In Loving Memory of Anne Marie Noonan Ganser
September 26, 1932
Port Chester, NY
June 04, 2020
Spear-Miller Funeral Home
39 South Benson Road,
Fairfield CT US 06824
Service Date and Location TBA
Harvest Hills Animal Shelter in Fryeburg, Maine
Anne Marie Noonan Ganser
Anne Marie Noonan Ganser, born in Port Chester, NY on September 26, 1932, died peacefully in her sleep at home in Stratford, CT on June 4th 2020. She was 87 years old.
Anne Marie, the only child born to Anne (nee Costello) and William Noonan, attended elementary school at Our Lady of Mercy in Port Chester, NY, high school at Academy of Our Lady of Good Counsel in White Plains, and earned her BA at Indiana University in Bloomington. Anne went on to earn two educational related master’s degrees which added to her outstanding teaching and counseling skills as her professional career evolved.
Anne Marie spoke often of her early years in Port Chester where she vividly remembered playing kick the can on Parker Street, buying hand-made penny candy from a neighbor, listening to The Shadow on the radio, riding the trolley to Rye Beach, and harmonizing with her relatives around the piano after every Sunday supper. She also spoke of how unemployed men would come to the back door of her family’s home looking for work and her father, Bill, a steamfitter by trade would give them a simple job to do and then something to eat. Anne Marie’s mother, Anne, was a gentle soul and much beloved elementary school teacher at Our Lady of Mercy. She also played the piano at school functions and family gatherings, and once during Prohibition with her friend Kathleen Balls riding shotgun, smuggled two bottles of Canadian whiskey well hidden in the trunk of her car driving the final 25 miles home on the steel rim of one of the wheels after a blowout, not understanding the metallic grinding sound chasing the car, nor the odd way the car was pulling hard to the left. They, and the whisky, made it safely home to husband Bill and daughter Anne Marie.
Anne married Jim Ganser in 1955 and with him settled in Northern Virginia. The marriage produced four sons: L.J., Terry, Greg, and Chris. The couple separated in 1976 and divorced in the mid-eighties.
Anne Marie’s teaching career began in Virginia where she taught at Gunston Hall, Marshall Road and Woodburn Elementary Schools. In 1968 the family moved to Rye, New York. She resumed her teaching career at Our Lady of Mercy where she would work for 13 years. Anne moved to Washington, D.C. to resume teaching in the Fairfax County Public Schools system. She took an apartment in the North East section of the city and reverse-commuted every weekday from there to teach, and later serve as a guidance counselor, at Terra Centre Elementary School in Burke, Virginia. Anne loved living in D.C., especially since it was located a mere stone’s throw from the Eastern Market where each weekend she would visit and socialize with the antiques and food vendors there, accumulating not only new friends, but unique collectibles and tasty edibles which continued to be a lifetime fascination for her.
In 1973 she purchased a small house in the woods of Bridgton, Maine, located in the southwestern “lake region” of the state. Anne had always had a deep love for Maine, from the chilly coastal waters of the Atlantic to the foothills of the White Mountains in the west. She spent every summer, and as many holidays as she could, at the little house in the woods where not surprisingly, she made many friends. Bridgton provided an excellent opportunity for her children and grandchildren to explore the many outdoor and cultural activities the area provided.
Anne also loved to travel. With her friends she explored France, Italy, Ireland, Germany, Japan, the Czech Republic and large swaths of the US. She enjoyed old school Broadway musicals, long distance driving, her series of faithful dog companions (Bert, Ted, Willy, and Ginty), oysters on the half shell chased with a pint of Guinness, cooking shows, playing Hearts, Jeopardy, and any movie starring Cary Grant. She loved to send personalized holiday cards and gave generous presents to all the members of her family on both birthdays and at Christmas time.
Blessed with an effervescent and magnetic personality, perhaps Anne’s greatest talent was her innate ability to create and nourish the many long-lived friendships she discovered during her life’s journey, most notably with Maureen Kelley-O’Brien, who she met in kindergarten and remained close with for her entire life. In addition to her four sons, Anne Marie is survived by six grandchildren; TJ, Elyssa, Jenna, Ava, Lily and Georgia.
In lieu of flowers donations may be sent to Harvest Hills Animal Shelter in Fryeburg, Maine. The website with information on donations is https://harvesthills.org/
A celebration of her life will be held September 26, 2020 which would have been her 88th birthday (details as to time and place forthcoming). No doubt a piano and singing will be a big part of that celebration Godspeed to Anne Marie. She will be sorely missed. For information or to sign an online register, please visit www.SpearFuneralHome.com