Ann Clair Walker

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Ann Clair Walker, Overland Park, Kan., passed away Saturday, July 20, 2013, at the Kansas City Hospice House.

Ann was born Oct. 22, 1930, in Hollywood, Calif. She grew up in Montana and San Francisco, where she loved to ride the cable cars to acting classes and auditions. She attended San Mateo Junior College, and then moved to Wichita, Kan., where her father was transferred by Boeing. She graduated from Wichita State University, but not after selling her books one semester to play bridge.

She met her husband, J.D., at Wichita State, and they moved to Sedalia, Hannibal and later Kansas City in 1971. Ann taught at Catholic schools in Hannibal and Kansas City and was a popular teacher: She was "cool" and really cared whether the kids learned. She moved to Nevada, Mo., in 1984, where J.D., an administrator in the Missouri Deptartment of Mental Health, had been transferred.

There she taught at St. Mary's Catholic School and retired as the principal at the school. She moved back to Kansas City in 2005, where she made wonderful new friends at Villa Medici apartments. She particularly enjoyed "cattail" hour with her friend Lois, when they would share a cocktail as their cats played together. She was a regular bridge partner and got 'lucky' a lot of times.

In later years she chose not to actively participate in the Catholic Church, but practiced what she knew were its core values: Care for the outcast, the poor and the forgotten. Ann volunteered for more than 20 years at the Barone Alzheimer Care Center in Nevada. She donated what she could over many years to various missions and animal rescue centers. They will miss her too. She never thought of herself first.

A lifelong democrat, she was an early civil rights advocate and advocate for the poor. She was a California beauty who loved the Midwest, and most of all loved her family. In the last months she was able to share many memories about her life (some for the first time) and say goodbye to her family. She was so happy to attend her son Jamie's wedding to Paula in December 2012. Nothing was left unsaid. She had no regrets. She was happy.

Ann was preceded in death by her husband, J.D. Surviving her are her three children, Jamie and his wife, Paula, of Kansas City, Julie Paradise and her husband, Richard, of Kansas City, their two children, Scott of Atlanta, Ga., and Rachel of New Orleans, La., Jean (Tootie) Walp and her husband, Bill, of Aurora, Colo., and their son, Luke, a student at University of Colorado, Boulder. She is survived by many other loving family members and many friends. And of course her cat, Button, who has a new home with Paula and Jamie. And will now be on a diet.

Memorial Services will be 10:30 a.m., Saturday, July 27, at the Porter Funeral Home, 8535 Monrovia, Lenexa, Kan. Following the service, all are invited to a reception to celebrate Ann's life at the Villa Medici Clubhouse, 9550 Ash, Overland Park, KS. In lieu of flowers the family suggests memorial contributions to Kansas City Hospice, 9221 Ward Parkway, No. 100, Kansas City, Mo., 64114 or the Humane Society of Greater Kansas City, 5445 Parallel Pkwy., Kansas City, Kan., 66104.

Condolences may be expressed at Arrangements are made by the Porter Funeral Homes & Crematory, 8535 Monrovia, Lenexa, Kan., 913-438-6444.