This were the words I spoke at the memorial of my good friend Ann Tofft. As I took care of her in her last weeks, I heard from people around the world who were her friends. These were my words for closure of a fine friendship:
When You Think of Ann . . .
I’m Hildra Tague, a good friend of Ann’s who spoke to her every day. We cooked supper every Friday at my house, and shared our struggles and joy often.
First of all, Ann wanted me to thank everyone who is here and all who helped in any way, by visiting, helping at her house, or holding her in your hearts. I echo that and also extend to you my most heartfelt thanks!
When you think of Ann, you may recall her long pretty hair she wore in a bun, or a formidable lady who maintained a stunning variety of interests.
But when you think of Ann you also might think of her as a little girl who loved to play with her sister,
And one who was absolutely thrilled when her dad let her slide out the window onto a snow bank so she could enjoy a snowy day in a different way.
In later years, polio and meningitis struck and Ann learned some of life’s really tough lessons.
When you think of Ann you might think of a young woman who relished the life of a scholar, loved studying and reading, and one who became a lifetime learner.
When you think of Ann, imagine a young woman who flew the nest to drive cross country to make a life for herself, falling in love with Walter—the love of her life.
Picture them playing competition badminton, entertaining company, skating often, and enjoying the good life together.
When you think of Ann think of a professional who had a number of important jobs including:
Working in a pathology lab
Serving as Registrar at University of Houston
Supervising others at Baker and Botts law firm
A naturopath and a massage therapist who shared with others her zest for living the natural life while respecting the environment as well as the body.
When you think of Ann remember a lady who became certified as a Texas Master Naturalist in her 70’s to show how much she cared about sustainability and a walk in the woods.
Halfway through the training she fell ill during a field event and required emergency gall bladder surgery. My husband and I picked her up in the forest, very weak and in need of a hospital. But she still finished the training! I was honored to watch her graduate.
When you think of Ann think of her serving in so many capacities as shown by the T-shirt banner hanging by the windows:
Northwoods Greens committee
Interfaith Food Pantry coordinator for this church
Folk/rock choir and two other fantastic choirs
Along with many other activities. She was a busy person!
So when you think of Ann
Remember someone who always claimed to have a lifelong wanderlust and adored traveling. She’d offer to drive at the drop of a hat, and put many miles on her cars over the years.
Recall one who loved to eat out with friends (always having lots of lemons in her water)
Remember one who was quick to love, and at times quick to express her opinions, yet a great lady who was loved by so many around the country.
Chuckle as you realize she wrote a poem about The Vodoo Godess relating an incident in the hospital. This was during her 3rd heart attack! Yes, I said DURING!
AS YOU BREATHE IN THE SAME AIR SHE BREATHED in this very room, when you think of Ann Tofft, smile.
Copyright by Hildra Tague. Obtain permission from author for use online or in print.