entire lifetime in a few paragraphs, Ann says to go out and do something noble. Don’t send flowers to a dead person, go give them to a live one. Put your money or your time to where it can do some good – a food bank, literacy program, just go out and make a dent (a positive impression, a little extra kindness) on the world around you. If nothing else, go do something you’ve been putting off for “when”. When is not guaranteed, and life is not a spectator sport.
Ann's sons are surrounded by blooming flowers planted by her own hands with loving care. Please take a moment and remember her for her for the amazing person she was, and will continue to be in our hearts. Thank you.